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HMCPL Special Collections: Resources at the Library

HMCPL Special Collections is the community's archive. We empower individuals to seek their past, explore Huntsville and Madison County, and connect with history.

Special Collections Resources

Overview of Genealogy Resources


Special Collections has books of vital information for research that may not be available anywhere else. Books of state and county information include land records, marriages, immigration records, and more. This includes compiled family histories, transcripts of records, indexes, and local histories. Special Collections and Rare Books are NOT available for loan. You can search for books in our online catalog.


Select periodicals for various states and counties are available for reference. These periodicals contain information on local history and are often published by historical societies that may be able to help you in your research. There is also a small amount of periodicals produced by families. Vintage periodicals, like Harper's Weekly, can help you understand what life was like during a certain time period. Periodicals are NOT included in the book catalog, but are arranged alphabetically in the Heritage Room.

Vertical Files

The Special Collections Vertical Files are a wealth of valuable research on local and prominent families in Huntsville and the surrounding areas. This research is compiled by other researchers and can save you time and effort by providing answers to common questions. Often included are family trees, copies of records, church programs, articles, etc. You can look up a surname or a subject. This is available only in the Heritage Room.


Our newspaper collection features microfilm of newspapers of Madison County, Huntsville, and surrounding cities dating back to 1819. Other
newspapers from other states and select countries dating back to the 1700s are also available for reference.

Check out our obituary index!

Microfilm Collection

The microfilm collections have information unavailable anywhere else, including:
-Madison County Certificates of Naturalization
-Five Civilized Tribes, Final Rolls (Citizens and Freeman)
-Freedmen's Bureau Records

Online Resources

The library provides access to several research databases and websites like and