What Are Storied Books?

Each item in our collections has meant different things to different people across its lifetime. The Storied Books Project showcases the lives, past and present, that these materials have, and highlights the individuals who animate them.

The Rare Book Collection alone is home to more than 60,000 books, manuscripts, and other printed items from around the world. Every one of those objects has stories attached, and new ones that can be created through their use.

A Space for Student Exploration

The Storied Books Project exists to highlight the interests and skills of our student fellows, as well as the creative ways students use collections in their classes. Prospective fellows might help on an ongoing project that aligns with their interests, or pursue mentored research on a topic of their choice. Either way, fellows learn to think deeply about the objects in our libraries, and work as a community to create new knowledge from old.

For more information about the collections, please see the Special and Area Studies Collections Homepage.

Write Your Own Story

Whether you’re far along in your research or you’re just hearing about the library, your thought is what animates the collections. Our project offers two undergraduate fellowships on a yearly basis to introduce new and seasoned researchers to the materials we have here.

  • Our Undergraduate Discovery Fellowships offer a mentored introduction to a topic of your choice.
  • The University Scholarship in Special Collections Allows for deeper dives into the collections to complete research and creative projects.

Click the button below to learn more about each fellowship and how to apply.

The Storied Books Blog

Raising the Game

By Discovery Fellow Ziad El-Rady As a paper artist, I was drawn to the Special Collections by the treasure trove of pop-up and movable books found in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. As a game designer and D&D Dungeon Master, I knew these 3-D structures had great potential to immerse players into the …


Storied Books at the University of Florida is run out of the Department of Special & Area Studies Collections of the George A. Smathers Libraries.

Neil Weijer, (Curator of the Rare Book Collection), directs the project, supervises the research fellows, makes the coffee, and when he has time, even looks at a book or two.

Bridget Bihm-Manuel (Florida History Coordinator) assists with supervising the Undergraduate Discovery Fellows, and is happy to direct them to all things Floridian.