General Information
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.

A list of the holdings of microfilmed newspapers is available here. For most of the listed titles, a compiled index is not available. Historical minority and speciality papers were extracted from the master list and made available here.

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.

Genealogy Computer Classes
The Southern History Department teaches several genealogy computer classes including Ancestry, Fold3, FamilySearch, FindMyPast and more. Please look at the RCLC's schedule to see what is being taught this month.

2018 Beyond the Basics of Genealogy Schedule
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 and guest speakers.

  • The Beyond Kin Project: Making the Slave Connection- Sunday, February 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Project cofounders Donna Cox Baker and Frazine K. Taylor will teach a software method and research techniques for handling the unique complexities of plantation genealogy. Descendants of both slaveholders and enslaved persons will learn how to find and account for the underdocumented and often nameless plantation members using common genealogy tools.
  • Nosing Around in Newspapers- Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Newspapers can be a genealogist’s best friend with the wealth of information found within its pages, but also a frustrating source. Learn how to locate the newspapers you need and how to efficiently search them to discover everything from an obituary to a scandalous news story involving your ancestor.
  • Understanding DNA Ethnicity Test Results- Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Explore the offerings of Family Tree DNA, a company that offers hundreds of different DNA tests and that supports them with the most detailed website in the industry.
  • "Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier": Military Records in Family History Research- Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Did one of your ancestors go to war? Explore the major repositories and databases for military records and discover how they can contribute vital information for your family history research.
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 online through the library's calendar.

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: 1/19/2018 9:05 AM