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HMCPL Special Collections: Local History

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

Local History

Special Collections houses unique collections relating to Huntsville, Madison County, and Alabama history and serves as the library system’s multimedia resource center for local history research. Although most of our collection relates to areas east of the Mississippi River, we have online databases and additional material for other regions of the country.

Heritage Books

The Heritage Book Collection is the library’s collection of books focusing on local history and genealogy. Browse the collection in the library's online catalog. ("H" will precede the call number.)

Rare Books

The Zeitler Rare Book Collection is the library's collection of books deemed rare by their topic, age, or limited release. Browse the collection in the library's online catalog. ("Z" will precede the call number.)

Microfilm Collections

The Microfilm Collection is a large collection of original records available in a compact form. The collection is comprised of records from multiple sources, including the Huntsville Times and the National Archives.

Vertical Files

Vertical Files are added to by librarians and local researchers. They contain an array of photocopies and originals, corrspondence, vital records, family trees, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and more.

Archives Collections

The Archives Collection houses rare, fragile, and unique material related to Huntsville and Madison County. Browse the collections in the Special Collections' online inventory.

Photograph Collections

Special Collections is home to hundreds of thousands of historic photographs of the people, places, and things of Madison County.

Map Collection

Special Collections houses hundreds of local, regional, and national maps, dating from the early 1800s to the present.

Organizational & Business Records

Special Collections houses a large amount of Organizational & Business Records from local philanthropy groups, lineage societies, social clubs, and more (both active and inactive).