The Manuscript Collections at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library consist of over 4000 collections with 8500 linear feet of materials that cover a wide array of research interests and subject areas.

Many of the collections reflect life in Alabama from territorial days to the present, though there are numerous collections that are of much broader interest, especially from other Southern states. Common research areas include the following subjects:

Business and Industry
Business records of merchants and business records of industries, particularly the iron and steel industry in Alabama
Agriculture
Plantation records, farm journals, diaries, and letters
Religion
Church records and papers of clergymen as well as reflections of religious beliefs found in letters and diaries
Social Life & Customs
Diaries, journals, scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia
Politics
Papers of Alabama congressmen, senators, and other officials; additionally, political beliefs, and observations reflected in papers of private individuals
Civil War & Reconstruction
Civilian and military correspondence, diaries, journals, muster rolls, accounts of battles, and maps, as well as a significant collection of the papers of Jefferson Davis
Transportation
Records of railroad companies in Alabama, documents on road construction, bridge building, and ferry operation
Literature
Many original manuscripts and papers by Alabama literary figures
Natural History
Collections of photographs of historical, geographical, geological, and botanical interest
Genealogy
Collections of family histories and pedigree charts, including the papers of noted Alabama genealogist Pauline Jones Gandrud

A partial list of collections with links to their finding aids is accessible online, and many finding aids are also available through Acumen, our digital archives explorer.