Michael Francis, a professor of history at the University of South Florida, said the archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine show how “incredibly diverse” the city has been since it was founded in 1565.

“They provide a window into the lives of people who have been overlooked,” he said. “A lot of people will look more carefully at the marriage, birth, death and confirmation records of people at that time.” Francis, working with researchers from Vanderbilt University, digitized those documents and said the web address to access them will be published soon.

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