We Are Here: Stories from Multilingual Speakers in North Central Florida

Mary Ann Cofrin Exhibit Hall

Opening May 10, 2023

Immigrant inclusion requires us to think about languages other than English, and to listen to the stories that people carry through their languages and their cultures. We are Here highlights stories from people who speak multiple languages in North Central Florida. Through visual collages that centralize cultural images, We Are Here illustrates the immigration journeys of our North Central Florida community through stories that hold power in multiple languages. These stories include examples of successes, struggles, hopes, injustices, and dreams of a more inclusive and just community. The goal is to showcase these stories, make visible the language diversity present in our community, and advocate for all of our neighbors’ right to access information in their preferred languages.

This exhibition was created in partnership with the Matheson, Rural Women’s Health Project, Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion Initiative, and UF’s Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Humanities Fund.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Elmer Harvey Bone

Mary Ann Cofrin Exhibit Hall

The Matheson History Museum is privileged to house the Elmer Harvey Bone Photographic Collection. Bone was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, in 1885 and moved to Gainesville, Florida, in 1925. An avid photographer since a young age, he first opened a studio with Mr. Van Sickle but then later opened his own studio in downtown. He “retired” at age 83 but continued to photograph events around town. This city lost a great artist when he passed away in 1976 at the age of 90.

The collection consists of over 10,000 photographs and negatives from 1929 to 1969 showcasing a visual history of Gainesville and its people. He photographed everything from homecoming parades to construction sites to group picnics to individual portraits to river baptisms. He saw beauty in the everyday mundane and routine. We are excited and honored to showcase his work!

(left) Portrait of Jack Brown, delivery man for Bell Bread – 1935, (right) Portrait of Oscar Robinson – 1946, by Elmer Harvey Bone

Handcrafted History: Alachua County in Scrapbooks

Main Exhibit Hall

Our collection is home to a variety of scrapbooks that were created by clubs and organizations throughout Alachua County. They give unique insight into our collective history.

Images from a scrapbook created by the Hague Home Demonstration Club, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum