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Doris Leeper Papers

Identifier: SC.043

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into two series:

Series I: Scrapbooks, 1951-1999, contains scrapbooks that hold materials pertaining to Leeper's art and activism.

Series II: Exhibition Catalogs, 1964-1997, focus on Leeper's artwork, starting with her work as a graphic artist to her years as a Florida artist.

Series III: Personal Files, 1952,1974, includes Doris Leeper's identification cards; United States of America passport issued by the Department of State and and international driver license by the American Automobile Association.


  • 1951-1999


Language of Materials

English .

Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished records are protected by copyright. Permission to publish quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

Doris "Doc" Leeper was a renowned Florida artist and environmental activist. Leeper was a founder of the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach and instrumental in the creation of the Canaveral National Seashore and the Spruce Creek Preserve, renamed the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve in memoriam. A Florida Alliance for Arts Education Award in named in her honor and in 1999 Leeper was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

Leeper was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 4, 1929 and died in New Smyrna on April 11, 2000. Leeper graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a BA in Art History, 1951. In 1961 Leeper left the commercial graphics field to work in sculpture and painting full-time. Her work is in almost 100 public collections and during her lifetime she widely exhibited in one-person and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. A 45-year retrospective of her work was held at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in 1995. Leeper won numerous awards in her lifetime.

After she moved to New Smyrna Beach in 1958, Leeper became very involved with the protection of the Canaveral Seashore and a leader in environmental protection. In 1982 the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an internationally renowned artists' community that Leeper was instrumental in creating, opened. Leeper was also a founding member and creator of the Alliance of Artists' Communities, a consortium of artists' colonies and residency programs throughout the U.S. Leeper also co-owned a commercial visual arts gallery located in New Smyrna Beach, "Arts on Douglas".


8.00 Linear Feet (27 scrapbooks, 2 boxes)


The Doris Leeper Papers contain scrapbooks and catalogs that chronicle the artistic career of the Florida artist, Doris Leeper. Founder of the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, this collection highlights Leeper's early years as a graphic artist through to her later years as a renowned Florida artist.

Method of Acquisition

The Doris Leeper Papers were donated to the College of Arts and Sciences along with slides of the artist's works and approximately 100 pieces of Leeper's artwork by a bequest from her estate. The executor of the Leeper Estate, Mary Jane "Jay" Urban, offered the collections to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kathryn Seidel. Urban was Leeper's neighbor, and named heir and executor in her will. Leeper's scrapbooks and other documents were given to the Special Collections Department while her artworks and slides were given to the UCF Art Gallery.

This collection was donated to the University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives by Doris Leeper in 2003 (CFM2003_03)

Related Materials

Approximately 100 pieces of Doris Leeper's artwork, as well as slides of many of the artist's works, are located in the UCF Art Gallery located in the Visual Arts Building.

Sol & Sadie Malkoff Papers, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.

Albin Polasek Collection, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.

Walter Gaudnek Collection, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.

Processing Information

Collecton processed by April Karlene Anderson; finding aid prepared by April Karlene Anderson.

Loose items in the scrapbooks were secured and the books were wrapped in acid-free archival paper. All other materials have been housed in acid-free containers and rusty metal items such as paper clips and staples have been removed so as to stop any further deterioration.


Doris Leeper Papers SC.043
April Karlene Anderson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

5th Floor - Room 501
John C. Hitt Library
Orlando FL 32816 US