Birmingham Architecture & Design CollectionSwann House

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Materials in the Architecture & Design Collection include original drawings of buildings and parks, personal and business papers of architects and developers, photographs of buildings and neighborhoods, neighborhood organization records, maps, atlases, and other architectural surveys and reports. Overviews of individual collections within the Architecture & Design Collection are available by clicking on the links below. Collections listed in italics are names of firms or individual architects, designers, and developers.

Elyton Land Company

Jefferson County, Ala., Board of Equalization Files

Jemison, Robert, Jr.

Jemison, Robert, Sr.

Kessler, William H.

McCauley, Charles H. and Associates, Architects

Redmont Park Neighborhood Association

Salie, Jacob, and P.S. Mewhinney, Architects

Terminal Station

Underwood Park Association

Warren, Knight & Davis, Architects

Warren, William T., and Family

Waters, Newman H., Sr.

Welton, William Leslie

Whitten, Lawrence S.

Supporting the Architecture & Design Collection

The Architecture & Design collection welcomes donations that will help fulfill the mission of collecting, preserving, and providing access to records of the significant architectural and design heritage of the Birmingham area. For more information on secure climate-controlled storage, access to materials donated, and other aspects of the donation process, please see the Archives Support page.

Oral Histories & Special Research Projects

As part of its effort to proactively grow the Architecture & Design Collection, the Archives conducts special research projects such as oral histories, neighborhood histories, and public programs and lectures. These projects and programs enhance, provide context for, and increase awareness of other materials in the existing collection. These projects are collaborative in nature and involve partner organizations in design, architecture, preservation, and education. Links to project overviews are included above.





The Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection is part of the Birmingham Public Library’s Department of Archives & Manuscripts. The Architecture & Design Collection is a unique resource that reflects the rich culture and character of the Birmingham area through the documentation of significant historic and contemporary buildings and designed landscapes in the region as well as representative work of the most significant architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, and developers based in the Birmingham area. The purpose of the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection is to serve as an authentic record of the significant architectural and design heritage of the Birmingham area through collecting, preserving, promoting, and providing access to records of the built and landscaped environment of the city and surrounding region.

Collect. Holdings in the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection document the built and landscaped environment of Birmingham and the surrounding region, and materials range in type from original drawings of homes and buildings to photographs of contemporary parks and landscapes to professional and personal papers of influential designers in the region. The Department of Archives welcomes donations that help the collection fulfill its mission and reaches out to individuals and design professionals, both local and national, on an ongoing basis as part of a proactive effort to grow this important collection. 

Preserve. Records in the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection are preserved according to the highest archival standards and best management practices for architectural archival collections to ensure that they will be available to future generations. Items donated to the Archives for the collection are preserved in a secure, climate-controlled facility.  

Promote. In addition to serving as an authentic record of the significant architectural and design heritage of the Birmingham area, the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection seeks to increase awareness of and appreciation for that design heritage. The collection reflects the rich character and culture of Birmingham and promotes awareness of this through public lectures, events, and new media resources. 

Provide Access. With the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection, the Archives supports the research of scholars, design professionals, teachers, students, professors, home and building owners, and the general public. Access to material in the collection is provided during Archives regular operating hours. Finding aids and guides are available for the collection to facilitate the public’s use of the collection. 


Since the founding of BPL’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts in 1975, a collection of drawings, photographs, documents, and research materials related to the city’s architecture and design heritage has gradually accumulated over time. This collection includes many significant resources such as the city’s founding documents and plans, historic architectural drawings and blueprints of some local structures, and documentation of Jefferson County residences between 1938 and 1975. Realizing that the collection has the potential to become an even greater resource for the city, the Archives Department initiated a project to expand the collection of materials relating to Birmingham’s architecture and design heritage. With the generous support of a small group of engaged citizens and dedicated architects, landscape architects, designers, and historians, the department formally named the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection. 

Page Last Modified: 8/10/2015 10:26 AM