Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery
(4.5/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
The Alabama Department of Archives and History is the official repository of archival records for the U.S. state of Alabama. It was created by an act of the Alabama Legislature on February 27, 1901 with a primary mission of collecting and preserving artifacts relating to the history of the state. It was the first publicly funded, independent state archives agency in the United States. It subsequently became a model for the establishment of archives in other states. Today the agency identifies, preserves, and makes accessible records and artifacts significant to the history of the state and serves as the official repository for records created by Alabama's state agencies.The building and exhibitsThe Department of Archives and History was housed in the old Senate cloak room at the Alabama State Capitol after its establishment in 1901. It was then moved to the Capitol's new south wing upon its completion in 1906. A separate building was first conceived of in 1918 by Thomas McAdory Owen, the first director of the Archives. However, funding did not become available until the 1930s, when the next director, Marie Bankhead Owen (wife of Thomas), was able to secure the necessary capital from the Works Progress Administration.The three-story Neoclassical building was built from 1938–40. An east wing was completed in 1970 and a west one in 2005. The west wing added 60000sqft of new space to the building. The original Washington Avenue bronze entrance doors to the building were designed by artist Nathan Glick. They depict eight scenes from Alabama history. Following many years of wear they were relocated to the Ocllo S. Malone Lobby in the new west wing. The first and second floors of the Archives building features walls clad in white Alabama marble.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This magnificent and monumental building located in what Peru became known as civic. In accordance with the environment, it has an elegant appearance which, together with other public buildings, makes the entire space is especially beautiful.
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  • A must see if you are interested in the history of Alabama. The museum has a lot of videos for those of us that get tired of reading. It shows the history of Alabama from the Indians through the curre...  more »
  • Very interesting free museum On the history of Alabama. Found it interesting, no mention Of Helen Keller or the fabulous Tallulah Bankhead. 
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  • Recently contacted the ADAH about any information on my G.G. Grandfather who fought for the 8th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Co. G during the Civil War. Not only did they bridge the gap of events in his service during that time they were able to provide additional information to his life (i.e., marriage, children, and land ownership) in the Troy, Alabama area. You can't go wrong the ADAH. 1st Class Organization.
  • A great little free museum that tells the story of Alabama residents throughout the years.
  • Really beautiful marble building.
  • Great place to learn the history of Alabama lots of information.
  • A Beautiful Landmark of a building greets you. You can't just drive by this one. I am going in I said to myself! But Archives? What would I want in the Archives, My family is all from Missouri and Iowa. But I went in anyway! And I am glad I did. The stature of the building, the marble stair cases, the lobby filled with Busts of prominent figures in Alabama history, the pleasant and on so helpful concierge (well he was a guard, but I wish all concierges were as helpful as he was) and the historical displays on the second floor were oh so interesting. I wish I would have had a couple more hours as I can almost bathe in the quality information about the history of this state. I always giggle a bit as it seems to me that every state and town across the south describes the pivotal battle of the Civil War. I wish all these story tellers could get together and figure out where that happened. but I digress. This museum on the second floor will hold ones attention and the docents seem so knowledgeable. I guess I need to know more about the history of Alabama.