Last updated: 7/23/2018
801 Old Water Street
Tampa, FL 33602
801 Old Water Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Museum Business HoursColumbia Cafe
The Cafe is open daily from 11am to 9pm.
Seniors (60+): $12.95
Children (6 and under): Free
Special Event Rental
C.J. Roberts, President & CEO
Rodney Kite-Powell, Curator of History
Claus Daniel, Facility Manager
Manny Leto, Director of Marketing and Communications
Andrea Nalls, Director of Guest Experience and Membership
Lisa Perry-Richardson, Director of Advancement
Maria Steijlen, CFO
Brian Buttafuoco, Assistant Curator of Education
Amanda Hoffman, Youth Programs Coordinator
Nancy Dalence, Curator of Education
Malerie Dorman, Curator of Collections
Located along Tampa's Riverwalk, the Tampa Bay History Center interprets 12,000 years of Florida's history, highlighting Florida's first people, Florida's maritime history, including the history of conquistadors, pirates and shipwrecks, and the cigar and cattle industries.
A Smithsonian Affiliate museum, the History Center's three floors of interactive exhibits and theaters focus on the Gulf Coast, from prehistoric times to the present through artifacts, artwork, textiles, documents and furniture. Collections include more than 100 rare shipwreck artifacts recovered from Florida waters, items depicting the history of Tampa's cigar industry, and a collection of Seminole Indian artifacts including tools, clothing and ceremonial items.
Visit the museum, dine at the waterfront Columbia Cafe or shop in the Museum Store before taking a stroll along the Riverwalk. Visit TampaBayHistoryCenter.org for details.
Founded in 1989 by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, the History Center opened its new, 60,000+ square-foot facility on Tampa’s Riverwalk in 2009.
Accredited in 2015 by the American Alliance of Museums and a Smithsonian Affiliate museum since 2012, the History Center includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition galleries focusing on 12,000 years of Florida’s history.
The museum’s collections date from prehistoric Gulf Coast Florida to the present. The collection covers all spheres of life, public and domestic, in a fairly complete manner. The research library contains 9,638 books, manuals, maps, documents, microfilm and family/subject papers all Florida history based. Genealogical materials and books number at 1,000 contain the southern states and the 13 colonies. The collection includes artifacts, paintings, textiles, utilitarian ceramics, postcards, documents, ephemera and furniture with a recognized need or relevance, to Florida and specifically to our regional area.
Tampa Bay History Center has an exceptional collection of over 1,000 Tampa cigar industry related items, and has received a gift of Florida Seminole objects and materials from the Charles L. Knight Family. Many veterans who were stationed at one of our county’s three air bases have generously donated relevant material to the collection. The collections are assembled to complement and strengthen the interpretation of the history of our area and state. The Discovery Center contains collection objects, in an historic timeline method, for visitors to actively engage themselves. Large galleries, in the new facility, showcase maritime heritage, Cigar City, Crackers & Cowmen, Seminole materials and our changing environment.
The education collection contains unaccessioned, duplicate, replications and expendable items and consists of some 125 objects directly related to life in Historic Hillsborough County and Florida. These items are used in gallery Discovery Boxes, History-to- Go Kits, hands-on tours, teacher workshops and programs.
The Witt Research Center provides a comprehensive collection of regional and state subject resources including:
Historical census records, newspapers and periodicals featuring catalogs and indexes, private papers such as personal journals and manuscripts, biographical resources, Hillsborough County church and cemetery records, subject and family files directed towards regional interest and a collection of contemporary and rare books relating to Florida.
Manuscript collections include correspondence, diaries, journals, maps, photographs, and the organizational papers of business, fraternal, professional, religious and social organizations.
Approximately 4,000 still images comprise the Tampa Bay History Center's photographic collection. The collection visually documents the people, places, and events that have contributed to the area's history and development from the mid-19th century to the present. The History Center strives to document the region's history and is dependent upon public awareness and participation for support.
The research center is the result of a partnership between the History Center and the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system. The goal of the partnership is to add the collection of the Witt Research Center to the public library system's online catalog and to encourage visitation to the Center.
The History Center offers a year-round schedule of programs for adults, children and families. Visit our website for a full listing of upcoming events and programs.
The Tampa Bay History Center is a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation and is funded in part by: Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, The City of Tampa.
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members
Appointment required: No
1. Cotanchobee newsletter
2. Tampa Bay History Journal
Special Event Rental
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