Vertical Files

Formally designated Public Information Subject Files, the vertical files include several series of subject-specific collections compiled by ADAH staff for reference use from 1901 to present. Sometimes referred to as "Clipping Files," these also may include correspondence with Archives staff, historical sketches, programs, pamphlets --- in short, almost any type of information on a particular subject collected by or donated to the ADAH since its inception.


Public Information Subject Files series include:


General Files --ca. 59 cu. ft. on Alabama-related topics from "Abortion" to "Zip code," arranged alphabetically.


County Files --ca. 102 cu. ft. on county-specific topics such as towns, history, churches, schools, etc.; arranged by county for each of Alabama's 67 counties (plus Baker, Benton, and Elk Counties, which no longer exist) then alphabetically by folder topic. The quantity of material varies considerably from county to county, with Montgomery County (home site of the ADAH) especially well documented.


Alabamians at War --ca. 37 cu. ft. on Alabamians' participation in various American wars, including the American Revolution, the War of 1812/Creek War; the Seminole/2nd Creek War; the Texas War with Mexico, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam; arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by folder topic. These files are particularly valuable for World War I information since ADAH Director Thomas M. Owen actively documented the state's contribution to the war effort in a period before there was a National Archives. Included in the WWI section are the Gold Star Files compiled to honor Alabamians who lost their lives in that conflict.


Civil War and Reconstruction Files --ca.20 cu. ft. on Alabama and her citizens' roles in the American Civil War and, to a lesser extent Reconstruction periods; arranged alphabetically by topics, which include arms and arsenals, biographies, campaigns and battles, cemeteries, hospitals, and medical care, prisons and prisoners, veterans and patriotic organizations, and the role of women.


Governors Files --ca. 60 cu. ft. on Alabama's governors from 1819 through 1983; arranged chronologically with the bulk of information on modern governors, particularly James E. Folsom (1947-51; 1955-59), Lurleen B. Wallace (1967-68), and George C. Wallace (1963-67; 1971-79).


Frances M. Hails Files --ca. 11 cu. ft. on a wide variety of topics of particular interest to Archives staff member, Frances M. Hails (ca. 1923-55); arranged alphabetically by topic and especially strong on women's issues, organizations, inventions/inventors, and the World Wars.


Surname Files --664 reels of 16mm microfilm and ca. 7 cu. ft. of paper files on Alabama citizens, ca. 1910s-present, with bulk of material dating from the 1940s through the 1970s; includes newspaper announcements and family/personal history material arranged alphabetically by surname, then given name.