Skip to Main Content

The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections

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Unpublished items -- such as from manuscript or photo collections -- may be found through Scout, but it more straightforward to search these materials in ArchivesSpace.

Finding and accessing unpublished or archival materials is a bit different from books and other published sources.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Each unpublished collection has a Finding Aid, a document that describes the collection: what's in it and how it's organized.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.

Large Collections

The following collections number in the thousands and contain a wide variety of photographs, from the personal to the professional.

People in a canoe on a body of water

Walter B. Jones photographs (2011.004)

Consists of over 5600 personal and family photographs, as well as photographs taken in association with Jones's professional endeavors as state geologist of Alabama and during his military service in World War I and World War II.

Church, white wood, viewed from side

Roland Harper photographs (2008.032)

Consists of 8768 photographs taken by Roland Harper including botanical and geological subjects as well as images of farms, people, houses and other everyday scenes. The photos cover 31 states, but the bulk are from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, California, Arkansas and Maryland.

About the University of Alabama

The University of Alabama Rotunda as seen from a height, across the QuadUniversity of Alabama photographs (2007.001)
Around 5200 images depicting the history of the University of Alabama.

Educational Media photographs (2008.003)
Spans from 1963 to 1966 and depicts different activities at the University of Alabama including homecoming activities, basketball and football games, beauty pageants, different fraternity and sorority activities, coach Hank Crisp, coach Paul Bryant, president Rose on President's Day 1964, demonstrations against Wallace, 1966 Robert F. Kennedy's visit, Lady Bird Johnson at the University, Lurleen Wallace at the University for Governors Day, and different departments faculty members. Collection consists of 220 black and white photographs.

Dominique Doux Fiquet album (2008.028)
Album depicting faculty and student of the 1859 graduating class at the University of Alabama.

Portrait of a male military cadet, late 1850sGeorge Logan Byram photographs (2008.005)
A carte de visite album of George Logan Byram, University of Alabama student from 1879 to 1881, containing photographs of the Alabama Corps of Cadets. This album contains 26 albumen photographs.

James Harry Cowan photographs (2008.006)
Consists of a photographic album with 62 photographs of James Harry Cowan, a University of Alabama student from 1915 - 1918. Scenes include University athletes and sporting events, pre game activities in front of Woods Hall, in Birmingham and Rickwood Park. Also contains newspaper clippings and memorabilia.

College students playing touch football, 1950sGeorge Nichols photographs (2008.035)
Consists of one hundred and thirteen black and white photographs of Nichols as a student at the University of Alabama and the Theta Chi fraternity member in the late 1940s. Collection also includes the photograph from June 1958 in downtown Tuscaloosa of John Patterson's campaign run for the governor of Alabama.

Jefferson Jackson Coleman photographs (2008.002)
Consists of 55 photographs of Jefferson Jackson Coleman, former Director of Alumni Affairs at the University of Alabama. Collection includes images from football games, athletic banquets and other sporting events; also images of Coleman family, Joe Namath, Paul Bryant and the Delta Chi Fraternity.


Wade Hall World War I photographs (2008.034)
Consists of 534 photographs from World War I, a drawing, and a short narrative.

Wade Hall World War II photographs (2009.189)
Consists of two hundred and six photographs depicting scenes from World War II, portraits of the soldiers, and scenes from the military camp in Hawaii.

Certificate commemorating war service of two Black world war two soldiers

Schaudies-Banks-Ragland photographs (2014.021)
A collection of framed portraits and other photographs, most of men serving in World War I and World War II, many of them African American.


C. Robert Churchill Collection photographs (2008.001)
Houses in Louisiana circa 1915.

Antebellum homeSydnia Keene Smyth Antebellum Architecture of Tuscaloosa photographs (2007.006)
Consists of 30 photographs of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, antebellum architecture taken by Sydnia Keene Smyth for her thesis in 1929.

Bert Neville Collection of Steamboat photographs (2008.014)
Photographs of Alabama steamboats and street scenes from Selma and Mobile, Alabama.


Large red farm machine in a cotton field, with workers standing on it

Marjorie L. Smith Cotton slides (2007.004)
Contains 71 color slides depicting various stages of cotton production, taken by Marjorie L. Smith in and around Hayneville, Lowndes County, Alabama. Slides also contain images of an African American church in Hayneville.

Roland Harper photographs (2008.032)
Consists of 8768 photographs taken by Roland Harper including botanical and geological subjects as well as images of farms, people, houses and other everyday scenes. The photos cover 31 states, but the bulk are from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, California, Arkansas and Maryland.


John Horgan, Jr. photographs (2009.170)
Consists of a photo album of industrial photographs taken around Birmingham and Sheffield, Alabama, areas from 1889. Photographs were taken by John Horgan, Jr., photographer from Birmingham, for Truman H. Aldrich, and given to him on June 1889.

Coal furnace with workers standing in front of itCentral Iron and Coal Company photographs (2007.009)
Four photographic albums from 1902 depict different aspects of coal and iron production of the Central Iron and Coal Company in Alabama; from mining to building a furnace, and transporting the material by train, as well as workers living areas, offices, and stores.

Woodward Family photographs (2007.010)
Consists of 2150 images and includes cartes de visite, cabinet cards, albumen prints, and snapshots of Woodward Iron Company, near Birmingham, Alabama, and Woodward family photographs. Subject matter includes trains, mining and excavating activities, road and railroad construction, and outdoor recreation, primarily hunting.

Collections in Unusual Formats

Wade Hall 19th Century Photographic Types (2009.183)
This collection consists of 19th century photographic types.

Wade Hall Stereo Cards (2014.004)
Collection consists of one thousand seven hundred and eight stereo cards depicting scenes from all over the world, from America to Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Australia.

Edwin Maffitt Anderson photographic album (2009.219)
Photograph album containing forty-seven cartes de visite belonging to Edwin Maffitt Anderson, midshipman on board the CSS Alabama.

Eugene Allen Smith glass negatives (2007.005)
This collection consists of glass plate negatives depicting Eugene Allen Smith's geological survey trips, various scenes from University of Alabama campus, building the Smith Hall, Central Iron & Coal in Holt, Alabama, and mining sites, museum artifacts, maps, pages from books, and his family.