ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — At receptions in Washington, D.C. on March 15-16, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will unveil the groundbreaking La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas in front of dignitaries, international media and the public.

A photo preview of one of the many short videos found in La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas that highlight numerous lives, key events and gripping stories from early Spanish Florida.

Through short videos, interactive maps and digital reconstructions, La Florida brings to life the diverse melting pot of people that made up early Spanish Florida, from conquistadors and Native Americans to free and enslaved blacks and Europeans. It weaves together the lives and critical events of America’s earliest beginnings – such as the founding of the first permanent European settlement in the continental U.S. at St. Augustine in 1565 and the first free black settlement anywhere in the colonies at Fort Mose in 1738.

Overall, La Florida produces an engaging narrative that will alter the way we look at Florida, American and world history.

La Florida will provide the details, visuals and stories to present Florida’s unknown history in a compelling way that is unprecedented,” said Dr. J. Michael Francis, Executive Director of La Florida and the Hough Family Endowed Chair of Florida Studies at USF St. Petersburg.

“It takes the best in cutting-edge technology and combines that with the best in humanities research so history is accessible to anyone who wants to know about Florida and its important role in history.”

La Florida is a collaborative initiative with substantial support from institutions in Spain. Partners include the Spanish Embassy, the Instituto Nauta and EDRIEL Intelligence who developed the site’s innovative technology. Other technology companies, such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, will participate through EDRIEL.

The principle sections of the site include:

  • Exhibits – Interactive, digital exhibits will explore various themes in colonial Florida history.
  • People – Building the largest comprehensive and searchable biographical database to draw conclusions on the kinds of people who lived in Florida at any point between the 16th and 19th centuries.
  • Mapping – Creating interactive maps of Florida that reveal insights and the history of towns and structures when clicked on.
  • Florida Stories –Telling stories through short videos and posts about forgotten men, women and events in Florida’s Colonial period.

Receptions will take place at the Organization of American States on March 15 at 6 p.m. and at the Former Spanish Ambassador Residence on March 16 at 6:45 p.m.

CONTACT: Matthew Cimitile, 727-873-4840, mcimitile@mail.usf.edu

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SOURCE University of South Florida St. Petersburg