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.
Presbyterian Church in Alabama
The Collections
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Akenhead, Linda
Survey of Six Historical Religious Structures in Birmingham.
Photographs and printed material documenting the history and architecture of six downtown Birmingham religious structures: Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal), First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Temple Emanu-El.
Size : ¾ liner foot (2 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Bryan, John (Brother Bryan)
Papers, 1918-1975
Correspondence, office files, newspaper clippings, photographs and other material relating to the lives, careers and family of Rev. James Alexander Bryan (Brother Bryan), a popular Birmingham minister, and John E. Bryan, who served as Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, Executive Secretary of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Birmingham City Council.
Size : 6 linear feet, 3 flat boxes (7 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Central Presbyterian Church, Birmingham. Ladies’ Aid Society
Minutes, 1895-1896
Size : ½ linear foot (1 flat box)
Collection Guide Available : No
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Records, 1868-1940
This collection contains minutes of meetings and financial records.
Size : 2 reels microfilm
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Edmonds, Henry Morris
Papers, 1895-1961
Henry Morris Edmonds was born in York, Alabama, in 1878. He was educated at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Edmonds came to Birmingham in 1913 to become pastor of the South Highland Presbyterian Church. A split in the congregation led to the formation of Independent Presbyterian Church on Highland Avenue in 1915. Edmonds remained at Independent until his resignation in 1942, when he accepted a deanship at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. After five years in Winter Park, Edmonds returned to Birmingham. Edmonds was a prolific writer. Throughout his career he contributed to the Birmingham Post-Herald and various magazines, and he published several books. He died in Birmingham in 1960. The bulk of this collection spans 1915-1960, and includes correspondence, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, sermons, eulogies, speeches, books of prayer, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, and books, magazines, and pamphlets. Among the letters and newspaper clippings are many relating to the theological differences between Edmonds and members of the congregation of South Highland Presbyterian Church, the split that developed between the supporters and opponents of Edmonds, the resulting North Alabama Presbytery Court Hearings, and the formation of Independent Presbyterian Church. Other correspondence is from church members, family, and family friends
Size : 24 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Edmonds, Henry Morris (A)
Daily Column, September, 1942-July, 1955
This collection contains copies of many, but not all or Edmonds’ newspaper columns written for the Birmingham Age-Herald and Birmingham Post-Herald.
Size : 1 reel microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Federation of Women's Missionary Society of Birmingham
Minutes, 1911-1923
This volume contains minutes of the semi-annual and occasional meetings of the General Board of the Federation. The group included representatives of missionary societies from the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal and Christian denominations.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 volume)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Register, 1823-1934
Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established near the community of Jonesboro in the western part of Jefferson County, Alabama in 1823. This collection contains one bound church register containing minutes of the session and recording the names of communicants, elders, deacons, baptisms and deaths for the period 1823 to 1934. Some of these listings seem to be incomplete, and no marriages are recorded. The collection also contains a typed abstract listing some communicants.
Size : 1 linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Independent Presbyterian Church
Papers, 1915-1986
Independent Presbyterian Church was established in 1915 by a group who left Birmingham’s South Highland Presbyterian Church to follow the Rev. Henry Edmonds, who had been dismissed from South Highlands following a theological dispute. The new congregation met at the synagogue Temple Emanu-El until their present church building was completed in 1926. Independent Presbyterian instituted a number of social service programs, including the Children’s Fresh Air Farm which opened in 1926. A 1996 fire destroyed all of the church’s buildings except for the sanctuary and the facility was rebuilt. The church had placed it’s records in the Archives of the Birmingham Public Library more than a decade before the fire, and so the church’s archives was spared. Today, Independent Presbyterian has more than 2,500 members. The collection includes minutes of the Session and Board of Deacons, correspondence, sermons, bulletins and other publications, financial records, membership records, scrapbooks and histories of the church.
Size : 30 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Jones, O. May
Boy’s Opportunity Farm and Children’s Fresh Air Farm Scrapbooks
These two scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and photographs, most undated, relating to the Boy’s Opportunity Farm and Children’s Fresh Air Farm.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : No
Keller, Mary E.
"Sketches in Black and White: A History of Inter-Racial Work, Synodical of Alabama, 1916-1944"
At the time this work was apparently written Mary E. Keller served as office secretary at Woodlawn Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This collection contains a photocopy of a typescript entitled "Sketches in Black and White: A History of Inter-Racial Work, Synodical of Alabama, 1916-1944." The history deals with the Presbyterian Church and African Americans in Alabama.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Montgomery, James Alexander
Papers, 1865-1944
James Alexander Montgomery was an inventor and industrial engineer and a leader in the development of the coal and steel industry in Birmingham. He came to Jefferson County at the age of 20. In September 1888, he helped organize and became a major stockholder of the Mary Lee Coal And Railway Company. It mined and sold coal sand and iron ore and diversified into the sale of coke, iron, and steel. Montgomery was later associated with the Birmingham, Powderly, and Bessemer Railway Company; formed in August, 1896, to carry freight and passenger. In January, 1910, the Montgomery Coal Washing and Manufacturing Company were organized from the capital assets of the dissolved Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company. Montgomery was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church. The papers contain personal files from 1892 to 1944 and Business Files from 1865 to 1930.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Whiting, Marvin Yeomans
Independent Presbyterian Church History Materials
Marvin Yeomans Whiting served as the first Archivist for the Birmingham Public Library. This collection contains photographs and other research material collected by Whiting while writing his book The Bearing Day is Not Gone: The Seventy-fifth Anniversary History of Independent Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Alabama, 1915-1990.
Size : 5 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
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