Gorgas Library, Pearce Foyer

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, 2016

Martha Bace
September 4, 2016 – January 11, 2017

In the spring of 2014, representatives of the Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writers’ Forum with a committee of readers, writers, and scholars met to decide how best to honor the rich legacy of native Alabamians who earned their reputations in the literary arts. From these initial meetings, came the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. Like the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame, the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame recognizes those professionals who have proved outstanding in their field.

The class of 2016:

  • Mary Ward Brown
  • Truman Capote
  • Fannie Flagg
  • Rebecca Gilman
  • Rodney Jones
  • Sequoya
  • T. S. Stribling
  • Margaret Alexander Walker
  • E. O. Wilson




cartoon drawing showing aerial view of UA campus, image cropped from larger yearbook endpaper

Hoole Library, Lobby (Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, 2nd floor)

The First 150 Years: Student Life at the Capstone, 1831-1981

Kate Matheny
Fall 2016

When the University of Alabama opened in 1831, about 50 students were enrolled. At its centennial in 1931, that number was over 6,400. Fifty years after that, add another digit — 16,400! Life at ‘Bama changed enormously in that century and a half, but is the old adage true: The more things change, the more they stay the same?

Explore the experience of students over the first 150 years of UA history, from the wild young men of the antebellum period to the cadets of the late 19th century to the much more diverse population of the 20th century University, when women, older returning veterans, and African Americans joined the student body. The exhibit features materials from various manuscript and photo collections, as well as student publications like the Corolla and The Crimson White.




Brochure for Yellowstone National Park, circa 1919, showing an image of Old Faithful

Gorgas Library, Pearce Foyer

100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

Martha Bace
Beginning June 2016

The beginning of the National Park Service as we know it today didn’t spring into being with the establishment of the first national park by the U. S. Congress on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone National Park, the first park in the United States and widely held to be the first national park in the world, was established by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, forty-four years before the creation of the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. Then in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order which consolidated all federally owned parks, monuments, cemeteries, and memorials into a single National Park System.The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

The exhibit highlights several collections held in the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library of Division of Special Collections, including the Wade Hall stereo cards and photographs collections, the Willie T. White papers, the Woodward family papers, the Frank R. Hill travel journal, and the Harold E. Selesky travel and tourism collection.




Stained glass window from Tuskegee University

A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Reading Room

A Message of Glad News for All the Race: Celebrating 135 Years at Tuskegee University

Martha Bace & Nancy DuPree
Beginning August 2016

Authorized by the Alabama legislature in 1881 with only a $2000 appropriation, Tuskegee University has grown far beyond the original one-room shanty with one teacher and thirty students in Tuskegee, known first as the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School and then Tuskegee Institute. Now with some 5,000 acres and more than seventy buildings, over 3,000 students attend Tuskegee University.

To mark this milestone of 135 years of education, this exhibit highlights many of the early “trades” advocated by founding principal Booker T. Washington (including farming, woodworking and brick making, harness making, tailoring and sewing, millinery, cooking, and housekeeping) through the academic coursework of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The exhibit also showcases several recipes developed by renowned botanist, agriculturalist, and inventor George Washington Carver; the music program established by Mrs. Jennie C. Lee and grown by William L. Dawson; the architecture of Robert R. Taylor; and the civil rights movement in Tuskegee.