May 18, 2022

University of Miami Libraries: Special Collections Explores Miami Beach’s Colorful History

From the University of Miami:

Guests of a recent online seminar from the “Deep Dives” series hosted by University of Miami Libraries joined Cristina Favretto on a trip back in time.

Rosie, an Asian elephant, used to march up and down the streets of Miami Beach in the early 1900s. The spectacle was a promotional ploy by then-developer Carl Fisher to draw visitors to the area. It worked.

Photos and drawings of Rosie and many other advertisements of the era are part of the University of Miami Libraries’ Special Collections.

On Thursday, department head Cristina Favretto highlighted them in an online seminar called “Selling Some Sand: The Marketing of Miami Beach.” This is the first event in a series called “Deep Dives,” which highlights select fascinating items in the Special Collections.

Source: U. of Miami Libraries

Using photos, pamphlets, books, and other documents from the collection, Favretto led the participants through the history of the beach, which began after land owner and farmer John Collins and the wealthy entrepreneur Carl Fisher teamed up to build the first bridge from the mainland to the barrier island.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.