Donating Reference Materials to the Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Research Room of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) accepts and collects materials which provide information on the history of the state of Alabama. Many of these materials are also available at public libraries throughout the state. The ADAH acquires these materials for researchers' convenience and not with the expectation that they will be kept forever. The ADAH also acquires duplicate copies of many items which tend to be heavily used by researchers. The collection consists of books, dissertations, theses, journals, and newsletters, and also contains materials in a variety of formats, such as microfilm, microfiche, and vertical files of unpublished materials. Because the history of Alabama is often closely tied to the history of the region, we also collect some general Southern history reference materials.
Occasionally, items from the reference collection may be transferred to the permanent collections of the department because of the historical or financial value of the material. Specific collecting guidelines concerning types of reference materials are summarized below.
General reference materials
The ADAH collects general published materials which help archivists and researchers answer routine reference requests, such as bibliographies, encyclopedias, directories, atlases, and regional histories of the southeastern region of the United States.
General research materials
The ADAH collects materials which assist researchers in answering questions about the history of Alabama and its people. We collect books, serials, dissertations and theses, county histories and family histories with a direct and predominant Alabama connection. We also may acquire clippings, leaflets, pamphlets, and other materials which relate to the history of Alabama and its people. These latter items are maintained in central information files by the Reference staff.
The ADAH is not a general genealogical library, and we limit our genealogical collection to materials with a direct and predominant Alabama connection. Our limited resources and diminishing storage capacity require us to be selective in the materials we acquire and maintain. Therefore, we give preference to items which include copies or transcriptions of original materials, such as wills, photographs, reminiscences, or correspondence--items which provide background information on the lives of Alabamians. We actively seek to collect indexes to historical records to supplement our permanent collections.
The ADAH collects books and serials necessary to encourage an informed professional staff. Our emphasis is on professional archival literature, with related disciplines such as museums, records management, libraries, history, and genealogy also represented.
If you would like to offer reference material to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, contact the registrar, Sherrie Hamil.