Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
http://www.bplonline.org
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.
Birmingham's City Archives
In 1987 the Birmingham City Council designated the Department of Archives and Manuscripts as the archives for the City of Birmingham. As such the department works in concert with the city’s Department of Records Management to preserve city records of historic value.
The Collections
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Arrington, Richard, Jr.
Papers
AR672
Richard Arrington, Jr. served as the first African American mayor of Birmingham. Born in Livingston, Alabama in 1934, Arrington is a graduate of Miles College and holds a doctorate in zoology from the University of Oklahoma. Arrington taught and served as a dean at Miles College and was elected to the Birmingham City Council in 1971. He was elected mayor in 1979 and served five terms, retiring from office in 1999. The papers contain the office files from Arrington’s five terms and include correspondence, clippings, reports, publications and other material relating to city government.
Size : 423 linear feet, 1 flat box (400 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : No
Avondale, Ala.
Charter and City Code, 1898
AR1692
Charter and city code for Avondale, Alabama, dated May 6, 1898. Avondale was annexed into the City of Birmingham.
Size : 1 reel microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Avondale, Alabama. Board of Mayor and Councilmen
Minutes, 1889-1909
AR1678
Size : 2 reels microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Barber, Amzi G. and Clint D. Bishop
Papers, 1940-1955
AR374
Office files of the Executive Secretary and Special Council to W. Cooper Green, president of the Birmingham city commission and mayor. The bulk of the material relates to the development and expansion of the Birmingham Municipal Airport.
Size : 7 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Barrett, N. A.
Scrapbooks, 1917-1921
AR301
Barrett, a Birmingham Physician, served one term as president of the Birmingham city commission. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings relating to Barrett and Birmingham city government for the period November 6, 1917 to November 7, 1921.
Size : 1 reel microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Birmingham Museum of Art
Board Minutes, September 1, 1950-December 5, 1980
AR542
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : No
Birmingham Museum of Art
Records, 1939-1992
AR1336
Correspondence, publications, financial records and other material documenting the history and activities of the museum, including exhibitions, the acquisitions of art work, events including the annual Beaux Arts Ball and administration of the museum,
Size : 28 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham Public Library
Annual Reports and Director’s Reports, 1910-1952
AR408
Birmingham’s first library was organized in 1886 for the public schools. In 1891 it became a subscription library for the general public. In 1908 The Birmingham Library Association was founded to establish a free public library and by 1909 had abolished user fees. The City created an independent Library Board in 1913. For decades the library was housed in various locations including the old City Hall where it was destroyed by fire in 1925. In response libraries from throughout the U.S. sent books to rebuild the collection. Local civic-minded citizens raised funds to build a new library, which opened on April 11, 1927 and served as the city’s main library until 1984. Today the library operates a central library, research library and 19 branches. This collection contains reports on library activities and development.
Size : 1 linear foot (3 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham Public Library
Board Minutes, 1913-1989
AR511
Size : 9 reels microfilm
Collection Guide Available : No
Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Planning and Zoning Department
Case Files and Maps, 1956-1970
AR669
Case files and maps relating to public rights-of-way, land surveys and resurveys, land vacation, development and construction. No index is available to the case files.
Size : 20 linear feet (20 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Planning and Zoning Department
Records, 1952-1975
AR668
Office files relating to streets and the highway system, population growth, urban renewal, race relations, the labor force, sanitation and public utilities, neighborhoods, the liberty and schools.
Size : 4 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Planning and Zoning Department
Scrapbooks, 1954-1974
AR667
Newspaper clippings relating to interstate highway expansion, the water system, airport expansion, the UAB medical center, Birmingham suburbs and other topics.
Size : 4 boxes
Collection Guide Available : No
Birmingham, Ala. Board of Aldermen
Minutes, 1873-1911
AR1646
Since the founding of the city in 1871, Birmingham has operated under three successive forms of municipal government. The city was established with a mayor and board of aldermen. Before 1896 aldermen were elected at large. Each alderman represented a ward. After 1896 aldermen were elected directly by wards. In 1911 the form of government for the city was changed by referendum (held in 1910) to a five-member (later changed to a three-member) city commission. The president of the commission also held the title “mayor” and commissioners were responsible individually for various city services. The city commission was replaced in 1963, again by referendum, with a mayor and nine-member city council. Members of the council are elected by district. This collection contains the minutes of the meetings of the Birmingham Board of Aldermen for the period November 19, 1873 to April 5, 1911.
Size : 9 reels microfilm
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham, Ala. Board of Education
Art Education Materials, 1945-1948 and 1978
AR363
Correspondence of the Scholastic Art Awards Program and the Arts Placement Committee, along with publicity materials and an assortment of pamphlets and magazines.
Size : 1½ linear feet (1 box)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham, Ala. Board of Education
Birmingham Public Schools Directory, 1920-1924, 1953-1981
AR1811
This collection contains directories published by the Birmingham, Alabama Board of Education for the years 1920 to 1924 and 1950 to 1981. 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 1920 through 1965 white and Negro schools are listed separately.
Size : 1¼ linear feet (4 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
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