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Acumen Digital Archives Explorer: Start Here

Helpful information about navigating the Digital Collections at UA, with collection highlights organized by subject.

Acumen Shutdown

Access to digital collections through Acumen will be ending by July 15, 2020. Continuing access to the content is available in our new Digital Collections interface. Some collections may be temporarily unavailable after that date. If you have questions, e-mail The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections at

What's in the digital archives?

Most of the material in the UA Libraries Digital Collections comes from the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library and the A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, both part of UA Libraries Division of Special Collections. As of December 2016, the repository contains over 137,000 items, including approximately

  • 101,000 manuscript items
  • 34,000 photographs
  • 2500 music scores (mid 19th-early 20th c.)
  • 2400 audio files
  • 1400 rare book items (mostly UA publications)
  • 2000 online finding aids for collections which have not been digitized

The digital repository also contains all the Dissertations & Theses written by UA students since 2008, about 2200 total.

How do I find items in the digital archives?

Acumen is UA Libraries' homegrown digital content repository. You can search there for digital archives directly.

Acumen is keyword anywhere search. Use the dropdown beside the search box to limit your search to a particular format, like photos or audio.

Scout is UA Libraries' discovery interface. A search of Scout automatically includes a search of the digital collections. 

To search just for digital archives material, go to the Advanced Search page (linked below the search box) and check the box labeled "Digital Collections Only."

Or if you're already on the search results page, look at the limiter "Content Provider" (panel at the bottom of the lefthand sidebar) and choose "University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections."

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