Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery

4.7
#5 of 10 in Museums in Montgomery
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.
Add Alabama Department of Archives and History and other attractions to your Montgomery trip itinerary using our Montgomery trip planning app .
Source
Create an itinerary including Alabama Department of Archives and History
map
Alabama Department of Archives and History Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
172 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I've now been to at least a dozen state history museums over the years. While there are many similarities, each has its unique set-up and particular items. The one in Alabama is, at least, somewhat ab...  more »
  • A beautiful telling of Alabama’s history. Artifacts and information in a visually appealing museum. Educational, entertaining, and free!!! A must see!  more »
  • Highly recommended for anybody wanting to understand Alabama's fascinating, complex, and at times tragic history. From its first people to modern times, the museum does a great job informing and educa...  more »
Google
  • Very well run government office. They were quite helpful to me.
  • Extensive museum covers Alabama state history without glancing over atrocities. Thoughtfully modern presentation that educates and entertains. You'll easily spend a few hours here.
  • Free, educational family fun!! We love this place!
  • Free museum. Everything you need to learn about Alabama is here! Friendly staff. Gift shop.
  • 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.

Plan your trip to Montgomery

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Montgomery

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Montgomery by other users

3 days in Montgomery BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, kids, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in New Jersey, Alabama & Wyoming BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in New Jersey, Alabama & Wyoming BY A USER FROM INDIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: February, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: June, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Alabama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans