The university announced Tuesday that the collection includes 800 boxes of papers and more than six terabytes of electronic records.
Nelson, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid to former Florida Gov. Rick Scott in November after serving three terms in Washington.
The documents cover Nelson's youth, early political career and his training and flight aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1986. It also includes the flight suit he wore and a Florida Gators bumper sticker he took to space.
Most of the material will be available to the public after a review by Nelson and processing by the library.
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