Welcome to the Alabama Department
of Archives and History
Research Room

For security and preservation of historic records the following procedures must be observed:

You are allowed to take the following items into the Research Room


• Pencils
• Lap tops (without the case)
• 3-Ring binders
• Folders, not including expandable folders
• Cell phones*
• Sweaters and light jackets


You may not take the following items into the Research Room:


• Ink pens
• Brief cases

• Expandable folders
• Purses
• Book or tote bags
• Back packs
• Lap top bags
• Overcoats and raincoats


Lockers are available for your convenience at a refundable cost of 25 cents. A change machine is located in the Hale Room.

When in the Joyce C. Hobbs Manuscript Reading Area you may have the following items. Your materials will be inspected by staff upon entry and exit.

• Note cards
• Loose paper
• Lap tops (without the case)
• Pencils


The Research Room is monitored by closed circuit cameras and security personnel at all times.

The use of scanner and digital cameras requires permission from the reference staff on duty.

* Please turn off cell phone ringers and step out of the research room for calls so that you do not disturb other researchers.







Students under age 15 should be accompanied by a responsible adult.


Children under 10 are permitted, but must be strictly supervised by parent/guardian and are not allowed to be alone at any time.




• All researchers must have a researcher card. To obtain a card, please register on the computer at the lobby desk outside the Research Room on your first visit.

• After completing the registration process on the computer, proceed to the reference desk to finalize the registration process.

• Researchers must verify identity using a photo ID. Staff will then issue a permanent researcher card.

• After the initial online registration, patrons will be required to sign in and out at the lobby desk on subsequent visits.




• A break room with vending machines and a change machine is located in the Hale Room behind the lobby desk.

• Restrooms are located behind the lobby desk.

• A water fountain is located in front of the men’s restroom to the right of the lobby desk.

• The Archives facilities are monitored by a closed-circuit camera system and security personnel.

• Our facility, including the research room locker area, microfilm readers and tables, is wheelchair- accessible.

• WiFi is available in the Research Room. No password required.


Copy Services


• A self-service photocopy machine is available in the Research Room. Copies are $.10 (ten cents) per page.

• Public access computers are available in the Research Room. Copies of web pages are $.10 (ten cents) per page.

• Self-service microfilm printers and digital microfilm scanners are available in the Research Room. Copies are $.25 (twenty-five cents) per page. Thumb drives are available for purchase.

• Original documents must be photocopied by staff. Copies are $.25 (twenty-five cents) per page. Some items cannot be copied due to size or condition of the record. Reference staff will determine if records can be copied.




• Staff will assist patrons with finding aids, which describe department materials. Finding aids are available in our online catalog, and online indexes.

• Staff will show patrons how to request materials for use and are available to help you determine your best research strategy.


Citing or Publishing Materials From ADAH Collections

• Researchers may quote from, cite from, and/or publish materials from the collections of the Alabama Department of Archives and History in agreement with applicable copyright laws.


Duplication of Photographs, Maps, or other Visual Images


Visual images from the Archives collections may be used for private, educational, and historical purposes. They may be used in presentations, in publications, to display in places of business, or for other specific uses.


  • To order a copy of a visual image from the Archives collections, check our digital collections.


  • To purchase a copy of a photograph (print or digital image), submit a Digitization and Reproduction Order Form.


  • To use an image from ADAH in a publication, exhibit, film, video, website, or for other use, submit a Use Agreement Form.


    Other Information


    • Limited free parking is available in the parking lot across from the Adams Avenue entrance to the Archives designated as “Reserved Parking for Alabama Department of Archives and History.” Enter the parking lot from Adams Avenue or Alabama Street. There are disabled parking spaces in the parking lot and on the street on Adams Avenue. Please note that the city disabled parking spaces outside the parking lot have a 2-hour time limit.

    • Eating and drinking in the Research Room is strictly prohibited. The Hale Room is available for your convenience for breaks.

    • Restaurants and cafeterias are available near the Archives. Ask the reference staff for more information.

    • The Archives is a smoke-free facility.