Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
General Information
Books for Sale
How to Request Copies

The staff of the Southern History Department will normally respond within 48 hours to written requests for information. Requests must be specific (i.e. please send me a copy of pages 119-121 from The Georgia Black Book by Robert Scott Davis). Unfortunately, our level of staffing does not allow us to provide more extensive research nor to search microfilmed materials such as censuses and military records. For assistance with more in-depth requests you might wish to contact persons on a list of independent researchers.

There is a $5.00 research fee for each copy request, and we can send the copies to you by e-mail or mail. For electronic copies, we send your copies as an e-mail attachment in the PDF file format. Mailed photocopies cost additional 30¢ per page to cover the cost of the copies and postage. No more than 20 pages will be copied. You will receive an invoice along with your copies with instructions regarding payment.

Requests should be mailed to:

Southern History Department
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, AL 35203

or submit request online via Ask A Librarian
(include mailing address with your request)

Requests for newspaper articles and obituaries:

Requests for copies of newspaper articles and obituaries are handled by our Microforms Center and should be submitted via Ask A Librarian. You will be contacted regarding the availability, cost, and procedure for mailing pre-payment and requests for these items. Copies from microfilmed census records and microfilmed military records are not done by our staff but should be directed to persons on our list of independent researchers.

Tips on Genealogical Research
Birmingham Public Library Genealogical Resources
Genealogy Classes and Workshops

Introduction to Genealogy
Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey. The staff in the Southern History Department covers such topics as vital records, courthouse and church records, and the Federal Census. You can browse the handout to determine if this class is right for you. No registration is required. The same content will be covered in each of the classes that are offered on one Tuesday morning and one Sunday afternoon each month. Classes are conducted in the Southern History Department, Birmingham Public Library, First Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library. For more information, call (205) 226-3665.

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy
The Beyond the Basics of Genealogy (BtB) workshops cover various topics of genealogical research and build upon the content covered in our Introduction to Genealogy class. These workshops are offered throughout the year and are taught by the staff of the Southern History Department.

  • The Ties That Bind: Connecting To Your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestor- Saturday, February 6th @10 am
    A number of readily available sources from 1860 to 1870 may enable you to find and to follow your slave and slaveholder ancestors within that critical period of transition. Knowing the best way to build a bridge to that era and how to utilize and assess its records will greatly increase your chances for success in this research.
  • Nonpopulation Schedules: A Sensible Guide to the Rest of the Census – Saturday, March 5th @ 10 am
    Want to gather even more information from census records? This class will introduce you to nonpopulation schedules (agricultural census, mortality schedules, social schedules, and even state censuses) and allow you to create a more complete record of your ancestors and the times in which they lived.
  • Digital Dixie-Saturday, April 16th@ 10 am
    Do you have ancestors from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia? In this class, you will discover digital genealogy resources that you never knew existed from these original Southern colonies and learn search strategies to find untapped information and locate your ancestor.
  • Let's Talk about It: Oral History- Saturday, July 16th @ 10 am
    Relatives and family friends are important sources of information. Whom do you want to talk with (everyone) and what do you want to ask (everything). Join us in this introduction to oral history. Learn how to gather information from those who have difficulty remembering or are troubled by the past and reluctant to share it.
  • Jump Into the Gene Pool: Genetics and Your Family History-
    Saturday, August 27th @10 am
    Discover how genetic research can help you explore your family history. Find out what a gene sample can tell you about what parts of the world your ancestors came from and more.
  • Genetic Genealogy Strategies for African American and Native American Research- Saturday, October 1st @10 am
    There is no magic in genetic genealogy and no special tests for African American and Native American research, but there are choices you can make that may enable you to confirm and to go beyond the evidence of the paper trail.
Workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or

Other Genealogical Resources

Soundex Converter
The Soundex system is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census. Soundex can also aid genealogists by identifying spelling variations for a given surname. This form will return the soundex code for the entered surname, plus other surnames/spellings sharing the same soundex code.

Page Last Modified: 7/25/2016 12:02 PM