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The South: Culture and History: Home

This library guide is designed for researchers studying any topics related to the South's culture and history.

The Gorgas Family

The Gorgas Library is named after Amelia Gayle Gorgas. Mrs. Gorgas "was the first female librarian on the campus, and the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library was the first academic building at the University named for a woman."  In its namesake, the Gorgas Library reflects the history of the campus, while its technology and services reflect the New South.

The Gorgas House, pictured below, is a Southern history landmark located next to Morgan Hall.  Built in 1829, the house was the first building on the UA campus, and served as a hotel, dining hall, infirmary, and post office. It was later occupied by the Gorgas family, a family that included Civil War General Josiah Gorgas and Amelia Gayle Gorgas.  The Gorgas House, as it is now called, has become a museum.



The South is anything but the monolithic stereotype sometimes portrayed--it offers a rich culture arising from an incredible diversity.  African Americans, Cajun Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and many others have contributed to the cultural life of the South. 

Several dialects can be heard in the region, from the mountain twang of the Appalachians, to the drawl of the Deep South, to the Creole dialects spoken around New Orleans.  Many quintessentially American music forms--Jazz, Blues, Country, and others--were born in the South.  Southern food is world renown, with its shrimp, gumbo, grits, casseroles, soul food, pecan pies, and sweet tea.  Quiet farms and solemn Civil War battlegrounds lie in the shadows of vibrant cities like Atlanta and space centers such as Cape Canaveral.  Writers like Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, and John Grisham have all written about life in this intriguing region of the world. 

Engage the culture and diversity of the South through the resources on this library web site!  Whether you are researching Mardi Gras, the battle of Gettysburg, or the Civil Rights movement, you can research your topic here.

Use the red tabs above to navigate this guide. If you are struggling to find sources, use the Ask-a-Librarian boxes to send us a question.