Southern History
Sources in the Department of Southern History and Literature
  1. Library Catalog
  2. Newspapers and Indexes
  3. Newspaper Clipping Files
  4. City Directories
  5. U.S. Census Records
  6. Databases
  7. Periodicals
  8. Vital Records Indexes
  9. Family Histories
  10. Passenger Lists and Indexes
Library Catalog

All of the materials are listed in the Library's online catalog.

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Newspapers and Indexes

The Library has a significant collection of local newspapers, unfortunately, there are few indexes to their contents. Below is a listing of the dates and formats for the existing newspaper indexes:

  • Birmingham News Index, 1978-1996. Microfiche
  • Birmingham Post Herald Index, 1979-1992. Microfiche
  • Obituaries from the Birmingham News and Birmingham Post Herald, 1975-present. Microfiche
  • Obituaries from the Birmingham News, beginning with February, 1954.
  • Birmingham News, 1993-present. Online via the Library's subscription to News Library. Access to articles from the Birmingham News is free to Library cardholders.

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Newspaper Clipping Files

The Southern History Department houses an extensive collection of newspaper clipping files. These files are arranged by subject and cover a variety of topics. Patrons may use the files for researching local neighborhoods, churches, civic organizations, and persons of note in Birmingham and Alabama history. The clippings date from the 1930's to the early 1980's.

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City Directories

Birmingham City Directories are located in the Southern History Department. The directories date from 1883-present. Due to the hardship of the Great Depression and, later, the Second World War, directories were not published in the following years: 1933, 1936, 1943, and 1945. Because of their fragility, some of our original directories have been replaced with microfilm editions.

The Library also has directories for various years for the following cities in Alabama: Anniston, Bessemer, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa.

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U.S. Census Records

Census records are available on microfilm and online. The Southern History Department has all of the available Alabama census records as well as records from other states.

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The Library has many databases that focus on genealogy and local history, many of which can be accessed remotely. We also maintain a subscription to the library edition of the popular site which is freely available to patrons who visit any location of the Birmingham Public Library.

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The Library subscribes to hundreds of genealogical periodicals. We also have back issues of such important titles as the William and Mary Quarterly and Tyler's Quarterly. Additionally, we have a number of scholarly journals such as The Journal of Southern History and The Alabama Review. Periodical titles and holdings can be found in our catalog.

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Vital Records Indexes

The Southern History Department has several indexes of vital events (marriage, divorce, or death) for Alabama and the surrounding states. These indexes cover various periods of time, but all are within the 20th century. The following indexes are available in the Library:


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Family Histories

The Library has a large collection of published family histories. All of these are listed in the catalog. To search for a book on a particular family, simply choose the subject option and type in the surname followed by the word "family".

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Passenger Lists and Indexes

Among the published passenger lists and indexes held by the Library are:

Additionally, we have copies of these National Archives microfilms in the Microforms Center:

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Page Last Modified: 10/2/2015 12:23 PM