Want to drill down to a new level in your research? Here are some subject-based online research portals and guides for our collections.

Alabama Women’s Lives

A vital way of making sense of the past is to look at personal accounts of the people who lived it. American women’s stories, unfortunately, have often been harder to capture than men’s. For much of modern history, their sphere was the home. Participating less in public life meant less of a public voice — and less of a public record. For women in minority groups, these voices and records were even more likely to be devalued or ignored.

With so many collections focused on local people and places, the Division of Special Collections is a good place to research the lives of Southern women, in particular those from Alabama. Their stories, in journals, scrapbooks, and oral histories, are spread out through dozens of collections, so they have been brought together here, so as to emphasize their depth and breadth and facilitate research. This resource includes

  • Maps of Collections by Format and Time Period
  • Glossary of Format Terms
  • List of Collections
  • Suggested Secondary Sources

Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation

This guide is designed to give an overview of our holdings on the subject of the slavery debate and emancipation, with commentary to put various categories of resources into perspective. It offers a robust list of resources reflecting the history of and discourse surrounding domestic slavery in the United States, as well as advice on how to find more such items and collections. It is divided into three main sections:

  • Archival Sources
  • Public Conversation
  • Narratives

Native American Primary Sources

Because our holdings on local Native American history are not numerous, it is useful to comb for them carefully and gather them in one place. This LibGuide addresses primary sources, both published and unpublished, in the following areas:

  • Archeaology
  • Travel Narratives
  • Indian Removal
  • Land Grants and Sales
  • Native Americans in War
  • Research on Native Americans

War and Military Archival Collections

Our holdings include a wide range of materials related to wartime service, from as early as the Mexican-American War (1840s) to as late as the Korean War (1950s). Soldiers, sailors, medics, chaplains — all their stories, told in diaries, correspondence, and reports, contribute to our understanding of why and how we fought. Our collections, as listed in this LibGuide, are especially strong in the following:

  • American Civil War
  • World War I
  • World War II

There is also a tab with suggestions for teaching with collections in these areas, with physical materials in person or digital surrogates.