Established in 1975, the Department of Archives and Manuscripts is located in the Linn-Henley Research Library, a part of the Birmingham Public Library system. The department collects government records, business records, maps, photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and other primary material documenting the history and development of Birmingham, Jefferson County and the surrounding area of Al
abama known as the Birmingham District. The Archives collects material statewide relating to the Episcopal Church in Alabama, the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama and Jewish history and life in Alabama. The department’s holdings include the papers of city and county officials, businesses and business people, politicians, social activists, churches and synagogues, civic groups and study clubs, clergy, artists, writers, musicians, athletes and homemakers. Serving as the archives for the City of Birmingham and for numerous organizations and institutions, the collection contains more than 30,000,000 documents and 400,000 photographs. The collection is open to the public and draws thousands of researchers each year from throughout the Birmingham area, around the United States and the world. These researchers include local people investigating the history of houses and buildings; university students researching class papers, theses, and dissertations; scholars researching articles, books and museum exhibitions; and film makers working on documentaries and other motion picture productions. More than 230 books have been published using the Archives’ collections, including five recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Documentary films researched in the Archives have appeared on most major television networks and include recipients of the Academy Award, the Peabody and the Emmy.