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.
Industrial History
promo image
The Collections
Page 1 of 3
Alabama Coal Miners
Oral History Interviews
Bound transcripts and supporting documentation of interviews conducted by Carl Elliott, Sr. in the 1970s, primarily dealing with black lung disease.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : No
Alabama Coal Operators' Association / Alabama Mining Institute
Records, 1908-1984
The origin of the Alabama Coal Operators' Association can be traced to June 1900 when officials of several Alabama coal mining and steel companies met in Birmingham to discuss wage-scale negotiations with coal miners organized under the United Mine Workers (UMW). In 1908, the association organized and drafted a constitution. In response to mounting labor tensions, the ACOA adopted an open-shop policy and refused to recognize the United Mine Workers. In response, the UMW called a strike. On August 10, 1908, this strike was defeated through the intervention of Governor B.B. Comer who forbid the union to hold meetings and ordered the state militia to raze the mine workers' makeshift tent settlement. The ACOA also defeated the UMW in the later strikes of 1917 and 1919 and in the strike of 1920-1921. Aside from its concerns with labor problems, the ACOA advocated the general interests of the coal companies. It worked to improve mine safety, to import new technology, and to keep tax assessments on mineral lands low. The association opposed regulation of corporation wage-scales and commissary prices. With labor tensions considerably eased after the turmoil of earlier years, the AMI turned its attention to promoting the interests of Alabama coal mining companies. In 1992, the AMI became the Alabama Coal Association. The records contain minutes, proceedings, publications, correspondence, the constitution, annual reports of the Alabama Mining Institute, annual reports from the State Inspectors of Coal Mines, and subject files. The subject files consist of newspaper articles, speeches, reports, and pamphlets.
Size : 3¼ linear feet, 1 flat box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Big Warrior Coal Company
Minute Book, 1919-1922 and 1926
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : No
Birmingham Railway Supply Company
Business Records, 1888-1902
This collection includes a minute book for 1889-1902; an unused stock certificate book; a receipt book for 1891-1894; a payroll book for 1891; and a shop labor record for 1888-1890.
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Birmingham Railway Supply Company
Records, 1889-1899
This collection contains two cash books and one foundry cast book.
Size : 3 flat boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Black Diamond Coal Company
Miscellaneous Records, 1949-1976
This collection does not contain the complete records of the company. The collection contains correspondence, maps and other material relating to The Club, Valley View Mine, Altamont Park, Red Mountain Tunnel (proposed but never built), Hammond Mines, and East Mall (constructed as Century Plaza shopping mall).
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Blair, Arthur J.
Papers, 1916, 1939-1975
Material relating to Blair’s activities as president of Black Diamond Coal Company and as a geologist.
Size : 4 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Bloomer, John
Birmingham Business History Files, 1901-1980
This collection contains historical documentation collected by Bloomer for the business history sections of the book The Valley and the Hills by Leah Rawls Atkins. The files include material on 46 Birmingham area businesses.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Bowron, James
Scrapbooks, 1877-1928
These scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and other material relating to the history and activities of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company in Alabama and Tennessee.
Size : 2 flat boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Brownell, Charles A.
Papers, 1898-1942
Charles Brownell founded Brownell Auto Company, the first Ford Motor Company agency in Alabama. This collection includes personal correspondence between Brownell and friends and family, correspondence relating to his automobile business and material relating to a biography of Henry Ford that Brownell authored.
Size : 2 boxes
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Comer, James McDonald
Avondale Mills Office Files, 1920-1958
James McDonald "Donald" Comer, one of nine children of Braxton Bragg Comer (governor of Alabama and later senator), was born on a Barbour County, Alabama, plantation in 1877. In 1890, the family moved to Birmingham. Donald Comer served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines for four years, 1898 – 1902, and returned home and became Secretary-Treasurer of B.B. Comer & Sons, a corporation that ran the family's plantation. When his father was inaugurated to the governorship in 1907, Comer became Secretary of Avondale Mills, a textile manufacturing firm founded by B.B. Comer. In 1927 Comer became president and treasurer of the company, which in time would employ about 7,000 people and produce a wide variety of cotton goods. In addition, Comer served on the boards of numerous firms — business, charitable, and educational — both locally and nationally. In 1936 he was elected President of the American Cotton Manufacturers Association. This collection includes the records of the business operations of the cotton mills from 1920 to about 1939, and more general correspondence covering a later period. The first 128 boxes of the collection are largely filled with bills, receipts, requisitions, letters of inquiry and application, financial, legal, and banking papers, and routine business correspondence. The remaining boxes are comprised mostly of correspondence reflecting Comer's interest in the health of the textiles industry, foreign competition in this market, and social and economic situations in the South.
Size : 146 linear feet (146 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes (online)
Fowler, Thomas
“Time Book No. 1, At the Coal Mines Shelby County, Ala.,” 1857-1864
This small volume, kept by a man whose name appears to be Thomas Fowler, contains time work records for coal mines in Shelby County. The locations and owners of the mines are unclear. The volume also contains lists of provisions, names and addresses, information relating to the opening of a hotel in Pennsylvania, and miscellaneous notes.
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : Yes
Hammond Iron Company
“Report on Examination of Accounts of Hammond Iron Company,” 1926-1939
Size : 1 box
Collection Guide Available : No
Hayes Aircraft Corporation
Scrapbook, 1952-1959
This scrapbook includes newspaper clippings describing labor unrest at Hayes, a Birmingham aircraft modification facility.
Size : 1 volume
Collection Guide Available : No
Hayes International Corporation
Records, 1951-1984
This collection contains minutes of meetings for the Board of Directors and Stockholders for Hayes International and related companies.
Size : 7½ linear feet (6 boxes)
Collection Guide Available : Yes
< 1 2 3 > 
Page 1 of 3
Page Last Modified: 1/31/2018 11:31 PM