Category Archives: Cool Collections

How to Shoot an American Quilt

When Digital Services was asked to provide images for an upcoming book on longtime donor Wade Hall’s amazing array of archival collections, most of the requests were fairly standard: book covers, documents, and photos. Even the occasional 8-Track box or daguerreotype wasn’t all … Continue reading

February 1956: When the Eyes of the World Were on Us

Sixty years ago, the first major step was made toward desegregating the University of Alabama. Autherine Lucy, a black woman from Shiloh, Alabama, was enrolled – and a few days later suspended, eventually expelled, though she had done nothing wrong. … Continue reading

Holiday Cheer

Every year since 1969, the Department of Music at UA has presented a Christmas program called Hilaritas. It includes a variety of holiday-themed music, mixing traditional carols and standards with modern pop songs and new arrangements. Earlier this year, we digitized the audio from … Continue reading

Willie T. White’s Persistent Suitor

Normally, we don’t get caught up in reading what we’re digitizing, but some collections beg for more attention. Over the spring, the incoming correspondence of Ms. Willie Teresa White (1898-1990) caught they eye of our former colleague, Jessica, such that she began to … Continue reading

Alabama’s Jewish History

Did you know May is Jewish American Heritage Month? You may not: it’s a new commemoration, proclaimed by President Bush in 2006. Alabama, like much of the South, is not known for having a large Jewish population, yet Jewish Americans have … Continue reading

Guardians of Mobile Bay

During the Civil War, Mobile Bay was protected by not one but two fortifications: to the west — Fort Gaines, on Dauphin Island to the east — Fort Morgan, down the beach from Gulf Shores From these strategic points, Confederate soldiers could … Continue reading

Campus Pinups?

Rammer Jammer, UA’s campus magazine from the 1920s to the 1950s, often featured cover art that was surprisingly risqué for the time. Or was it? I think we tend to see 1920s-1940s through the lens of the 1950s, with its heavily censored films (see … Continue reading

African-American Soldier Portraits

Right now, in the Pearce Foyer of Gorgas Library (2nd floor, Quad side), you’ll find a pretty cool exhibit: Highlighting the collections of Rev. Wylheme Ragland of Decatur, Alabama,  A North Alabama Clergyman’s Passion for History: Preserving Black History through Words and … Continue reading

Fins and Flippers, magazine from a local WWII pilot training program

On this day in 1941 — four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — the U.S. officially went to war with Germany and Italy. It had already declared war on Japan. On this day in 1941, a group … Continue reading

Hidden Gem: Pictorial History of Fort Marion

Lately, we’ve been combing through Google Analytics data for our collections, and one thing it’s done is alert us to some popular items we didn’t know about, in part because they were not in particularly well-used collections. The Durst Family Papers is … Continue reading