ADAH Digital Collections
Alabama created the first state-funded department of archives and history in the United States. Founded in 1901, the Alabama Department of Archives and History became a model for many other states. The first director, Dr. Thomas Owen, argued that the state had a responsibility to preserve the basic records of its people and its history. As the first of only five directors, Dr. Owen served as director for almost 20 years and built the Alabama Archives into one of the most important cultural agencies not only in Alabama, but in the United States.
In this second decade of the twenty-first century, Dr. Owen's legacy and vision for the preservation of Alabama history continue. In the past century, the Alabama Department of Archives and History has expanded greatly from its humble beginning in Alabama's Senate to its current residence built in 1940. With the inception of the World Wide Web, Alabama's rich and diverse history is now available to all corners of the globe. This collection represents just the beginning of the Alabama Department of Archives and History's effort to consolidate and reorganize its digital collections. The Department plans to tie archival images, artifact images, curriculum materials, and museum experience to this new section of our web site for all who wish to learn more and experience what is Alabama.