Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery

Categories: History Museums, Libraries, Traveler Resources, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
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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  • This is a truly amazing museum. I don't even know where to start. It covers EVERYTHING Alabama. Sports, wildlife, Civil War, and the very start of the Civil rights movement. There is so much more, I c...  read more »
  • We found the museum very interesting but unfortunately didn't have enough time to do it justice. I would definitely recommend a visit. 
  • I took students to Montgomery to see the Capitol and visit historical spots from the Civil Rights Movement. One of the State Troopers in Capitol suggested that we visit the State Archives. I was amaze...  read more »
  • 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.
  • Great place to learn the history of Alabama lots of information.
  • I enjoyed the beautiful depiction of history throughout the museum. The Faces of Alabama bring history
  • 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.
  • A great little free museum that tells the story of Alabama residents throughout the years.
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