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.
Jefferson County, Alabama, Archives
The Collections
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Avondale Land Company
Business Papers, 1885-1917
This collection includes only a portion of the business records of the Avondale Land Company, a Birmingham real estate development company organized in 1884 by B. F. Roden, William Morris, and their associates, for the purpose of developing a tract of land to the east of the original city limits of Birmingham, bordering on both sides of the Alabama and Great Southern Railway and extending northward to the Louisville and Nashville Railroad tracks. In 1910, M. F. Leary and Robert Jemison, Jr. purchased a controlling interest in the company and retained that interest until the company dissolved in 1917. The significant item in the collection is the company’s Record of Sales, covering the years 1885 – 1917 and including notations of the company’s gift of land to Avondale Mills for the construction of its Birmingham facility.
Size : ¼ linear foot
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Brown, I. A.
Papers, 1885-1907
This collection includes incoming correspondence relating to Brown’s service as Jefferson County School Superintendent from 1888 to 1889 and as a Representative from Jefferson County in the Alabama legislature in 1897.
Size : ½ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Erdreich, Ben
Jefferson County Commission Reports and Studies, 1973-1981
This collection contains reports and studies on a wide variety of topics collected by Erdreich during his service on the Jefferson County Commission.
Size : 5¼ linear feet (5 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Erdreich, Ben
Papers, 1973-1982
These files relate to Erdreich’s service as Jefferson County Commissioner of Public Welfare. The collection also contains some material relating to Tom Pinson, a previous member of the Commission.
Size : 8½ linear feet (9 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County Alms House and Jefferson County Home
Records, 1885-1964
The Jefferson County Alms House, later the Jefferson County Home, was operated by the county government to house and serve the needs of indigent and mentally ill people. The records include monthly reports for the period 1913 to 1964; three volumes entitled “Record of Inmates of Poor Farm” for the period 1885 to 1942; two volumes entitled “Record of Inmates Jefferson County Home” for the period 1942 to 1964; and three volumes entitled “Record of Insane Jefferson County Home” for the period 1934 to 1963.
Size : 1 linear foot, 12 flat boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County Board of Education
Directory: Jefferson County Public Schools, 1950-1976
This collection contains directories published by the Jefferson County, Alabama Board of Education for the years 1950 to 1976. The directories list teachers by name, giving addresses and schools where each teacher is employed; names of officers and department heads in the school system; principals and department heads at each school; and school calendars. For the years 1950 through 1964 white and Negro schools are listed separately.
Size : ⅔ linear foot (2 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Jefferson County Board of Education
Faculty Integration Papers, 1965-1973
This collection contains correspondence, reports and court papers relating to the racial integration of faculty in the Jefferson County public school system.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County Board of Equalization
Appraisal Files, 1939-1977
The Board of Equalization is the agency that appraises property in Jefferson County, Alabama for purposes of taxation. Established in 1938, the BOE maintains files on each piece of taxable property in the county. The appraisal files contain basic information on structures (such as whether the structure is wood frame or brick, the type of roofing, heating, plumbing, number of rooms, size of structure) and the accessed value of the property for various years (but not every year). The files usually include an exterior photograph of the façade of the structure and sometimes date the structure. The structures appraised include residences, commercial and industrial buildings, schools, and churches. Some files include references for deeds and mortgages. Structures built before 1938 are included if they were still standing at the time of the Board of Equalization's first appraisal (generally 1938 to 1940). Structures built after the mid 1970s are not included in these files. The files do not include interior photographs, floor plans or other architectural drawings, names of architects, or detailed information on owners or occupants of a structure. In some cases files for demolished structures were discarded by the Board of Equalization before these files were transferred to the Archives Department in 1981. The collection includes several thousand photographs showing African American homes, businesses, schools and churches.
Size : 1,460 linear feet (1,500 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County, Ala. Board of Health
Radio Talks on Personal and Community Health, 1930-1940
This collection contains scripts of radio programs prepared and presented by the Jefferson County Board of Health. The scripts deal with a variety of topics relating to medicine, dentistry, psychiatry and public health during the period of the Great Depression and World War II.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County, Ala. Commission
Jefferson Hospital Minute Book, 1941-1944
This minute book records proceedings of the county commission relating to the administration of the county’s hospital.
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : No
Jefferson County, Ala. Commission
Minutes, 1981-
Size : 1 reel microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Jefferson County, Ala. Election Commissioner and Registrar
Voter Registration Certificates, 1920
These voter registration forms were completed by women in Jefferson County following the passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote.
Size : 4½ linear feet
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County, Ala. Judge of Probate
Jefferson County Tract Books
These volumes contain maps of early Jefferson County subdivisions.
Size : 19 volumes
Collection Guide Available : No
Jefferson County, Ala. Judge of Probate
Marriage Licenses Record, Negro, 1882-1938
This index, compiled by the Works Progress Administration, lists African American marriages in Jefferson County for the period 1882 to 1938. Marriages are indexed by the name of the bride and groom.
Size : 2½ linear feet (5 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jefferson County, Ala. Personnel Board
Records, 1935-1988
The Jefferson County Personnel Board was established by an act of the Alabama legislature in 1935. This collection contains minutes of meetings, financial records and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings. The ledgers record routine expenses of the Personnel Board and do not record salaries of public employees. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings relating to the activities of the Personnel Board; activities of the Birmingham City Commission and the Jefferson County Commission; activities of the police and fire departments, including misconduct; and local politics and elections.
Size : 18 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
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Page Last Modified: 1/31/2018 11:31 PM