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W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library

A guide to accessing resources at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library.


Unpublished items -- such as from manuscript or photo collections -- may be found through Scout, but it more straightforward to search these materials in ArchivesSpace.

Finding and accessing unpublished or archival materials is a bit different from books and other published sources.

Published Materials Archival Materials
Searchable by item Searchable by collection
Discovered via Scout (or the classic catalog) Discovered via ArchivesSpace
Available to browse and select on library shelves or on the web Must be requested from staff at the archive
Can be used on site or checked out Cannot be checked out; must be viewed on site

Each unpublished collection has a Finding Aid, a document that describes the collection: what's in it and how it's organized. Chances are, you won't need to look at everything, so make sure to note the box and folder number for the specific materials you want to see in the reading room.


Josiah and Amelia Gorgas family papers (MSS.0580)
Correspondence, diaries, journals, speeches, scrapbooks, and other papers of Josiah Gorgas, chief of the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance and president of the University of Alabama, and his wife Amelia Gayle Gorgas, librarian at the University of Alabama and daughter of Alabama governor John Gayle.

William Crawford Gorgas papers (MSS.0581)
Correspondence, diaries, writings, and other material of this Alabama native who eradicated yellow fever from the Panama Canal Zone and served as Surgeon General of the U.S. Army
Manly Family papers (MSS.0900)
Includes the papers of Basil Manly, president of the University of Alabama, 1837-1855, and a founder of Furman University, which reflect the history of the period as well as his life as theologian and educator. It also contains materials created and gathered by other Manly family members, including his sons Basil and Charles, president of Furman University, 1881-1897.

Perkins Family papers (MSS.1127)
This collection consists chiefly of personal and family correspondence and photographs, together with diaries, essays, literary essays, literary manuscripts, legal and financial papers, receipts, clippings, memorabilia, and printed material relating to Stephens C. Perkins, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, his wife, Caroline A. Walker Perkins, his children, Brook, Edwin and Maude, and their children.  The bulk of the collection falls in the period 1840-1910.

Wynne Family papers (MSS.3918)
Letters and papers of this Hale County, Alabama, family.  Also included are autographed copies of Alice Coleman Griffin three books: Laura's Letters, Laura's and Her Children's Letters, and Laura's Family's Letters. 

Meriwether Family Papers (MSS.2217)
Family letters written by Juliet Bestor Coleman, her daughter, Alice Coleman Meriwether and her son-in-law, John Samuel Meriwether, between 1833 and 1864. The bulk of the correspondence is between Alice and her husband, John, while he was serving in the 38th and 40th Alabama Infantry Regiments during the Civil War.

Politics & Law

Tom Bevill papers (MSS.0152)
This collection covers Bevill's term as U.S. Representative of Alabama's Fourth Congressional District, 1967-1997.  Also includes some materials on his law practice and personal life.

Winton M. Blount papers (MSS.0176)
This collection contains the papers of this Montgomery, Alabama, business leader, during his term as United States Postmaster General (1969-1971).

Septimus D. Cabaniss papers (MSS.0252)
Legal and personal papers of the Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, attorney, S.D. Cabaniss, who served as executor for the estate of Samuel Townsend. Also includes materials of other Huntsville attorneys and of the S.D. Cabaniss family.

Lister Hill papers (MSS.0670)
Subject files, correspondence, reports, and other materials by, to, and about this Alabama senator who served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1923- 1938 and the U. S. Senate from 1938-1969.

Samuel Francis Hobbs papers (MSS.0682)
Correspondence, memoranda, pamphlets, government publications and other materials concerning Samuel Francis Hobbs's career as the U.S. Congressman (1934-1951) from the 4th district of Alabama.  

Civil War

Latimer N. Dike Diary (MSS.1948)
Union; Dike was a Corporal in the 67th Ohio Regiment.

James A. Goble Diary (MSS.0574)
Confederate; A soldier in the First Alabama Infantry, Goble was born in New York and later lived in Auburn, Alabama, before moving to Chelsea, Massachusetts.

James H. McCleary Diary, Letter, and Photograph (MSS.1610)
Union; McClearly was a soldier from Pennsylvania who died during the battle of Gettysburg.

George S. Smith Diary (MSS.1607)
Union; Smith was a Sergeant in Company C of the 48th Ohio Regiment, who served in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas.

John A. Vaughn Diary (MSS.1495)
Confederate; Vaughn was a Virginia native who later settled in Alabama and fought for the Confederacy.

Benjamin Gaston collection (MSS.3915)
Confederate; Gaston served as a first lieutenant with the Independent 2nd Battalion Alabama Volunteers and as a private in the 10th Alabama Cavalry. The collection includes letters he wrote while a prisoner of war in Rock Island, Illinois.

Samuel D. Cameron and Maxwell A. Cameron papers (MSS.0264)
Confederate; Two Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, brothers, Samuel D. Cameron, 2nd Alabama Cavalry and Maxwell A. Cameron, 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment, wrote to their sister, Sarah, and brother-in-law, Isham Robertson, during the Civil War.

Kolb Family letters (MSS.2132)
Union; John Frederick Kolb and Valentine Bruner Kolb were from Frederick County, Maryland, and fought for the Union in the Civil War. Valentine Kolb's letters to his family discuss battles, artillery, and prisoners; John F. Kolb's notification to enroll is included as well as a letter he wrote to his parents.

George Doherty Johnston Papers (MSS.4018)
Confederate; The collection contains the personal letters and war-related correspondence of Brigadier General George Doherty Johnston of the Twenty-fifth Alabama Infantry, C.S.A. It also includes several hand-drawn maps, as well as Johnston's commissions and his Union parole documents.

Henry DeLamar Clayton Sr. papers (MSS.0313)
Confederate; The personal, legal, military, and administrative papers, of this Alabama politician, Confederate general, and University of Alabama president.

Writers & Writing

Buford Boone papers (MSS.0187)
Correspondence, scrapbooks, litigation papers, speeches, editorials, etc., of this Pulitzer Prize winner and long-time Tuscaloosa News editor.

Mark Childress papers (MSS.0297)
Manuscripts and related material for the Monroeville, Alabama, native's short stories and novels, including Tender, A World Made of Fire, Jacko, A Plague of Children, and V for Victor.

Julia Neely Finch papers (MSS.0515)
Correspondence by and to Julia Neely Finch, as well as her poetry and short stories, written between 1890 and 1926, as well as a small handwritten and typescript collection of Julia’s poems and short stories and a Common Place Book, which served as a scrapbook of her published pieces.

Eddy Lanier King Gilmore papers (MSS.0572)
Compositions, scrapbooks, correspondence, and clippings of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Eddy Lanier King Gilmore, of Selma, Alabama, and his Russian-born wife, Tamara Kolb-Chernashovaya, a ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet.  The bulk of material is from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Sara Mayfield papers (MSS.0935)
Papers of this Alabama author and foreign correspondent include diaries, African American folk songs and recordings, plays, novels, short stories, articles, and correspondence with twentieth-century writers including H. L. and Sara Mencken, Joseph Hergesheimer, Jim Tully, and Robert Hillyer. 

Augusta Evans Wilson papers (MSS.1563)
Correspondence, newspaper clippings, and a bound manuscript of the 19th-century author Augusta Evans Wilson of Mobile, Alabama.

Martha Young papers (MSS.1597)
The collection contains many of the works, both published and unpublished, many in the dialect of Southern African Americans, written by Martha Young of Greensboro, Alabama, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, as well as correspondence, photographs and pictures, genealogical information on the Tutwiler and Young families, and other miscellaneous items.  Martha Young was the granddaughter of Henry Tutwiler and niece of Julia Tutwiler.

Educators & Researchers

Peter Archibald Carmichael papers (MSS.0280)
A collection of this Alabama native and Louisiana State University professor's lecture notes, publications, and professional files on subjects including logic, religion, language, labor arbitration, and civil rights/segregation.

O.B. Emerson papers (MSS.0485)
A collection of the correspondence of O.B. Emerson, an award-winning University of Alabama English professor from 1946 to 1986, much of it with former students and other authors.

Charles Grayson Summersell papers (MSS.1370)
An extensive collection of papers by and relating to this long-time University of Alabama history professor, including personal and professional correspondence, research notes, departmental and teaching materials.

Leon J. Weinberger papers (MSS.1800)
Correspondence, photocopies of the Torah and other religious documents, scholarly work in English and Hebrew, materials relating to the Judaic Studies series of The University of Alabama Press, and other materials produced and gathered by this University of Alabama professor. 


John Cocke papers (MSS.0328)
Business correspondence, accounts, legal documents, and other materials (including the selling and purchasing of slaves) of this 19th century Marengo County, Alabama, plantation owner.

Joshua Hill Foster papers (MSS.0535)
Papers of a University of Alabama graduate, Baptist minister, planter, teacher (University of Alabama, 1873-1892) and president of Alabama Central Female College, 1869-1873. 

Barrie Lucien Holt papers (MSS.0692)
Contains the papers of Barrie Lucien Holt, covering his life as a capitalist, planter, financier, and quartermaster general of the Alabama National Guard.  Holt was an organizer and majority shareholder in the Prattville Cotton Mills and Banking Company, as well as a partner in D. M. Snow and Company. 

Hugh Davis papers (MSS.1611)
Extensive correspondence, business records, and receipts of this Marion, Alabama, plantation owner and attorney, and his family.


James Bowron papers (MSS.0193)
A substantial collection of papers and materials relating to James Bowron, one of the 19th century iron and mining pioneers in the Deep South.  It includes Bowron's 1632-page, unpublished autobiography, as well as his daily journals, letters, and pictures. 

Robert Jemison, Jr. papers (MSS.0753)
The Robert Jemison, Jr. Papers span the period from 1797 to 1960 and include both the personal and business papers of Robert Jemison Jr., along with papers of other family members. Included are the records of his grist and lumber mills, plantations, stage line, the Tuskaloosa Plank Road, toll bridges, ferries, postal contracts, and the North East and South West Railroad.

Republic Steel records (MSS.1186)
This collection contains correspondence, security and insurance records, and other materials of this Birmingham steel company.

Shelby Iron Company records (MSS.1261)
Contains records of the Shelby Iron Company from 1862 to 1930, including correspondence, directors' minutes, stockholder records, manufacturing records, commissary records, grist mill toll books, furnace record books, and many other records.  It also includes records of a subsidiary, Shelby Manufacturing and Improvement Company, 1890-1923.

Woodward Family papers (MSS.1577)
An extensive collection, including business and personal correspondence, financial records, photographs, and other materials of this Birmingham, Alabama, family which owned and operated the Woodward Iron Company.

Genealogy Resources

Early Alabama Land Grants and Applications (MSS.0465)
Applications for grants and for the purchase of land, mainly in Marengo and Washington counties in Alabama.  There are also a few other legal documents pertaining to disputed applications.

Soldier Land Grants (MSS.1306)
The collection contains United States Land Office certificates of title for soldiers, their heirs, and assignees, dated from 1848 to 1881 and arranged alphabetically by the last name of the soldier.  The land grants (generally 40 acres) were given in token of military service during the Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole Indian Wars, the Mexican War, the Florida War, and the War of 1812 or in recognition of volunteer service in a state militia.

Cemeteries and Local History Collection (MSS.0289)
Papers submitted for credit in University of Alabama course EXT318 “Cemeteries and Local History,” a course in the New College Life Track. The focus of the papers is on cemeteries as reflecting the history of a locale and may examine burial patterns, customs, ornamentation, or simply be an inventory of interments.

Genealogists' Records

  • Charles Boyd genealogy (MSS.0195)
  • Lucille Dorroh Burton papers (MSS.0239)
  • Pauline Jones Gandrud papers (MSS.0555)
  • Myrtis Parker Handley papers (MSS.0617)
  • Alton Lambert papers (MSS.0837)
  • Marguerite Parrish papers (MSS.1105)