Birmingham Public Library's Art Gallery Highlights The
Ties That Bind Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, AL -- Beginning August 1, 2002, the Birmingham Public Library will proudly display “Common Bonds: Birmingham 1900-1950”, in the 4th floor Art Gallery located at the Central Library in downtown. This exhibition features hundreds of snapshot photographs selected from local family albums and the library’s archival collections. Made by residents of Birmingham when the portable camera was a new and exciting way to record family life, these snapshots illustrate the common interests and common bonds of people preserving their own history through pictures.

Rather than focusing on issues that have divided the people of Birmingham, this exhibition crosses boundaries of race, gender, class, geography, and time to highlight the bonds shared by people in these photographs. Visitors to
the exhibition will discover that they share many of these same bonds.

The photographs in this exhibition have been selected from albums shared by Birmingham area families and from more than 400,000 images preserved in the Birmingham Public Library Archives. The richness and variety of these images suggest how many more wait to be discovered in the albums, drawers, and shoeboxes of local families.

This exhibition is not the completion of a project but one step in an ongoing initiative to seek out, collect, and preserve Birmingham snapshots. Anyone with images of the Birmingham area, from any time period, is encouraged to participate. Photographs may be donated to the Archives Department of the Birmingham Public Library or loaned for copying.

The Birmingham Public Library’s Art Gallery is free and open to the public during regular operating hours. Patrons can get a free guided tour of this exhibit every Thursday at noon. Tours meet in the Art Gallery. Reservations are not required.

This project is cosponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for The Humanities.

The Library thanks those individuals and organizations who donated photographs included in this exhibit: Peacolia Barge, Thomas and Jane Carmack, Maurine W. Childers, Arleen Clay, Linda Cohen, Clyde Coker, Virginia H. Cornelius, Sharon Davis, Cynthia B. Duckworth, Lillie M. H. Fincher, Bob Gerstley, Bezell and Gigi Gowdy, Virginia Guthrie, John Henley, Alvin W. Hudson, Jane Keeton, Kinnis Kelly, John London, Pam Lyons, Barbara Shores Martin, Terry Milholland, Rosa Morgan, Stanley Moss, Samuel A. Rumore, St. John’s Episcopal Church (Ensley), Melinda Shelton, Hazel Tynes, and Mamie Hicks Washington.

The Birmingham Public Library and its 20 branch locations provide the public with the most current collections, as well as providing the most comprehensive research tools in the state. The Birmingham Public Library strives to inform visitors by hosting special programs year round, such as Brown Bag Lunch series and Alabama Bound, as well as children’s programs from toddlers to teenagers. These programs allow the public to meet and greet guest lecturers, musicians, authors and publishers. For more information regarding the Birmingham Public Library and a list of exciting, upcoming events, please visit www.bplonline.org or call 205.226.3600.