Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection
Materials in the Architecture & Design Collection include original
drawings of buildings and parks, personal and business papers of architects
and developers, photographs of buildings and neighborhoods, neighborhood
organization records, maps, atlases, and other architectural surveys and
reports. Overviews of individual collections within the Architecture &
Design Collection are available by clicking on the links below. Collections
listed in italics are names of firms or individual architects, designers,
Elyton Land Company
Jefferson County, Ala., Board
of Equalization Files
Jemison, Robert, Jr.
Jemison, Robert, Sr.
Kessler, William H.
McCauley, Charles H. and Associates, Architects
Redmont Park Neighborhood Association
Salie, Jacob, and P.S.
Underwood Park Association
Warren, Knight & Davis, Architects
Warren, William T., and Family
Waters, Newman H., Sr.
Welton, William Leslie
Whitten, Lawrence S.
the Architecture & Design Collection
The Architecture & Design collection welcomes donations that will help
fulfill the mission of collecting, preserving, and providing access to
records of the significant architectural and design heritage of the
Birmingham area. For more information on secure climate-controlled storage,
access to materials donated, and other aspects of the donation process,
please see the Archives Support page.
Histories & Special Research Projects
As part of its effort to proactively grow the Architecture & Design
Collection, the Archives conducts special research projects such as oral
histories, neighborhood histories, and public programs and lectures. These
projects and programs enhance, provide context for, and increase awareness
of other materials in the existing collection. These projects are
collaborative in nature and involve partner organizations in design,
architecture, preservation, and education. Links to project overviews are
included below. Visit the Architecture & Design Collection blog for
information on upcoming projects.
The Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection is part of the Birmingham
Public Library’s Department of Archives & Manuscripts. The Architecture &
Design Collection is a unique resource that reflects the rich culture and
character of the Birmingham area through the documentation of significant
historic and contemporary buildings and designed landscapes in the region as
well as representative work of the most significant architects, landscape
architects, designers, planners, and developers based in the Birmingham
area. The purpose of the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection is to
serve as an authentic record of the significant architectural and design
heritage of the Birmingham area through collecting, preserving, promoting,
and providing access to records of the built and landscaped environment of
the city and surrounding region.
Collect. Holdings in the Birmingham Architecture & Design
Collection document the built and landscaped environment of Birmingham and
the surrounding region, and materials range in type from original drawings
of homes and buildings to photographs of contemporary parks and landscapes
to professional and personal papers of influential designers in the region.
The Department of Archives welcomes donations that help the collection
fulfill its mission and reaches out to individuals and design professionals,
both local and national, on an ongoing basis as part of a proactive effort
to grow this important collection.
Preserve. Records in the Birmingham Architecture & Design
Collection are preserved according to the highest archival standards and
best management practices for architectural archival collections to ensure
that they will be available to future generations. Items donated to the
Archives for the collection are preserved in a secure, climate-controlled
Promote. In addition to serving as an authentic record of the
significant architectural and design heritage of the Birmingham area, the
Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection seeks to increase awareness of
and appreciation for that design heritage. The collection reflects the rich
character and culture of Birmingham and promotes awareness of this through
public lectures, events, and new media resources.
Provide Access. With the Birmingham Architecture & Design
Collection, the Archives supports the research of scholars, design
professionals, teachers, students, professors, home and building owners, and
the general public. Access to material in the collection is provided during
Archives regular operating hours. Finding aids and guides are available for
the collection to facilitate the public’s use of the collection.
Since the founding of BPL’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts in
1975, a collection of drawings, photographs, documents, and research
materials related to the city’s architecture and design heritage has
gradually accumulated over time. This collection includes many significant
resources such as the city’s founding documents and plans, historic
architectural drawings and blueprints of some local structures, and
documentation of Jefferson County residences between 1938 and 1975.
Realizing that the collection has the potential to become an even greater
resource for the city, the Archives Department initiated a project to expand
the collection of materials relating to Birmingham’s architecture and design
heritage. With the generous support of a small group of engaged citizens and
dedicated architects, landscape architects, designers, and historians, the
department formally named the Birmingham Architecture & Design Collection.