Skip to main content

Samuel F. Morrison Collection

Identifier: 2003.27

Scope and Contents

The Samuel F. Morrison Collection contains correspondence, books, professional and personal papers, photographs, scrapbooks, plaques, ephemera, vinyl records, VHS tapes documenting the professional and personal life of Librarian Samuel F. Morrison. Books and vinyl records donated by Samuel Morrison can be accessed through the Broward County Library catalog.


  • Circa 1936-2020

Conditions Governing Use

The Samuel F. Morrison Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel F. Morrison was born in Flagstaff, Arizona on December 19, 1936 to parents Travis Morrison (1909-1953) and Esther Porter (1919-circa 2000). He had one sister, Pearl Lorraine Morrison Pitts (1938-1964). His father divorced Esther and married his second wife Ruth Swain (1911-1990). Morrison was primarily raised in Phoenix, Arizona. His family moved several times due to his father’s job at munitions plants. He graduated from Compton High School in Los Angeles, California in 1952. Morrison earned an associate degree from Compton Junior College in 1955. Morrison entered the United States Air Force and served from 1955 to 1959. For three of those years in the service, he was stationed in Morocco and helped manage the library on the Air Force base. In 1970, he received his bachelor's degree in English from California State University. Morrison earned a Master's degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1972 and attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University completing coursework in 1989.

From 1972-1974, Morrison worked as a library director at the Frostproof Living Learning Library Center in Frostproof, Florida. He built a library and initiated outreach services for the African American and Hispanic migrant communities. In 1974, Morrison became the assistant director of Broward County Library in Broward County, Florida and served as deputy director from 1976-1987. He assisted in the growth of Broward County Library from 2 branches to 25 branches during this time. He also managed the formation of the new Main Library branch in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Morrison lead in the construction of the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center and became the library’s chief director from 1987 to 1990. In 1990, Morrison returned to Broward County as director of Broward County Library and worked in that position until his retirement in 2003. Under his leadership, Broward County Library was awarded “Library of the Year” in 1996 and grew to 38 branches. During his tenure as director, Morrison fundraised for the creation of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, which serves as a public library as well as a special collections research center dedicated to the history and culture of the African diaspora. He attended the library’s groundbreaking ceremony on October 23, 1999 and opening day on October 26, 2002.

Samuel F. Morrison actively participated in local and national organizations during his career. He served in the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the NAACP, Urban League of Broward County, Florida Library Association (FLA), and American Library Association (ALA). He was president of the Florida Library Association in 1981. Morrison received awards and recognition including the FLA Lifetime Achievement Award, DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship, Leadership Foundation Broward “Leader of the Year” Award, and the African American Achievers Award.

Morrison married Judith Moore in 1964 and divorced in 1985. He and his former wife had no children.


66 Hollinger Boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into 8 series: Series I. Correspondence, Series II. Professional Papers, Series III. Personal Papers, Series IV. Photographs and Scrapbooks, Series V. Printed Materials, Series VI. Awards, Series VII. Ephemera, and Series VIII. Audio-Visual Materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Samuel F. Morrison Collection was donated by Samuel F. Morrison.

Separated Materials

Samuel F. Morrison donated books with his collection. Books from this collection were cataloged separately. Access books in the Broward County Library Catalog.

Processing Information

This collection received file level processing. The finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions as well as acquisitions to the collection.

Samuel F. Morrison Collection
Afua Ferdnance ; Emily Calderon
August 2020 ; August 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center Repository

2650 Sistrunk Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33311 United States