Jul 24, 2023

A Massive Photo Archive Documenting Tampa Bay Area History Is Being Digitized for the Public

The images from the Skip Gandy Collection of Aerial and Commercial Photography chronicles key moments in local history, from the 1950s to 2010s.

A project to preserve decades of Tampa Bay area history is in the works.

The University of South Florida Libraries are digitizing nearly 80,000 photo negatives that document the life and landscape of the Tampa Bay region from the 1950s to 2010s. The images are part of the Skip Gandy Collection of Aerial and Commercial Photography and chronicle key moments in local history.

A fundraising project aims to raise $41,300 to digitize the entire collection and make these never-before-seen images available to the public under a Creative Commons license. Up until now, a few dozen photos have been available to view online. USF Libraries’ Digital Collections have raised $30,000 so far.

Skip Gandy

Skip Gandy Commercial And Aerial Photography. Image 57. Https://

The photograph was taken on Bayshore Boulevard where the Gasparilla Pirate Ship Dock is currently located. In the right of the picture, the backside of a Christopher Columbus, which marks the Columbus Statue Park at 300 Bayshore Dr., can be seen.

Some of these film negatives are starting to degrade, making their preservation all the more urgent, according to Tampa-based photographer Chip Weiner.

“We cannot let this history disappear,” said Weiner. “It’s 100 years of visual history that so many cities don’t have and we are completely blessed to have that available to us.”

You can read more in an article by Nancy Guan published in the WUSF web site at: