Archives & Manuscripts - Guide to the Collections
The collections of the Birmingham Public Library Archives contain more than 400,000 photographs and 30,000,000 documents, including government records, business records, maps, letters, diaries, scrapbooks and architectural drawings.
The Collections
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Abernathy, Thomas Smith (Also Abernethy)
Sermons and Notes, 1856-1864
Thomas Smith Abernathy was born March 26, 1803 in Virginia. A minister, Abernathy was living in Alabama by 1829 and was one of five clergymen who organized the First Methodist Conference in Alabama. He spent much of his career as a circuit-riding minister. Abernathy died in Dayton, Alabama in 1882. This collection contains one bound volume of Abernathy's hand-written notes and outlines for sermons. Themes addressed by Abernathy include atheism, compassion, and obedience to law. The volume includes a brief index.
Size : 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
ACIPCO Methodist Church Sunday School Class
WW II Correspondence
This collection contains letters exchanged between members of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company Methodist Church Sunday school class and members of the church’s congregation serving during World War II.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : No
Adler, Bertha Marx
Scrapbook, 1888-1889
Bertha Marx Adler was the daughter of Birmingham merchant Samuel Marx, one of the founders of Temple Emanu-El. In 1892 she married Samuel M. Adler, a Birmingham businessman and investor. This scrapbook is an atlas that Bertha Marx, then a young woman, converted to a scrapbook by pasting items over the pages. The scrapbook primarily contains programs from Birmingham theater productions, but also contains a few programs from Birmingham High School and an order of service from the 1889 dedication of Temple Emanu-El.
Size : 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : No
Adler, Jeane
Scrapbook, 1912
Jeanne Adler was the daughter of Samuel and Bertha Marx Adler and resided on Highland Avenue in Birmingham. This scrapbook, entitled “The Girl Graduate: Her Own Book,” contains clippings, photographs, notes from classmates and other memorabilia relating to Adler’s senior year at Birmingham High School.
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : No
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Church Extentions Department
Secretary-Treasurer Reports, 1936-1946
This collection contains Secretary-Treasurer Reports, 1936-1946 for the church.
Size : ⅓ linear foot
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Akenhead, Linda
Survey of Six Historical Religious Structures in Birmingham.
Photographs and printed material documenting the history and architecture of six downtown Birmingham religious structures: Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal), First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Temple Emanu-El.
Size : ¾ liner foot (2 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Akers, Arthur K.
Typescript, 1929 and 1934
Arthur K. Akers was a Birmingham resident and writer who published more than 30 short stories in various magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post and Redbook. This collection contains typescripts with some handwritten notes for two Akers stories, “Business and Domestic Entanglements” and “Recovery, Here We Come” (published in Redbook, March 1934). These are comic stories typical of the era, employing characters that are caricatures of African American Southerners and exaggerated black dialect.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Alabama Association for the Blind
Minutes, 1915-1924
Founded in 1915 as the Birmingham Association to Provide Recreation and Aid for the Blind, this organization sponsored readings for the blind, circulated Braille books through the Birmingham Public Library, taught Braille classes, sponsored a lecture by Helen Keller, and employed a teacher to instruct blind children in their homes. The collection contains minutes of meetings, list of members, constitution and by-laws and a brief history.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : No
Alabama By-Products Corporation
File on United Mine Workers of America, 1934-1964
Alabama By-Products was founded in 1920 as the North Birmingham By-Products Coke Oven Plant by the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company. The company is still in operation and is a major supplier of foundry coke. This small collection contains wage agreements, material relating to unionization of workers and other material relating to the UMW.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Alabama Citizens for the Equal Rights Amendment
Records, 1971-1981
This collection contains correspondence, minutes of meetings, publications, by-laws and financial statements.
Size : 1½ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Alabama Coal Miners
Oral History Interviews
Bound transcripts and supporting documentation of interviews conducted by Carl Elliott, Sr. in the 1970s, primarily dealing with black lung disease.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : No
Alabama Coal Operators' Association / Alabama Mining Institute
Records, 1908-1984
The origin of the Alabama Coal Operators' Association can be traced to June 1900 when officials of several Alabama coal mining and steel companies met in Birmingham to discuss wage-scale negotiations with coal miners organized under the United Mine Workers (UMW). In 1908, the association organized and drafted a constitution. In response to mounting labor tensions, the ACOA adopted an open-shop policy and refused to recognize the United Mine Workers. In response, the UMW called a strike. On August 10, 1908, this strike was defeated through the intervention of Governor B.B. Comer who forbid the union to hold meetings and ordered the state militia to raze the mine workers' makeshift tent settlement. The ACOA also defeated the UMW in the later strikes of 1917 and 1919 and in the strike of 1920-1921. Aside from its concerns with labor problems, the ACOA advocated the general interests of the coal companies. It worked to improve mine safety, to import new technology, and to keep tax assessments on mineral lands low. The association opposed regulation of corporation wage-scales and commissary prices. With labor tensions considerably eased after the turmoil of earlier years, the AMI turned its attention to promoting the interests of Alabama coal mining companies. In 1992, the AMI became the Alabama Coal Association. The records contain minutes, proceedings, publications, correspondence, the constitution, annual reports of the Alabama Mining Institute, annual reports from the State Inspectors of Coal Mines, and subject files. The subject files consist of newspaper articles, speeches, reports, and pamphlets.
Size : 3¼ linear feet, 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Alabama Commission on the Observation of International Women's Year
Report submitted by the Alabama International Women’s Year Committee to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year.
Size : ½ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Alabama Equal Suffrage Association
Scrapbook, 1914-1918
Newspaper clippings relating to the suffrage movement in Alabama.
Size : 1 reel microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Alabama Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
Records, 1919-1981
The Alabama Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs was founded in 1919 at a meeting in Birmingham by representatives of women’s clubs from Birmingham, Anniston, Mobile and Montgomery. The organization’s member clubs encouraged vocational training and education for women, supported legislation such as national unemployment insurance, encouraged female participation in politics and women running for political office, and supported women in business. During World War II, clubs offered first aid classes and sponsored programs for victory gardens, blood drives and other home front efforts. This collection contains minutes of meetings, membership records, histories, publications, files on scholarships offered by the organization and presidential files.
Size : 18 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
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