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Overview & Notes
This page contains links to collection helpful in researching Tuscaloosa and Alabama history, as well as collections that represent daily life in the city and state. A few collections reference Mississippi Territory, which Alabama was a part of from the late eighteenth century until 1817, when Mississippi became a state and Alabama became its own territory. Alabama became a state in 1819.
For Tuscaloosa history, see also the tab for UA history -- town and gown are often intertwined.
And just a reminder: Tuscaloosa history and daily life are also Alabama history and daily life. They've just been highlighted here for ease of discovery.
James Austin Anderson papers
Research about the history of Tuscaloosa. Anderson transcribed newspapers articles, created scrapbooks, and documented his own knowledge of the early beginnings of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama. He also included short biographies of prominent Tuscaloosa and University people.
Robert Jemison Jr. papers
The papers reflect the varied business and political interest of Robert Jemison, Jr. (1802-1871) and his family as well as their personal and family life. 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. His political activities are documented as well, including his anti secession stand at the Secession Convention in Montgomery, Alabama in 1861.
Sydnia Keene Smythe antebellum architecture in Tuscaloosa
Contains 30 photographs depicting the city's antebellum architecture, taken in the 1920s.
Daily Life: Tuscaloosa
Perkins family papers and photographs
This collection consists chiefly of personal and family documents and photographs relating to this multigenerational Tuscaloosa family. There is also correspondence with a relative in Virginia, who describes life in the period 1840-1870, including the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The bulk of the collection falls in the period 1840-1910.
A.C. Roycroft papers
Papers of a Confederate Army officer and Northport, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, resident, including his diary from the final months of the Civil War. Bulk of material: 1866-1884.
Donoho family papers
This collection is primarily made up of letters between members of this Tuscaloosa, Alabama, family, the majority of which were written between 1850 and 1868, including letters about the homefront and warfront during the Civil War.
Andrew Coleman Hargrove papers
The collection consists of personal and business correspondence of Andrew Coleman Hargrove (1837-1895,) an attorney and politician. The letterbooks and other correspondence go from 1866 through 1896. The collection also includes account books for the Oak City Club as well as the family's plantation.
Little family papers
Papers of this multigenerational family, including correspondence, financial papers, clippings, and sketches; dates range 1850s-1940s.
Clements family papers
Papers of a Tuscaloosa family whose members included Hardy Clements, Rufus Hargrove Clements, Martha Lavinia Clements, Frank Bugbee Clements, Luther Morgan Clements, and others. The bulk of the papers relate to Frank Bugbee Clements. Dates range from the 1840s-1940s.
McCorvey and Tutwiler families papers
A collection of correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, and photographs created by these families. Bulk of material: 1900-1950.
Searcy family photographs
Photos of this family, including two photograph albums contain scenes from and around The University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa County, including Bryce Hospital, Tuscaloosa Centennial celebrations, the Warrior River (bridge and flooding), hunting, fishing, and transportation. There are also travel images from the western United States and Florida.
Snow family photographs
Three albums which contain one hundred and eighty-four photographs of family members, their home, friends, and family vacations.
Early Alabama land grants and applications for purchase
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. Ranges 1810s-1830s, so some are from before statehood (1820), when this area was part of Mississippi Territory.
Mississippi Territory court records
Legal records from pre-statehood Alabama, including circuit court records, 1810-1812, the criminal docket of the territorial court, 1810-1816, and the execution docket of the territorial superior circuit court, 23rd district, 1812-1815. It also includes county court minutes, 1822-1850.
General store business records
Business records from general stores primarily in Alabama, drawn from multiple archival collections. Ranges 1830s, 1860s-1930s.
Bert Neville collection of steamboat documents
Documents pertaining to shipping lines within Alabama, including bills of lading, receipts for freight costs, receipts for passage, advertisements, freight lists, receipts for storage, and accounts of sales. Ranges 1820s-1890s.
William Strong Comstock papers
Business correspondence, account sheets, contracts, miscellaneous receipts, etc., of a Montgomery, Alabama, merchant, 1842-1867.
Early Alabama Documents
The collection contains documents from the mid nineteenth century, including store and tax receipts, court orders, letters, property appraisals, etc., from Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Most of the material pertains to West Alabama. Ranges 1840s-1880s.
C.H. Miller store records
General merchandise store records, including ledgers, daybooks, correspondence and miscellaneous materials from a business located in Miller, Marengo County, Alabama. Ranges 1890s-1900s.
Southern Alabama Emigration and Development Company letters
Letters written in 1897 discussing a variety of proposed real estate development projects by this company in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. They also discuss the very real hazards and hardships that the almost annual yellow fever outbreaks imposed on those living in south Alabama and how the inevitable quarantines would affect their ability to sell land and property there.
Wylheme H. Ragland collection of funeral bulletins
A large collection of funeral and memorial service worship bulletins, primarily featuring Afican Americans from northern Alabama. Ranges 1920s to present.
Pauline Jones Gandrud papers
Genealogical research notes covering 1820-1880, including county data, church and marriage records, family histories, and other materials. The collection also contains a list of military pension and bounty land applications. In addition to her research materials and other items relating to genealogy, the collection includes her personal and family correspondence and family photographs.
Daily Life: Alabama
John Cocke papers
Personal, business, and legal papers of this Marengo County plantation owner, who not only managed his own plantation but also served as agent for various family members; the collection spans the 19th century.
Wright, Cotten, and Douglass family papers
Diaries, correspondence, and other materials related to four generations of this Tennessee/Alabama family. Collection spans all of the nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries.
Josiah and Amelia Gorgas family papers
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; ranges from 1820s-1900s.
Nehemiah Denton papers
Letters to and from Denton in New York regarding business matters, as well as various documents and maps relating to his business in Mobile. Letters from Agricola Wilkins, especially, provide descriptions of life in Mobile in the 1830s and 1840s, including descriptions of yellow fever outbreaks and destructive fires.
Wynne family papers
Letters, papers, and photographs pertaining to various members of this large Hale County family, ranging 1840s-1880s.
Meriwether family papers
Family letters written by Juliet Bestor Coleman, her daughter Alice Coleman Meriwether and son-in-law, John Samuel Meriwether, all of Eutaw, between 1833 and 1864, including Civil War correspondence.
Thomas Hubbard Hobbs diaries
Volumes dating from 1840 to 1855 from this lawyer, planter, and legislator from Limestone County,
Boling family papers
Correspondence, receipts, mortgages, wills, indentures, and other materials concerning the property and affairs of the Boling and Saffold families of Lowndes County, the bulk from the 1850s-1860s.
Pickett family papers
Letters and family history information for this southeastern Alabama family, the bulk from the 1850s-1870s, including letters about the Civil War.
Whitfield family papers
Letters and papers of this Marengo County family, the bulk from the 1830s-1880s, including correspondence, financial papers and business receipts, as well as land grant documents and Nathan Bryan Whitfield's presidential pardon.
Woodward family papers and photographs collection
Documents and photos of this Jefferson County family, including diaries, receipts and ephemera from their purchases and travel, and images of activities like hunting and fishing. Alabama content begins in the 1860s, dating into the 1940s.
Roland Harper photo collection
Over 2100 photos of botanical and geological subjects as well as images of farms, people, houses, and other everyday scenes. They cover 31 states but the bulk are from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Ranges 1900s-1950s.
Huston family papers
Correspondence, photographs, and other materials created by this Dallas County family. Most materials center around George Waring Huston, his attendance of University of Alabama in the 1910s and participation in World War I.
Lincoln Normal school photographic albums
Two photograph albums from Lincoln Normal School in Marion, Alabama, among the first schools established for the education of freed slaves after the Civil War. Taken 1909-1924, they include images of students, teachers, facilities, and activities.