Alabama Archives and Libraries

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United States Gotoarrow.png Alabama Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries

Most archives and libraries collect records about local residents (biographies, family histories, and local histories) and about nearby places (maps, gazetteers, and place-finding aids). They often compile reference helps and special indexes to important local sources. In many communities they serve as a meeting place for local historical and genealogical societies, and may be able to provide referrals to people who are willing to look up information in local records. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact them and ask for information on their collection, hours, services, and fees.

Many archives and libraries have helpful sources for locating information about Alabama, such as maps, gazetteers, and other place-finding aids. They frequently have collections of previous research, such as family and local histories and biographies. Many have record-finding aids, such as guides to their own collections or inventories of records housed elsewhere in the state. Archives and libraries near state boundaries usually collect records relating to the adjacent states.

The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful to genealogical researchers:

Alabama Department of Archives and History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-0100
Telephone: 334-242-4435
Fax: 334-240-3433
The mailing address is:
P.O. Box 300100
Montgomery, AL 36130-0100

The Department of Archives and History (closed Mondays) has the following records: federal and state censuses; vital records (birth, death, marriage, and divorce); county records (deeds, wills, and other probate records); land, military, and military discharge records (DD214s); surname files; city directories; African-American records (Reconstruction to the present); American Indian records; and immigration and naturalization records.

National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta)
5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260
Phone: 770-968-2100
Fax: 770-968-2547

Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, AL 35203
Telephone: 205-226-3665

Samford University Library
Special Collection Department
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
Telephone: 205-726-2749
Fax: 205-726-2642

Mobile Public Library
Local History Dept.
704 Government Street
Mobile, AL 36602-1499
Telephone: 334-208-7093
Fax: 334-208-5866

William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
University of Alabama
Second Floor
Mary Harmon Bryant Hall
500 Hackberry Lane
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0266
Telephone: 205-348-0500
Fax: 205-348-1699
The mailing address is:
P.O. Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0266

Auburn University
Special Collections Department
Auburn University Libraries
231 Mell Street
Auburn University, AL 36849
Phone: 334-844-4500 or 800-446-0387
The library has a large genealogical collection and a helpful worldwide web site.

To learn more about the history and record-keeping systems of Alabama counties, use the 14 inventories of county archives, published by the Historical Records Survey from 1938 to 1942. These were published for: Clay, Colbert, Conecuh, Cullman, Greene, Hale, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Madison, Marengo, Sumter, Talladega, Wilcox, and Winston counties. To access these publications, go to and enter "Inventory of the County Archives of Alabama." The Family History Library has the inventories for Colbert, Conecuh, Cullman, Hale, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Marengo, and Talladega counties. To find these in the Family History Library Catalog see:


Courthouse Fires

Fires occurred in many county courthouses. If records are missing , you can often find cemetery records, censuses, church records, newspapers, Bible records, military service and pension records, delayed birth certificates, or records in neighboring counties that have similar information. Sometimes landowners registered their deeds after a courthouse fire. The following list shows when courthouses were damaged by fire:

    • Baker 1870
    • Butler 1853
    • Calhoun 1861, 1865
    • Cherokee 1882
    • Chilton 1870
    • Choctaw 1871
    • Clay 1875
    • Coffee 1877
    • Conecuh 1868, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1900
    • Coosa 1900
    • Covington 1839, 1847, 1878, 1895
    • Crenshaw 1898
    • Dale 1869, 1885
    • Fayette 1866, 1916
    • Franklin 1890
    • Geneva 1898
    • Greene 1868
    • Jackson 1864, 1920
    • Jefferson 1870
    • Lawrence 1859
    • Limestone 1862
    • Marengo 1848, 1965
    • Marion 1866, 1883
    • Mobile 1823, 1840, 1872
    • Monroe 1832
    • Morgan 1926, 1938
    • Pickens 1864, 1876
    • Pike 1828
    • Randolph 1897
    • Sumter 1901
    • Walker 1865, 1877, 1886, 1932
    • Winston 1891

The above list was compiled from Research in Alabama by Wendy L. Elliott and Researching in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide by Marilyn Davis Barefield.

Web Sites

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Alabama in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost. Internet addresses are subject to change. The following sites link you to many more sites: