Category Archives: Everyday Life

Papers of H. D. Clayton Sr., General, statesman, and UA President

Over the last few months, we’ve been digitizing the papers of Henry De Lamar Clayton, Sr. As our student worker Ellyn and I see the final box of materials in sight, it seems like a good time to give an … Continue reading

Hidden Gem: Peter Jennings at Emphasis ’69 (audio)

“It is nice to be invited back to Alabama, instead of sent here.” –Peter Jennings, referring to his previous trips to the South during the civil rights movement In April of 1969, the Emphasis program at UA, a yearly symposium dedicated … Continue reading

Women and Their Cars

Over a hundred years ago, Alice Ramsey and her friends took the first all-female cross country automobile trip. You can read about Ramsey’s experience at Smithsonian Magazine online — what they ate, where they stayed, how they found their way … Continue reading

A Slice of Life: The Helen Cline Papers

Who is Helen Cline? In the grand scheme of things, she’s not an important person from our nation’s past, but in a way she is: she is an example of the millions of “ordinary” people who make the world go … Continue reading

Modern Pocket Hoyle game rulebook

Ever heard the phrase “according to Hoyle”? It means that something complies with a strict set of rules, and it’s a reference to the gaming rulebooks of Edmond Hoyle and all the later versions building on his format. The Modern … Continue reading

Hidden Gem: Travelogue of Juliet Bestor Coleman, 1833

While we have a lot of large, impressive digital collections in Acumen, sometimes the most interesting things come in small packages. In 1833, about thirty years before the Civil War, 24-year-old Juliet Bestor traveled from her home in Connecticut to … Continue reading

Wish You Were Here: A Century of Postcards

It’s summer, and you know what that means: prime vacation time. Our ways of traveling have changed in the last century or so, along with our means of communicating with our loved ones back home, but one thing has never … Continue reading

The Zip Code’s 50th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but the zip code, that five-digit number that helps your mail get to the right place, has been around for just fifty years. The Zone Improvement Plan was, however, built on the foundation of earlier attempts … Continue reading

Family Pets, part two: Dogs

As promised, a return to family pets, this time a look at man’s best friend. All of these images come from the expansive Woodward Family photo collection or from one of the numerous Wade Hall photograph collections. (See this entry … Continue reading

Family Pets, part one: Cats

While our collections document some important local, national, and international history, they also chronicle the lives of individual families, giving us insight into the everyday lives of Americans over the last couple of centuries. It’s no surprise that a big … Continue reading