The Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection has over 20,000 images, including this one of the Burgert Brothers Commercial Photography Studio taken on February 27, 1941. The collection presents a pictorial record of the commercial, residential and social growth of Tampa Bay from the late 1800s to the early 1960s. The collection is preserved for the public to view and use at the John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.)

The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System is home to an amazing collection of photographs known as the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection. The collection of over 20,000 images is preserved at the John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa. The collection is available for the public to view and use.

According to Selena Martinez, supervisory librarian and head of the Florida History and Genealogy Department, “The library acquired the majority of the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection (approximately 18,000 of the now 20,000 images currently in the collection) in 1974 from an independent collector. The other images have been acquired through various purchases and donations from other institutions and the original Burgert family themselves.”

The images in the collection chronicle the history of the Tampa Bay area as it faced wars, natural disasters and economic booms and busts. The images offer a view of a community at work. This includes a diverse cross section, featuring everything from cigar factories, sponge docks and strawberry fields to grocery stores, service stations and bank lobbies. Many of the photographs also depict the community doing leisure activities, including enjoying a day at the beach. Some photos also show residents participating in local celebrations, such as the Florida State Fair, and playing their favorite games, like golf, tennis, shuffleboard and even checkers.

Martinez said, “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection has over 20,000 images in it, so it has over 20 million words to say about the multicultural history of Tampa. The collection is iconic and a cultural heritage institution for the community to take pride in.”

Martinez added, “There are very few photographic collections that can show a pictorial microhistory of the area. There are images of the same streets, such as Franklin and Madison, from the 1890s all the way up to the 1960s. They are recognizable and seen everywhere in Tampa, from doctors’ offices to local restaurants. Through this collection the community can look back and see how far we have come, that also how after 130 years, we have also stayed true to our multicultural heritage.”

You can order prints and high-resolution scans of the photos.

For more information, please visit or call 813-273-3652.

Previous articleArmy Recruiting Revealed — How One Joins The Army
Next articleDisabled American Veterans Chapter Four Chaplains #161 Holds Change Of Command Ceremony And Honors Vietnam Veteran