After setting up Family Tree Magazine’s booth for last week’s Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Birmingham, Ala., I headed down the street a few blocks to the Birmingham Public Library to check out the Linn-Henley Research Library. It’s in a lovely 1927 building (renovated in 1984) and holds the library’s collections on Southern and local history and genealogy, maps and the city archives.
Local records here include municipal and county records; church, civic organization and business records; personal papers of local business and community leaders; and more. You’ll also find plenty of microfilm here, including censuses and military records.
The main Linn-Henley library entrance.
The main reading room, decorated with murals by Ezra Winter. Someone commented on Family Tree Magazine‘s Facebook page that the room “smells just like a library should,” and that’s exactly right. I love the smell of old books!
The print city and suburban directories start in 1883 and go into the 1990s.
Here’s a small part of the family histories collection.
Many libraries have surname files like this one, full of assorted records and papers organized by family name. (There was nothing for Haddad or my other surnames—I wasn’t expecting anything but you can bet I checked.) That envelope peeking out at the top of the photo was attached to 1990s letters relatives sent each other about their family history.