The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses 8,000 linear feet of manuscript and archival material. Some of the more important records and manuscript collections in The McCall Library include: the Doy Leale McCall Sr. Papers which encompass more than one million documents from the 19th and 20th centuries; the papers of Mobile's three former U.S. congressmen; a large body of material from the civil rights era including the papers of John LeFlore and the Non-Partisan Voters League records; the Mobile County Circuit Court records (c. 1830-1917), and a huge railroad collection.
The Library's manuscript collections are listed alphabetically in this guide. The name of the collection may be that of a person, business, organization, institution, subject, or donor.
Finding aids for many of these collections are located on this website or in our offices. If you do not find what you are looking for or you need more information about these collections please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFRICATOWN (99-21-351, 00-08-359, 05-09-446)
This collection relates to an area of Mobile known as Africatown and to the people who lived there and their descendents. Africatown derives its name from a group of Africans brought to Mobile illegally for the purposes of slavery who settled there after the Civil War. Included are various materials compiled by the great-great-grandson of one of the Africans, as well as articles about the community of Africatown. .25 linear foot.
AHAVAS CHESED (96-09-302)
Consists of material (1923-1985) related to the Ahavas Chesed (Love of Kindness) Jewish congregation. The collection includes the group's constitution and by-laws, as well as financial data, membership information, minutes, booklets, audits, scrapbooks, deeds, yearbooks, and bulletins. Also included are documents pertaining to the congregation's celebration of its 100th anniversary in 1994, as well as notes and correspondence of Rabbi Stanley Gerstein, and papers associated with several Jewish organizations. The collection was microfilmed and that microfilm resides at Samford University. 9 linear feet.
AHMED, DR. NAHFIZA (01-16-383)
Audio taped oral interviews conducted with former Mobile mayor Joseph Langan (July 2001), Non-Partisan Voters League member O. B. Purifoy (October 2001), and civil rights activists James Dixon (July 2001) and Jerry Pogue (July 2001) in connection with Dr. Ahmed's doctoral dissertation on the civil rights struggle in Mobile. Transcripts are available. Some restrictions apply.
ALABAMA DRY DOCK AND SHIPBUILDING COMPANY (81-03-60, 88-08-170, 90-08-200)
Contains annual reports from 1943 to 1991, and files from the public relations department at ADDSCO that contain information about the various ships built or worked on from 1919 to the 1970s. Most Liberty ships and tankers built during WWII have individual files with photographs and information about ship names, sponsors, launching ceremony programs, etc. There are also subject files concerning activities and individuals at ADDSCO and projects such as the Bankhead and I-10 tunnels and Auxiliary Submarine Rescue Ships. The collection includes copies of Fore & Aft, the company's publication for its employees. (See also Photograph Collections for photos of ADDSCO ships, workers, and yard scenes, and Joe Jefferson Players for other issues of Fore & Aft.) 17 linear feet.
The Aluminum Ore Company's refining plant in Mobile, Alabama, was constructed in 1937. At the time, it was the largest bauxite refining plant in the United States. The company discontinued its Mobile operations in 1982. The records of the public relations department at Alcoa contain historical information about the company, its products, and employees. Also included are copies of company publications, The Al-Zalean and Aluminews. (See also Photograph Collections.) 3 linear feet.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN (90-09-209)
The records of the Mobile Branch of the AAUW include minutes, correspondence, presidents' reports, treasurers' records, topical files, bylaws, bulletins, directories, and yearbooks from 1945 to 2005. There are also some materials relating to the state organization such as convention reports, workshops, bulletins, and directories. Materials are periodically added to this collection. 10 linear feet.
AMTRAK DERAILMENT (06-09-461)
On September 22, 1993, a tugboat operator mistook a railway bridge over Bayou Canot for a barge and plowed into the bridge, setting in motion the worst train disaster in Amtrak's history. When the Sunset Limited attempted to cross the bridge, its cars derailed, sending them and the train's passengers into the bayou. The derailment killed 47 people. This collection consists of four 4" notebook binders filled with information related to the accident compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board. The reports discuss operation of the train and its crew, and various other aspects of the disaster. 1 linear foot.
ASHDOWN, SPAN (99-07-345)
Books, correspondence, magazines, news clippings, and pamphlets related to waterfront activities in Mobile. (See also Photograph Collections under the same heading.) .5 linear foot.
AS YOU LIKE IT CLUB (98-08-337)
Founded on October 10, 1914, this women's group met to study literature and the arts. It was at one point affiliated with the Federation of Women's Clubs. This small collection consists of the group's year-long programs from 1973 through 1987. The programs include organizational histories as well as its constitution and by-laws. .5 linear foot.
AZALEA CITY QUILTERS GUILD (08-07-475)
Established in 1980 by a small group of local women, the Azalea City Quilters Guild has held quilt shows since its second year. The group also holds workshops and donates quilts for fundraising to various local charities, including the Ronald McDonald House and Project Linus. This collection consists of organizational records, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, quilt show programs, quilt patterns, correspondence, and other memorabilia collected by members of the group. 14.5 linear feet.
BARTON SCRAPBOOK (90-07-221)
This scrapbook dates to 1919 and contains news clippings, ephemera, and notes from classmates collected by Barton Academy graduate Lillian Crowley. Also includes the 1909 Bartonian and the December 1931 issue of National Geographic, which contains two articles on Alabama, "Smoke over Alabama" and "Where the New South Challenges the Old." .25 linear foot.
Contains the 1912, 1917, and 1919 issues of the Bartonian, the Barton Academy yearbook. .25 linear foot.
BELL, ROBERT E. (02-09-386)
The papers of noted Alabama author Robert E. Bell (1926-1999) contain correspondence with publishers, family, and friends, many of whom were contemporary authors. The materials also include numerous unpublished manuscripts, personal journals (1940, 1950-1999), photographs, and scrapbooks. Please click here to view selected material from the collection. 31.25 linear feet.
BEVERLY, FRANCES BAUGH (94-09-279)
Frances Beverly (1865-1954) was related to the noted botanist, William Bartram. Beverly worked as a reporter for the Louisville Courier Journal and later wrote about Mobile's past for the Works Progress Administration. Using her collection of WPA manuscripts, she set out to publish "The Story of Old Mobile" in 1947 at the age of 82, which she later apparently self-published. Her papers consist of typed and handwritten manuscripts, including essays, short stories, poems, and brief biographical sketches that have been divided into subject files. The original Beverly Collection was microfilmed in the early 1990s by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society. That microfilm is also available. The collection also includes Beverly's journals, which contain handwritten versions of most of her typed manuscripts. 1.5 linear feet.
BERNEY, JANE E. (05-09-429)
Jane Elizabeth Berney was the daughter of Saffold Berney (1844-1929), a judge, author, and Confederate veteran, and Mary Clifton Berney (1846-1921). Her papers contain photographs of Saffold Berney, his father, Dr. James Berney, and other unidentified women and children, probably Berney family members, as well as a 1909 photo of the family home. Other images show a Confederate veteran's parade. Some of the photographs date from 1877 to 1922, although most are not dated at all. The papers (1918-1942, bulk ca. 1937) relate primarily to Berney's WPA employment in Mobile. From 1936 to 1937 she worked on a project to survey records and write histories of various federal agencies in Mobile, including the post office, the Inland Waterways Corporation, and the Internal Revenue. Her papers also include her membership certificate for the Daughters of the Confederacy (1919) and an employment application for Brookley Field (1942). .75 linear foot.
BLACKMON, DORA E. (08-09-493)
Dora Mae Eldredge Blackmon earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1964. Her collection contains research materials and drafts of her doctoral dissertation, "The Care of the Mentally Ill in America, 1604-1812 in the Thirteen Original Colonies." In 1977, after serving as professor and nursing director in several nursing schools across the United States, Blackmon became professor and dean of the University of South Alabama School of Nursing. The collection also consists of grading materials and research materials and drafts of a paper Blackmon wrote about the colonial judge Samuel Sewall, who participated in the Salem witch trials. 1 linear foot.
BOYKIN, FRANK (98-09-440)
One 9-page letter from Frank W. Boykin to Speaker of the House of Representatives John McCormack dated August 20, 1963. The letter discusses many national and state political figures, including Senator Lister Hill and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The bulk of Boykin's papers are located at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
BROCK, GLEN PORTER (87-09-149)
These are the personal papers of G. P. Brock, president and executive officer of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad from 1957 to 1972 and chairman of the board of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad following the merger of the GM&O and the Illinois Central. The collection covers the period from 1940 to 1987. 61 linear feet.
BROOKLEY AIR FORCE BASE (89-08-189, 02-03-394)
This collection of materials pertaining to Brookley AFB dates from 1942 to 1964. It includes photographs, news clippings, and a few issues of the Brookley Bay Breeze from 1942 and A la MOAD from 1943-1944, and a more complete run of the Brookley Spotlight from 1959 to 1969. 5.25 linear feet.
BUSBY, ANNA (MATTIE MAY JORDAN) (87-10-153)
A diary written in 1912-1913 by Mattie May Jordan, an older sister of Anna Busby. The diary describes fur trading and farming activities in Washington County, Alabama. The diary has been published under the title Where the Wild Animals is Plentiful: Diary of an Alabama Fur Trader's Daughter (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999). A typed transcript of the diary is also available. 1 linear foot.
CALLAHAN, SONNY (02-09-397)
Records from the Washington, D.C., and Mobile offices of Congressman Herbert Leon "Sonny" Callahan, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1985 to 2003. Includes documents on a myriad of subjects. Material includes correspondence, photographs, files related to federal departments, material from the Foreign Operations and Energy and Water subcommittees, newspaper clippings, tapes, etc.
CASE, DELENE (05-16-423)
Nine oral interviews with individuals who participated or assisted with the Neighborhood Organized Workers (NOW) and/or other civil rights organizations in Mobile during the 1960s and 1970s. The interviews are recorded on cassette tapes and transcriptions are included in the collection. These interviews were part of Ms. Case's research for her M.A. thesis, "'Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around': The Black Freedom Struggle in Mobile, Alabama, 1902-1969" (University of South Alabama, 2004). Biographical information about the interviewees is available on site. (See also University Collections under Larry Holmes, Melton McLaurin, and Rearguard.) .5 linear foot.
CELEBRATION 2000 (01-09-384)
Celebration 2000 was a series of local interfaith events commemorating the beginning of the third millennium of Christian history. Religious groups of all denominations participated in a variety of affairs. This collection consists of material accumulated for an annotated bibliography of church related sources and the documents collected by the Celebration 2000 Worship Committee. .5 linear foot.
CHASTANG FAMILY (96-08-314)
A collection of personal correspondence and religious and educational published materials relating to the Chastang family of Chastang and Bucks, Alabama (1756-1935, bulk 1880-1935). Most of the correspondence is from Edward Chastang and F. Z. Chastang. Among the printed materials, one file of interest contains literature about the Knights of St. Peter Claver (1911-1916). 3 linear feet.
CHURCH STREET GRAVEYARD
Consists of 1 roll of microfilm on the history of the Church Street Graveyard.
CITY HOSPITAL (90-09-196)
A collection of record books associated with City Hospital, which was established in Mobile in 1830 on St. Anthony Street. It operated at that location until 1966, when it was relocated west and renamed Mobile General Hospital. Within the collection are several ledgers. One appears to be that of a doctor. It lists patients' names, addresses, and charges for home visits. It is dated from November 1905 through January 1919. No information on who owned the ledger is included. In addition, the collection contains a delivery room register dated February 1958 through August 1959, that lists patient name; date and time of delivery; gender of the child along with its color, weight, and length; and the attending nurse and physician. There are also three patient indexes dated December 1960 through June 1961 and April 1976 through October 1976 that list patient's name, address, age, gender, time of admittance, religion, and physician's name. Also included are two registers dated August 1933 through February 1934, October 1935 through December 1937, and November 1938 through January 1940, with the last one devoted to the emergency room. These registers give patient's name, age, gender, social status, diagnosis, physician's name, and remarks. Finally, there is a much briefer index dated June 1963 through June 1966 that only lists patient's name and unit of the hospital to which he or she was admitted. Privacy issues apply. 3 linear feet.
CLARK, JIM (12-09-629)
James Garner Clark Jr. was sheriff of Selma, Alabama, during the 1965 voting rights demonstrations in that city. His papers consist of correspondence written home by Clark during World War II, as well as approximately 260 letters written either in support of or in opposition to Clark’s actions during the voting rights demonstrations. The Selma letters were written from all over the United States, as well as from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. In addition, the collection includes newspapers and news clippings, photographs, biographical information, material related to communism, and assorted other material. 4.5 linear feet.
COCHRANE, KATHARINE CRAMPTON (95-09-291)
Correspondence, professional papers, photographs, genealogical records, and memorabilia pertaining to John T. Cochrane Sr., his wife Katharine Crampton Cochrane, her step-brother Dr. Guy Chester Crampton, her father Dr. Orson Lucius Crampton, and other members of the Cochrane and Crampton families. The materials date from 1815 to 1985 (Bulk 1815-1967). An exhibit of material from the collection is available here. 8.5 linear feet.
CONSULAR CORPS OF MOBILE (05-09-435)
Mobile was at one time home to many consulates from around the world. Around 1953 the group of them established as a social organization the Consular Corps of Mobile. Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing into the early 1970s, members of the corps used their influence to encourage growth of the Port of Mobile. After the 1970s the corps reverted back to its original design. The papers consists of primarily documents relating to the group's annual receptions, including invitations, proposed guest lists, and RSVPs. Other files pertain to the corps itself and include membership lists, annual dues, and financial information. There are also news articles and press releases. 1.25 linear feet.
CORPS OF ENGINEERS (10-09-519)
Two folders of information related to or stemming from the Mobile branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One folder has photocopied handwritten notes on the history of the Mobile branch. The other has maps and other information on the early locks and dams on the Black Warrior and Tallapoosa rivers. The latter folder also contains two black and white photographs, one of lock and dam number 3 and one of lock and dam number 9.
CROOM, STEPHENS GAILLARD (93-09-272)
Papers related to USS Alabama (BB-60), the Chicago Security Intelligence School, and the Dallas Security Intelligence School. Includes information on intelligence topics such as sabotage and surveillance, as well as correspondence, invitations and brochures about historic buildings, and material on the battleship. Also has Stephens Croom's ham radio license and a folder with information on Communism and Nazism. Stephens played a pivotal role in bringing the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama to Mobile and developing the site into a major tourist attraction. (See also Croom, Stephens G., accession number 06-09-531.) 1.75 linear feet.
CROOM, STEPHENS G. (06-09-531)
This collection focuses on material associated with USS Alabama (BB-60), the Battleship Commission, and Battleship Park. Stephens Croom was instrumental in the acquisition and establishment of Battleship Memorial Park and served as the first secretary of the USS Alabama Battleship Commission. Also includes genealogical material on some Croom family members, particularly the Howard and Marshall families, as well as typescripts and correspondence related to the 1837 wreck of the steamboat Home, which killed Croom's ancestor Hardy Bryan Croom and his family. (See also Photograph Collections under the same heading and Croom, Stephens Gaillard, accession #93-09-272.) 1.25 linear feet.
CROOM, VELMA AND STEPHENS G. (98-09-346)
This collection consists of correspondence between various Croom family members and friends from 1840 to 1906, as well as personal papers and literary manuscripts. Most of the letters were written between 1850 and 1870 by Cicero Stephens Croom, his sister Elizabeth Whitfield Croom Bellamy, and their parents, William Whitfield Croom and Julia Stephens Croom. The personal papers include a journal kept by Stephens in 1863 during the siege of Vicksburg while he was serving on General Forney's staff. Also included are numerous school essays written by Stephens while he was attending college at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and by Elizabeth who studied at the Spingler Institute in New York City. The literary manuscripts in the collection – poems, short stories, and novels--were written by Elizabeth between 1865 and 1900. Her early works were published in national magazines under a pseudonym, Kamba Thorpe. In later works she used her married name, Elizabeth W. Bellamy. The collection also contains her notes for lectures on literary subjects. An appointment is required for the use of this collection. 12 linear feet.
CUMMINS, WILLIAM (06-09-455)
Contains a 12-page program describing the 50th anniversary of the Murphy High School class of 1927. Also includes a personal scrapbook of William Cummins's father, who was the circulation manager at the Mobile Press Register. The scrapbook gives interesting insight into how the paper motivated its delivery boys. .25 linear foot.