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.
Women's History: Individuals and Families
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The Collections
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Adler, Bertha Marx
Scrapbook, 1888-1889
Bertha Marx Adler was the daughter of Birmingham merchant Samuel Marx, one of the founders of Temple Emanu-El. In 1892 she married Samuel M. Adler, a Birmingham businessman and investor. This scrapbook is an atlas that Bertha Marx, then a young woman, converted to a scrapbook by pasting items over the pages. The scrapbook primarily contains programs from Birmingham theater productions, but also contains a few programs from Birmingham High School and an order of service from the 1889 dedication of Temple Emanu-El.
Size : 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : No
Adler, Jeane
Scrapbook, 1912
Jeanne Adler was the daughter of Samuel and Bertha Marx Adler and resided on Highland Avenue in Birmingham. This scrapbook, entitled “The Girl Graduate: Her Own Book,” contains clippings, photographs, notes from classmates and other memorabilia relating to Adler’s senior year at Birmingham High School.
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : No
Allen, Beffie, Mary Allen and Ruth Allen
This small collection contains letters, photographs and other material of three sisters who ran the Misses Allen School in Birmingham. The private school, founded in 1884, stressed a classical education that included Latin and music and was later known as the Margaret Allen School.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Anselmo-Antonio, Carmella
Born in Sicily, Carmella Anselmo Antonio immigrated to Birmingham in 1921 where she taught in the public schools and taught English language and citizenship classes to other immigrants. She worked at the Bechtel-McCone aircraft facility in Birmingham during World War II. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, clippings and other material relating to her life and her students.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Bass, Helen
Papers, 1937-1942 and 1967-1971
This collection contains the personal papers, primarily correspondence, of the Bass family of Birmingham. Most of the papers are letters to and from Mrs. Fred Bass, Sr., her son Fred Bass Jr., and her daughter Helen Bass, for whom the collection is named. The bulk of correspondence dates from the late 1930s and early 1940s the years in which Fred Bass, Jr. attended the Marion Military Institute. The letters to and from Fred Bass, Jr. capture the cares and worries of a boy in the 1930s hoping for a career in the military. There are a few mentions of the oncoming war in the correspondence including a few jokes about Hitler. The collection also contains letters to Helen from her nephew, Fred. These letters revolve around Fred being drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he served as a detention officer in a POW camp, and in his letters, he gives descriptions of his surroundings.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : No
Bishop, Dorothy
Scrapbooks and Other Material
Size : 1 linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : No
Bowron, Lillian Roden
Scrapbook, 1919-1920
This scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and other material relating to the woman suffrage movement in Alabama and the United States, convict labor in Alabama, the League of Women Voters of Alabama, and biographical information on the Roden family.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 volume)
Collection Guide Available : No
Brandino, Paul D. and Elizabeth
Correspondence, 1943-1944 and undated
Paul and Elizabeth Brandino were a Birmingham, Alabama married couple. Paul served in the United States Army during World War II, and following the war Paul worked as secretary-treasurer at Brandino Sales Company, which dealt in “hardware specialties.” Elizabeth worked as a clerk for the same company. This collection contains 43 letters dated November 9, 1943 to January 15, 1944. All of the letters are from Elizabeth Brandino to Paul Brandino, and deal with everyday life in Birmingham during wartime. Elizabeth discusses household chores, family life, and occasionally mentions the difficulty of acquiring rationed goods like gasoline and chocolate. Some picture of Paul’s experiences, especially during basic training, can be gleaned from Elizabeth’s references to his letters to her.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Bridges, Eleanor Massey, Georges and Family
Papers, 1918-1983
Eleanor Bridges was born in Georgia in 1899. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1920, she married George (later Georges) Bridges, who was born in Tennessee in 1899 and served in World War I. The couple studied at the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts, where she concentrated on painting and he sculpture. During the 1920s the couple lived and worked France, Spain and Greece before settling in Birmingham. For twenty years the Bridges and their daughter, Mary Eleanor (known as London) divided their time between Birmingham and Mexico. In Birmingham, both Bridges worked as artists, taught and were active in civic, cultural and social life. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, clippings, lecture notes and other material documenting the Bridges’ careers and activities.
Size : 10 linear feet,18 flat boxes, 1 brown-paper package.
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Camp, Mae Wilson
Papers, 1935-1936
The memorabilia, photographs and scrapbooks in this collection relate to the activities of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Size : ½ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Catt, Carrie Chapman
Papers, 1848-1950
Carrie Chapman Catt was born in 1859 in Wisconsin and graduated from Iowa State College. A teacher and school superintendent, she became a colleague of Susan B. Anthony and president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She died in New York in 1947. This collection includes correspondence, diaries, speeches, biographical data, newspaper clippings and other material relating to Catt’s work on behalf of the women’s suffrage movement, feminism and the cause of international peace.
Size : 18 reels microfilm
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Chitwood, Lynn
Correspondence, 1942-1943
This collection contains 68 letters written by Lynn Chitwood, a college student, to her boyfriend Elbert Hamilton while Hamilton was undergoing military training. Hamilton served in the 82nd Airborn Division and was killed in July 1944 in Europe. In her letters, which are often amusing, Chitwood discusses family and friends, her social life and the war.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Clarke, Mary Katherine Burke
Papers, 1841-1871
This collection contains correspondence and other material relating to a central Alabama family, including letters from Mary Katherine Burke Clarke to her mother in Tuscaloosa, letters of Richard Henry Clarke, letters of Joseph Maharry and letters of Georgiane Maharry.
Size : ½ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Colvin, Lessie Beatrice White
Papers, 1934-1964
Lessie Colvin was a 1934 graduate of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School and a 1950 graduate of Alabama State College for Negroes. She taught in the Birmingham city schools. This small collection includes her diplomas, material relating to Council and Western and Olin schools and genealogical material.
Size : ¼ linear foot (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Culbreth, Jane
Jane Culbreth served as a member of the Leeds, Alabama City Council, the Jefferson County Historical Commission and other organizations. These papers include material relating to the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and to International Women’s Year.
Size : 9¼ linear feet, 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : No
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Page Last Modified: 1/31/2018 11:31 PM