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.
Architecture and Historic Sites
The Collections
Page 1 of 1
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
Birmingham Historical Society
Five Points South Project Photographs
This collection contains historic photographs showing people, houses, churches, apartment buildings, streets, commercial buildings and schools in the Five Points South neighborhood of Birmingham. The photographs were collected for a special issue of "The JOURNAL of the Birmingham Historical Society" entitled "Town Within a City: The Five Points South Neighborhood, 1880-1930."
Size : 135 images
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham Historical Society
National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Forms
This collection contains 25 National Register of Historic Places Nomination forms prepared by the Birmingham Historical Society for Birmingham neighborhoods and buildings.
Size : 1/2 linear foot (2 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Hunt, Oscar V.
Photographs, 1910-1930
Oscar V. Hunt was one of Birmingham’s most prolific and adventurous early commercial photographers. Born in Bowdon, Georgia in 1881, Hunt lived most of his life in Birmingham. He worked briefly as a streetcar motorman for the Birmingham Railway, Light, and Power Company before spending a decade working and training in the studios of two of Birmingham’s best known early photographers, Bert Covell and R. T. Boyett. Hunt had his own studio by the early 1920s and also took photographs for the Birmingham Ledger newspaper. Hunt often focused on Birmingham streetscapes in his photographs and documented Birmingham area manufacturing and mining, trains and streetcars and the construction of downtown buildings. He is credited with making the first aerial photograph of Birmingham in 1912 and he photographed leisure activities such as parades and day trippers at local parks. Hunt’s photographs show an interest in individuals, especially working people, and his construction and industrial images often highlight workers. Some of Hunt’s photographs, such as one of Terminal Station with the old Magic City sign out front, have become iconic images of Birmingham. During his later years in the 1950s, Hunt’s studio became a favorite hang out for young photographers and photo enthusiasts. Oscar Hunt died in Birmingham in 1962.
Size : 1,269 photographs
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
Kessler, W. H.
Business Papers
W.H. Kessler was a landscape architect in Birmingham. These files contain business papers relating to individual jobs, drawings and photographs.
Size : 8 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Photographs (Aerial Photos of Jeff. Co.)
Aerial Photographs of Jefferson County, Alabama, 1966 and 1977
These oversize photographs show most of Jefferson County.
Size : 556 photographs
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Photographs (General Collection)
Photographs, 1873-Present
The general photograph collection is an artificial collection created by the Archives Department to house photographs acquired individually rather than as part of a larger body of material. New images are added to the collection as they become available. This collection contains photographic prints and negatives. The images relate primarily to the Birmingham area and to a lesser extent Alabama, and include streetscapes, buildings, and events. The images date from the 1870s to the 1990s with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1890s to the 1950s.
Size : 4,900+ photographs
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Postcard Collection
Postcards from Birmingham, Alabama and Europe in the early Twentieth century
The Postcard Collection contains thousands of postcards from throughout the United States and from around the world. The cards showing Alabama scenes have been indexed. The collection includes postcards showing some Alabama Episcopal churches.
Size : 1,946 postcards (Alabama images)
Collection Guide Available : No
Smith, Nelson
Architectural Scrapbooks
Nelson Smith was an architect during the mid twentieth century whose office was in Birmingham, Alabama. Though most of his plans were for houses, he also designed among other things hotels, banks, and offices, most of which were built in the Birmingham area.
Size : ½ linear foot (2 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
< 1 > 
Page 1 of 1
Page Last Modified: 1/31/2018 11:31 PM