Established in 1976, the Department of Archives and Manuscripts collects
government records, business records, maps, photographs, letters, diaries,
scrapbooks, and other primary material documenting the history and development
of Birmingham, Jefferson County and the surrounding area of Alabama known as the
Birmingham District. The Archives collects material statewide relating to the
Episcopal Church in Alabama, the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, Jewish
history and life in Alabama, and the Environmental Movement in Alabama. The
department’s holdings include the papers of government officials, businesses and
business people, civil rights activists, environmentalists, churches and
synagogues, civic groups and study clubs, clergy, artists, writers, musicians,
educators, athletes and homemakers.
Serving as the archives for the City of Birmingham, the Episcopal Diocese of
Alabama and numerous organizations and institutions, the collection contains
more than 30,000,000 documents and 500,000 photographs.
The collection is open to the public and draws thousands of researchers each
year from throughout the Birmingham area, the United States and around the
world. These researchers include local people investigating the history of
houses and buildings; university students researching class papers, theses, and
dissertations; scholars researching articles, books and museum exhibitions; and
film makers working on documentaries and other motion picture productions. More
than 300 books have been published using the Archives’ collections, including
five recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Documentary films and television series
researched in the Archives have appeared on most major television networks and
include recipients of the Academy Award, the Peabody and the Emmy.
*Beginning in 2013, The Archives Department will be open one weekend a month.
2013 Weekend Schedule:
August 31 (BPL closed September 1)
Some archival collections are available on microfilm. If you wish to conduct
research on weekends you may use microfilm collections in the library's
Microforms Room, open Saturday, 9:00-6:00 and Sunday, 2:00-6:00.
You must contact the Archives Department in advance (Monday-Friday) to verify
that the material you want is available on film and to have the film transported
to the Microforms Room.
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2744
- I-59/20 to 22nd Street Exit.
- Travel South to Park Place & turn right.
- Library on right.