The University of Alabama
Exhibitions and Events: Past Exhibitions
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Artifacts of Ancestry

Lauren Cardon
December 2014-March 2015 

Archives offer a unique perspective on any given historical moment or narrative. Reading love letters between a husband and wife separated by war, perusing journals of homeopathic remedies, or looking at sheet music and album covers from the past – these glimpses of personal and cultural history offer researchers a depth and complexity difficult to capture in secondary materials. The holdings of the University of Alabama’s Division of Special Collections present personalized snapshots of history, whether in the marginalia of a colonist’s personal Bible, the journal and records of a general store owner, or the property photographs taken by a local farmer.

During Fall 2014, I asked my students from three sections of English 103: Advanced Composition to research their family histories. This project had three primary learning objectives: to familiarize students with the process of archival research; to conduct research using a range of sources; and to synthesize this material to create a narrative situated within a larger context.

Most students began with genealogical websites like or, where they traced their roots deep into the American colonial past, to Mexico, or across the ocean to Europe and the Middle East. Students then began to use other methods: consulting scholarly materials for historical context; reading the histories of towns and cities; recovering their families’ passenger manifests and pictures of steamships in the Ellis Island archives; talking to their relatives about family stories; and viewing the archival materials in the Division of Special Collections at both the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection and the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library.
The selected displays featured in this exhibition demonstrate exceptionally well-researched, engaging family histories as well as innovative incorporations of archival materials. The students whose works are featured have made some remarkable discoveries. They learned that their families have been employed in an impressive range of trades and professions, from farming to mining to working on railroads during westward expansion. Some served in the military; some gained international recognition in the fine arts; some were business entrepreneurs, religious leaders, or physicians. Many have landmarks, buildings, roads, or even cities named after them. The artifacts they have selected offer a direct emotional connection between the students and the world of their ancestors.


Wade Hall's Library: The Poetry of History 

September 2014-February 2015
Amy Chen

Wade Hall’s library allows researchers to see the full flowering of American writing through nearly 17,300 titles that date from 1779 through the 1990s. These books encompass a wide range of genres, including poetry, prose, travel narratives, religious tracts, abolitionist material, government documents, and cookbooks. His holdings in the field of Southern literature alone include books by antebellum and reconstruction-era humorists, Kentucky authors, writers he took as subjects for his literary criticism, and poets he met and published as a result of his time editing the Kentucky Review.Notably, authors who never received critical attention sit on shelves beside many of the field’s most canonical names. Wade Hall’s library is not significant only for the many types of texts it contains; it also is consequential for its ability to represent the history of print culture. Hall gathered a few Confederate imprints alongside a much larger number of volumes published in the North during the Civil War. Furthermore, he compiled extensive holdings in publishers’ bindings and pulps. Publishers’ bindings are cloth-bound books without duct jackets that were popular with middle-class readers from the middle of the nineteenth through the first few decades of the twentieth century. Working-class readers during the middle of the twentieth century primarily chose to read pulps, books that were made with low-quality paper. Hall’s large number of publishers’ bindings and pulps show that Hall invested his resources into portraying the preferences of lower and middle-class Americans. For this reason, the books Hall found interesting were not necessarily those belonging to important and wealthy people, but rather copies of texts that were read, treasured, and widely circulated.



Grammar-Land: Learning to Write in America (1700-1930)

September-November 2014
Russ McConnell

For Alexander Miller, writing his textbook in the aftermath of the American For Alexander Miller, writing his textbook in the aftermath of the American Revolution and the establishment of the United States Constitution, enthusiasm for the subject of grammar coincides with an enthusiasm for democracy.  But the American interest in grammar began even earlier than this, as the early settlers inherited a rich tradition of Latin grammatical instruction from England.

Covering Summer: Publishers' Bindings at the University of Alabama

June-September 2014
Amy Chen

Our Publishers' Bindings seasonal covers series continues with Covering Summer. All items from this exhibition belong to the Division of Special Collections at The University of Alabama. Additionally, each of these items is represented in the database Publishers' Bindings Online (PBO) at PBO foregrounds how decorative bindings provide a look into culture and history of the era of 1815-1930, a time of social, political, and industrial change within the United States, by giving users the ability to view around 5,000 different bindings from the holdings of the W.S. Hoole Library at The University of Alabama and Special Collections at The University of Wisconsin.

Glimpses of the Great War: Abroad and at Home

August-September 2014
Patrick Adcock and Martha Bace

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I (July 28, 1914), the University Libraries Division of Special Collections will be exhibiting items from their collections that offer a glimpse into the lives of the men who fought in the conflict and their families and friends left behind.  Included in the exhibit are letters, pictures, scrapbooks, as well as uniforms and other military paraphernalia. Materials were drawn from several collections including: the Walter Bryan Jones papers; the Hughes family papers; the Schaudies, Ragland, and Banks families papers; the Wade Hall World War I photograph collection; and many others. This exhibition was placed in the Pearce Lobby of the Gorgas Library and then is traveling in the Tuscaloosa area. 

William Bradford Huie

May-September 2014
Jessica Lacher-Feldman
This exhibition on the life and work of William Bradford Huie is in honor of Huie and his wife, Martha Hunt Robertson. Martha Huie, who helped bring Huie's collection to UA, died on May 6, 2014. We wish to honor her legacy. William Bradford Huie was an American journalist, editor, publishers, television interviewer, screenwriter, lecturer, and novelist; a man with many facets and many talents. Born in Hartselle, Alabama on November 13, 1910, Huie was an Eagle Scout and attended Morgan County High School in Hartselle. He came to The University of Alabama in the fall of 1927, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1930, making him the youngest Phi Beta Kappa initiate the university had ever had to date. He started out as a pre-Med but sold his first story when he was still a student. He then went directly to work for a Birmingham newspaper, launching a career as a writer and journalist that spanned five decades. This exhibition was reinstalled in honor of Martha Huie following her passing in the lobby of the W.S. Hoole Library.

Princesses and Paupers: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

June-August 2014
Ellie Campbell

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, European culture, influenced by the writings of John Locke, came to regard children's minds as a tabula rasa, a blank slate which could be molded with proper instruction. Publishers began to create a new genre: literature intended to educate young minds about the adult world. By the beginning of the nineteenth century in Europe and North America, laws began to prevent child labor and enforce compulsory education, measures which increased literacy rates in the general population. In response, the children's publishing industry expanded to meet this growing demand just as new developments in printing technology also made books cheaper to purchase, leading to what is now known as the Golden Age of Children's Literature during the latter half of the nineteenth century. As the demand and accessibility of children's literature grew, so did the kinds of stories available; popular authors established a wide number of genres within children's literature during this period. In addition to the variety of new genres for children, advancements in the publishing industry also contributed to the growth of children's literature. In the early nineteenth century, publishers responded to growing literacy rates and the corresponding demand for more and cheaper books by binding books in cloth rather than leather. Books bound in cloth could be produced en masse, unlike leather-bound books which were created by hand. Publishers' bindings, as they were known, utilized gold and silver foil stamps, bright colors, and illustrations that reflected the topics or themes of the work. While many of these books were aimed at adults, the decorations were especially appealing to children. The bindings also reflected developments in the art and advertising industries, incorporating trends like neoclassicism, the gothic revival, art deco, and interest in Egyptian and Japanese design. The wide range of children's literature produced in the Golden Age and the simultaneous development of a publishing industry that catered to a younger market continue to influence children's and young adult fiction to this day. This exhibition was hosted in the Pearce Lobby of the Gorgas Library.

From a Love of History: Exploring the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection

September 2013-January 2014, March-April 2014
Amy Chen and Stephen Rowe

Displayed in the Williams Reading Room on the third level of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, this exhibition investigates the myraid strengths of the A.S. Williams III Americana collection. The first level shows the Battle House Hotel guest register opened to highlight the signature of Helen Keller's father, Authur Keller. The Pearce foyer on the second level of the Gorgas Library holds a series of cases demonstrating the history, culture, military service, and universities of African Americans in Alabama. Of special interest are the cases on the Tuskegee Institute, which hold materials relating to the intellectual achievements of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. On the third level, cases are dedicated to topics ranging from Alabama tourism to the financing of the American Revolution. Lottery tickets signed by the founding fathers, including one signed by President George Washington, can be found in the reading room of the Williams collection. Also located in the reading room are a series of displays on Southern literature and photography. 

Recent Acquisitions: Reverand James McClung Sieg Journal from Belgian Congo

November 2013-May 2014
Amy Chen

Recent acquisitions are shown in the reading room of Gorgas Library. This manuscript journal was created when Reverend James McClung Sieg was serving as a missionary for the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in the Belgium Congo in 1907-1908.  Frequently mentioned in the journal is Stillman College graduate Rev. William Henry Sheppard. Rev. Sheppard (1865-1927) was one of the earliest African Americans to become a missionary for the Presbyterian Church.  In fact, the majority of the Presbyterian missionaries in the Congo were African Americans.  Sheppard left New York in 1890 with his white supervisor, Samuel N. Lapsley of Alabama, who died within his first year in Africa. Sheppard spent more than twenty years in the Congo, primarily in and around the Congo Free State and is best known for his efforts to publicize the atrocities committed against the Kuba and other Congolese peoples by King Leopold of Belgium.  Sheppard’s efforts contributed to the contemporary debate on European colonialism and imperialism in the region, particularly amongst those of the African American community. Today’s Central Alabama presbytery, encompassing Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, bears the name of Sheppards and Lapsley Presbytery. Photographic historian Frances Robb donated two photographs of Rev. Sheppard to Special Collections in honor of the retirement of Clarke Center.

Recent Acquisitions: Alabama Railroads Station Plans collection 

November 2013-May 2014
Amy Chen

Recent acquisitions are shown in the reading room of the Gorgas Library. Featured here are a few of the over 140 plans for railroad stations and their associated buildings in a wide variety of cities and towns in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and a few in Illinois and Indiana. The plans are mostly stylistically consistent measured drawings, drafted in the prevailing conventions of the day, and show facades of stations, interior details, waiting rooms, privies, crossing signs, telegraph offices, train sheds, decorative plaster work, etc. Many of the plans are annotated, some are dated, and many originate from the home office in Louisville. The collection is a fascinating compendium of material shedding light on the history of railroad architecture, particularly in the southern tier of the US around the turn of the 20th century. Most of the plans bear the label L&NRR--the Louisville and Nashville Railroad--which was created in 1850, when it was granted a charter by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Covering Spring: Publishers' Bindings at The University of Alabama

March-May 2014
Ellie Campbell

Covering Spring is on display in the lobby of the Mary Harmon Bryant Hall and Capstone Village. All items from this exhibition belong to the Division of Special Collections at The University of Alabama. Additionally, each of these items is represented in the database Publishers’ Bindings Online (PBO) at PBO foregrounds how decorative bindings provide a look into culture and history of the era of 1815-1930, a time of social, political, and industrial change within the United States, by giving users the ability to view around 5,000 different bindings from the holdings of the W.S. Hoole Library at The University of Alabama and Special Collections at The University of Wisconsin. Each of the books shown here come from either the Wade Hall Collection for Southern History and Culture or the Alabama Collection at Hoole. 

The Kate Ragsdale Memorial Miniature Book Collection and the Miniature Book Society Display

April-May 2014
Amy Chen

The Miniature Book Society (MBS) traveling exhibition and the Kate W. Ragsdale Memorial Miniature Book Collection will be combined into one display viewable in the Pearce Lobby of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library during the months of April and May. The MBS exhibition is generously sponsored by the Alabama Center for the Book. Dean Louis A. Pitschmann created the Memorial Miniature Book Collection to honor Kate Ragsdale’s service to the University Libraries. Together, these two shows highlight the artistry required to create miniature books.

The Miniature Book Society’s (MBS) traveling exhibition, featuring a diverse range of items showcasing the history of the art form, rotates through different sites throughout the year. The show will conclude its tour at the MBS’ three-day convention this August in Boston, Massachusetts. The Kate Ragsdale Memorial Miniature Book Collection, on show for the first time, contains ninety-six books from eleven countries, including Austria, France, Great Britain, Israel, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The Bible in miniature: or a Concise History of the Old & New Testaments [sic], published in 1780, is the oldest book in the collection. A wide variety of American presses are represented. Additionally, a series of miniature editions of Shakespeare’s plays can be found.
The Memorial Miniature Book Collection was created to recognize Kate Ragsdale’s life and career following her death in 2013. Ragsdale earned a BA from Sweet Briar College and a MLS from The University of Alabama. She began her career as a Program Coordinator in the College of Business and Commerce before joining the Libraries administration team as a planning officer in 1987. Ragsdale managed construction and renovation projects, including the building of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall and the Library Annex, during her over twenty years of service at the Capstone. Ragsdale frequently served as an officer in organizations such as the Alabama Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). In 2004, she received the UA Library Leadership Award for faculty. In 2012, she won the UA School of Library and Information Studies Alumni Award.

Covering Winter: Publishers' Bindings at The University of Alabama

January-March 2014
Amy Chen

Covering Winter is on display in the lobby of the Mary Harmon Bryant Hall and at Capstone Village. All items from this exhibition belong to the Division of Special Collections at The University of Alabama. Additionally, each of these items is represented in the database Publishers’ Bindings Online (PBO) at PBO foregrounds how decorative bindings provide a look into culture and history of the era of 1815-1930, a time of social, political, and industrial change within the United States, by giving users the ability to view around 5,000 different bindings from the holdings of the W.S. Hoole Library at The University of Alabama and Special Collections at The University of Wisconsin. Each of the books shown here come from either the Wade Hall Collection for Southern History and Culture or the Alabama Collection at Hoole. 



Covering Christmas: Publishers' Bindings at The University of Alabama

December 2013
Amy Chen

Covering Christmas is on display in the lobby of the Mary Harmon Bryant Hall and at Capstone Village. All items from this exhibition belong to the Division of Special Collections at The University of Alabama. Additionally, each of these items is represented in the database Publishers’ Bindings Online (PBO) at PBO foregrounds how decorative bindings provide a look into culture and history of the era of 1815-1930, a time of social, political, and industrial change within the United States, by giving users the ability to view around 5,000 different bindings from the holdings of the W.S. Hoole Library at The University of Alabama and Special Collections at The University of Wisconsin. Each of the books shown here come from either the Wade Hall Collection for Southern History and Culture or the Alabama Collection at Hoole. 

Talk about Tuscaloosa

July-November 2013
Amy Chen

Talk about Tuscaloosa is on view in Capstone Village. This summer, choose a novel written by a local author about a topic close to home. He Needed Killing, charts the adventures of James F. Crawford, a retired University of Alabama professor who takes up a new profession; detective work. The first two bodies and their corresponding books beg readers to ask: whodunit? Walter Bennett also circles familiar ground. In Leaving Tuscaloosa, Richeboux Branscomb's prank unintentionally leads to the death of a black preacher. Acee Waites, Borsquo's childhood best friend, must choose whether or not to become a preacher himself in the dangerous climate of 1962. Will Waites accept a role as a leader of the civil rights movement and remain in Tuscaloosa or will he leave, escaping the sadism of chief deputy Sugarman Starnes at the expense of fulfilling his duty?



Bound for War: Selected 19th American Decorative Bindings on aspects of the American Civil War

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

A selection of Publishers' Bindings on topics related to the Civil War. 




Campus meets Town meets all Around: Glimpses at Tuscaloosa's Jewish Community

Jessica Lacher-Feldman 

Held in conjunction with the 7th Annual Jewish Cultural Festival, which is held each year in Tuscaloosa, this exhibition featured information about the Jewish community on campus and in the city itself dating from the 1860s to the present.

Johnny Ace

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

On November 11, 2009, Dr. Jim Salem gave a talk on his research on early Rock 'n' Roll legend, Johnny Ace. This talk, along with an exhibit of Ace materials, celebrated of Dr. Salem's gift of his research to The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. The show included photographs, LPs, documents, and artifacts. The collection also includes a wealth of interviews with those associated with Ace. 



1968: The Year That Changed the World

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

1968: The Year that Changed the World is an opportunity to reflect on this significant year through the lens of the materials in the Hoole Library. Forty years after 1968, we still look upon that year as a pivotal one in the worlds of politics, culture, art, music, and literature. Through our print collections, sound recordings, and more, this exhibit offers some insight into life both on the UA campus and in the world during 1968. That year, among other events, the university brought Robert Kennedy to campus as part of the Emphasis program in March, just three months before he was assassinated and the first African-American student association was established on campus.

A Blank Space for Every Day of the Year: 19th Century Pocket Diaries and their Diarists

Larry Lou Foster, Bridget Elmer, and Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Larry Lou Foster, a graduate of The University of Alabama's internationally known MFA Program in the Book Arts, working with current MFA graduate student Bridget Elmer and Jessica Lacher-Feldman from the Hoole Library, brought together images and ephemera which illuminate how pocket diaries were used and what they meant to their owners. The show also included some of Larry Lou's models and work she has done to replicate these unique structures and to better understand their construction.

Audubon meets T.P. Thompson meets the Illusive Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Predicated on UA professor Dr. Michael Steinberg's book, Stalking the Ghost Bird: The Elusive Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Louisiana (LSU Press, 2008), this exhibition highlights the collection of T.P. Thompson. Thompson's over 10,0000 books founded the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library's Rare Books Collection in 1938. Over four decades later, in the 1970s, the Hoole Library acquired Thompson's papers, which provide great insight into his passionate hobby as a collector of books and other materials. One highlight of the exhibit is a portrait of Audubon, which has been purported to be the only self-portrait the artist ever did. Another highlight of Thompson's collection and of the exhibit is an important association copy (a seven volume set) of the first octavo edition of Birds of America, published in 1839-1844 by the author & by J.B. Chevailier, Philadelphia. It is inscribed by Audubon and presented to his sister-in-law, Eliza Berthoud. 



Hear Hair Here - Hairdos and Hair Don'ts from the Hoole Library's Sound Recording Collections

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Hair in all shapes and sizes grace the album covers selected from the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library's sound recording collections. The Hoole Library holds a vast collection of sound recordings from all genres including Opera, Classical, Country, Gospel, Rock, and Popular music. There’s no mistaking these looks – the typical hairstyles that are clearly of an era, or those hairstyles that transcend time and place. The 1950s gave us crew cuts and that June Cleaver perky and perfectly coiffed look. The 1960s were ushered in with D.A.’s and pompadours and ended with “anything goes” – in fact, your hairstyle in the late 1960s spoke volumes of your political beliefs and stance on the war in Vietnam. The early 1970s were a time when the anything-goes look spread to the general public, where shaggy and longer became de rigeur on even the most straight-laced people. The 1970s also brought the Afro to incredible new heights and gave us the ultra feathered look of the disco era for both men and women. The 1980s bringsto mind heavy metal “hair bands”, mullets, new wave spikes and asymmetry, and let’s not forget the perm showcased here on Barbara Streisand. 

Great Expectations: Dickens meets Goetzel meets the WPA

Amy Allen and Jessica Lacher-Feldman 

A collection of Dickens characters figurines used as teaching tools in the 1930s on, these figurines were created as part of the WPA-funded project, the Alabama Visual Education Program. The Alabama Visual Education Project came out of cooperation between The State Department of Education and the Visual Education Project of the Work Projects Administration. The Visual Education Project provided a way for public schools in Alabama to purchase high quality visual aids for education purposes at a low cost. Some of these items are now housed in the Hoole Special Collections Library, including a catalog from 1940 listing items which were available for purchase by Alabama public schools. 

Inscribed items by Alabama native Helen Keller: A Gift of Betsy Plank

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

A selection of items inscribed by Alabama native, Helen Keller (1880 -1968), a longtime friend of UA alum Ms. Betsy Plank’s family. Plank became known as "public relations' first lady" and, in 2004, the UA Board of Trustees adopted a resolution establishing the Betsy Plank Center for Public Relations Studies to promote "effective and ethical representation of institutions, organizations, ideas, and individuals." The photograph and the book Midstream are inscribed to her aunt Adeline by Ms. Keller, her teacher Anne Sullivan, and Ms. Keller’s companion, Polly Thompson. The book, Helen Keller’s Journal, is inscribed to Bettye Hood Plank, Ms. Plank’s mother.

Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America

Portia Barker

The myth of the faithful slave lingers because so many white Americans have wished to live in a world in which African Americans are not angry over past and present injustices, a world in which the injustices themselves—of slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing structural racism—seem not to exist at all. The mammy figure affirmed their wishes. The narrative of the faithful slave is deeply rooted in the American racial imagination. It is a story of our national past and political future that blurs the lines between myth and memory, guilt and justice, stereotype and individuality, commodity and humanity. 

Ten Nights in a Bar Room

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Assembled over two decades by John W. Crowley, Professor of English at the University of Alabama, this collection has been presented by him and his wife, Emily Smith Crowley, in honor of her parents, Jeanne N. and Joseph M. Smith, who died a month apart late in 2005. The Smith Collection consists of several hundred volumes, published between the late eighteenth century to the present that document facets of drug and alcohol use and abuse in the United States. Holdings represent such historical phenomena as the Temperance Movement (especially the role of the Washingtonian Society during the 1840s), Prohibition, and the rise of the modern Recovery Movement (especially the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous). On the premise that so multifarious a subject demands the differing perspectives and methodologies of various academic disciplines, the Smith collection places narrative histories beside medical texts, political and moral polemics, psychological and sociological investigations, biographies and autobiographies, as well as literary expressions in fiction and poetry. The Smith Collection, already rich and diverse, is regarded nonetheless as essentially incomplete:  a living body of knowledge, the heart of an ever-expanding archive to be augmented by future contributions. This exhibition presented highlights from the Smith collection. 

They Came, They Saw, They Reported: Images from the World Press Coverage of "Segregation's Last Stand" at The University of Alabama

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

"They Came, They Saw, They Reported," features Camille Elebash's June 1963 photographs taken for her Tuscaloosa, Alabama weekly newspaper, The Graphic. Her photographs brilliantly capture the tension of the day -- the waiting and anticipation that led to the end of segregation. The show was held in conjunction with a lecture by Hank Klibanoff, co-author of the 2007 Pulitizer Prize winner for History, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (Knopf, 2006). 



The Stuff of History: Celebrating the first 175 Years of Campus Life and Culture at The University of Alabama

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

By illuminating The University of Alabama’s history and culture, this exhibition included little-known facts about the university and those who have helped make it what it is today. Among the items of interest are copies of several 45 rpm records from the 1960s of songs that were written in honor of legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. 

Faces and Places: Selected 19th and 20th c. Photographs of African-Americans

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Love & Duty: Selected materials from the Gorgas Family Papers

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Made By Hand: An Exhibition of Handmade Books & Ephemera

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

To Kill a Mockingbird

Jessica Lacher-Feldman




Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Installed to be shown in conjunction with Paul Hemphill's September 28, 2005 talk and book signing, this exhibition featured materials from the Wade Hall Collection of Southern History and Culture at the Hoole Library that highlighted the life and legend of Alabama native Hank Williams.

Supe Store: The First 100 Years!

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of UA's Supe Store, this exhibition featured UA memorabilia, vintage advertising, and photographs that document the Supe Store and its contribution to UA campus life. See a smiling 'Big Al' and a crimson 'Bama toilet seat, along with photographs of the devastating 1985 Supe Store fire.

Banned in Bama

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibition held in conjunction with the Bankhead Historical Symposium for Fall 2005, "Censorship, Free Speech and Free Press in the University" featuring banned and challenged books, along with examples of banned and controversial materials relating to Alabama. Of particular interest is The Rabbit's Wedding controversy of the 1950s.

How About That!: The Life of Mel Allen

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

How About That! featured materials from the Mel Allen papers including photographs and memorabilia from probably the most famous sportscaster in American history. Mel Allen began his sports broadcasting career as a student at the University of Alabama in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He started as the play-by-play announcer for UA football games on Birmingham radio station WBRC in 1933 and, by 1937, he was working for CBS in New York. Allen became known as "The Voice of the Yankees" from 1940 to 1964.

The Antebellum Architecture of Tuscaloosa: Images & Text from the 1929 University of Alabama Thesis by Sydnia Keene Smyth

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibit of images and captions from the 1929 MA thesis by Sydnia Keene, which features text and photographs of homes and other structures as they appeared when Ms. Smyth photographed them in 1929. Many of the homes have since been destroyed or restored. The exhibit was held in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society's Heritage Week 2005.

Soul Food

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Selected titles from the Lupton African American Cookbook Collection were on display in the lobby of the Hoole Library. A second display from this collection was featured on the first floor of the Gorgas Library.

Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This exhibition featured materials from the Hoole Library that reflect Alabama’s rich blues history. Included in the show are materials from the U.S. Post Office in Tuscaloosa, where the first issue of the Dinah Washington postage stamp was released in 1993. Rare photographs of Dinah Washington, on loan from Nadine Cohodas, were also shown.



An Alabama Songbook: A Celebration

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibition of materials from the Bryon Arnold Collection housed at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library was displayed November 9 – December 24, 2004 in conjunction with a lecture and book signing by Dr. Robert Halli. 

Crimson White: One Hundred and Ten Years in Print

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

On display were some of the most notable front pages in the Crimson White's long and successful 110 years, including covers discussing twentieth-century wars and the Civil Rights movement.

A Legacy of Warmth and Vitality: The Mansion, the Presidents, and Their Families at The University of Alabama

Jessica Lacher-Feldman
This show was generated by materials on loan from descendants of The University of Alabama's past presidents.

The Bride Encountered: Six Contemporary Fairy Tales

Elizabeth R. Treadwell

Six contemporary fairy tales bound in three different styles, incorporating various methods, were on display to show the Treadmill's skill as a book artist. 


Susan Wyssen

An exhibition featuring a new handmade letterpress printed edition of the Hitopadesha, a book of Sanskrit folktales. The exhibition opening included a Sanskrit reading by Dr. Shaligram Shukla, Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University.

Victorian Exotica: Japanese Design Influence Victorian Exotica

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibition of bindings from the 1850s-1910s that embody Japanese style and influence. Of particular note are first editions by Lafcadio Hearn as well as cloth bindings with Japanese images. 

Black Warrior Review: Celebrating Thirty Years

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This display was generated by a gift from the Black Warrior Review, a nationally known literary journal published at the University of Alabama. 

Afro-Blue: Reflections on African-American Music and Literature

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This exhibition was held in conjunction with a lecture and book signing with Tony Bolden, UA Professor in English. Featured materials included books by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, John Coltrane, Bessie Smith, and Richard Wright. 




¡Mapas de Cuba!

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Rare maps from the sixteenth through the nineteenth ceneturies featuring Cuba were placed on display in support of Cuba Week at the University of Alabama. 

WANTED!: 19th and 20th Century True Crime 

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Wanted posters, books, and artifacts from the Hoole Library and on loan from a private collection were on view In conjunction with film screening and lecture for The Phenix City Story (1955), sponsored by the Hoole Library, October 22, 2003 at the Bama Theater. 

Opening Doors: From Both Sides of the Threshold, Segregation, Civil Rights, and Beyond at The University of Alabama

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibition featuring manuscript materials, photographs, and published materials held in conjunction with the Opening Doors celebration at the University of Alabama. 

Angela Davis: Portrait of a Revolutionary

Jessica Lacher-Feldman 

An exhibition of ephemera and published materials on Alabama native Angela Davis. 

The Rabbits’ Wedding Controversy

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

A display on the children’s book, The Rabbits’ Wedding, and its role in bringing Alabama and segregation to international attention in 1959. 

Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

View several editions of To Kill a Mockingbird along with photos and materials from Lee’s time as a student at the University of Alabama.




Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibit featuring first and early editions of Twain’s travel writings, along with digital surrogates of engravings and a narrative regarding travel writing in the 19th century. 

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

A coordinated lecture and screening at the historic Bama Theater, featuring talks on Truman Capote and his Alabama ties including Harper Lee (J. Lacher-Feldman); Monsters in American Literature (Dr. Fred Whiting, English Dept., UA); and Perspectives from Death Row (Dr. Stan Brodsky, Psychology Dept., UA), was given in October 2002. At the same time, an show at Hoole featured several editions of Capote’s In Cold Blood as well as photographs relating to the actual events, book, and film.

Music Goes to the Movies: Sheet Music and Film from the Wade Hall Collection of Southern History and Culture

Daniel Goldmark 

Exhibit curated with Daniel Goldmark, a faculty member from The University of Alabama's School of Music. 

Press Work

Paul Moxon 

Broadsides, fine press books, trade book design, and background materials generated for Paul Moxon's MFA thesis project, a fine press book of poetry by Romanian poet Nina Cassian. 

George Starbuck: Visible Ink

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This show supports the release of George Starbuck's posthumous publication of Visible Ink by the University of Alabama Press, edited by Elizabeth Meese and Kathryn Starbuck. The exhibition opening also included a reading and reception organized by the Department of English.

Lafcadio Hearn/Koizumi Yakumo

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This exhibition was generated to be part of the 16th Annual Sakura Festival held on March 1-April 11, 2002. The Sakura Festival is supported by the University Museums, College of Human Environmental Science/Clothing & Textiles Division, Japan Cultural Center, Capstone International Programs, and several individuals including a licensed kimono dresser, a Japanese calligrapher, and a quilter. 

Celebrating African American Culture: Selected Photographs, Publications, and Sound Recordings from the Hoole Library

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Celebrating African-American Heritage Month, this exhibition featured 19th and early 20th century photographs of African-American subjects, small press titles by African-American authors, and African-American music, including sound records, sheet music, and writings on music. Also included were photographs from the Civil Rights era at the University of Alabama as well as FSA photographs from Gee's Bend, Alabama. 

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

Alabama High School Students

Exhibit and event honoring Harper Lee and Alabama high school students and their participation in a statewide essay contest. 




Poor Pilgrim, Poor Stranger: Remembering Alabama Author William March

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

This show was held in conjunction with the screening of the film The Bad Seed, which is based on a story written by March. The screening was held at the historic Bama Theater in Tuscaloosa and featured a discussion by University of Alabama English Professor Dr. Philip Beidler.

Over There! & Back Again: Patriotic American Sheet Music from the First World War 

Daniel Goldmark and Jessica Lacher-Feldman

A selection of WWI-era sheet music by Daniel Goldmark, a faculty member from the University of Alabama's School of Music, was chosen to accompany the William March exhibition. 

Tradition and Reverence: Selections from the Gorgas Family Papers, and the William Crawford Gorgas Papers

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Artifacts, personal papers, diaries, drawings, and clothing was placed on display in order to celebrate a weekend of activities created for Gorgas family descendents visiting The University of Alabama. 

Coat of Many Colors: A Tapestry of Alabama Artists

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

An exhibition held in conjunction with the Alabama Public Television documentary of the same title. 




Piano Lessons and Other Recollections

Suzanne Gray

An exhibition of the work of Book Arts MFA candidate Suzanne Gray, including her collaborative work with storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.

Life at the University of Alabama: A Retrospective 1831-2000

Jessica Lacher-Feldman

Trace The University of Alabama's history from its first years as a military school through its metamorphosis to a co-ed university in the late 19th century. In the twentieth century, follow campus through its time as an air force training facility during World War II and its struggles during the Civil Rights Era.