The Florida Historical Society is the only statewide historical society in the Sunshine State. Originally founded in St. Augustine in 1856, the Society was reorganized in 1902 and began holding an annual meeting for the purpose of providing a forum for professional historians and laypersons interested in Florida history. In 2002, the Society celebrated its 100th annual meeting in historic Mt. Dora.
The original founders of the Florida Historical Society determined the Society's primary mission is to collect, preserve, publish and present materials relating to the history of Florida and its peoples. Their dream in 1856 was the creation of a library dedicated solely to this mission. In 1997, the Society's dream was realized with the opening of a library in Historic Cocoa Village. Located in a WPA-constructed art deco federal building, the FHS Library houses the Tebeau Collection which contains more than 6,000 volumes, an extensive map collection, manuscript and photographic holdings and a small collection of artifacts. Also the newly acquired Alice Strickland Collection of floridiana is housed in the FHS library. Other collections include the Pioneer Collection of the Florida State Genealogical Society and the photographic collection of the Brevard County Mosquito Beaters.