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Genealogy, History and Archives at Huntsville-Madison County Public Library: Home

A virtual tour of the genealogical, historical and archival resources available in the Special Collections area of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library

Special Collections on Facebook

Be sure to visit the HMCPL Special Collections Facebook page:

Special Collections - Home of Huntsville Historical Collections

Image from:; accessed April 9, 2015.

The Special Collections Department serves as the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library's multimedia resource center for genealogy and local history research. We have hundreds of print volumes to aid in family 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.

We have an extensive local newspaper collection on microfilm such as:

  • The Huntsville Times, 1928 - 2013
  • Many early Huntsville papers, including The Huntsville Democrat, Southern Advocate, the Mercury papers, as well as several individual issues from papers elsewhere in the state.

Other resources available include historical maps and atlases, Native American, family files files and microfilm records of local and regional interest.

Genealogy Classes are available. We offer Basic Genealogy, Computer Genealogy Online and Database classes which cover in detail our 5 genealogy subscription databases. Please see our events calendar for information about genealogy classes—

The Archives

The Archives was established in 1976 in order to house the rare, fragile, and unique material that has been part of the library collection since 1818.

The material in our repository is varied and includes the Zeitler Rare Book Collection. Our historic photograph collection is composed of over 25,000 photographic prints and originals, with content ranging from depictions of street scenes and cotton mills throughout Huntsville’s history to portraits of prominent citizens. In addition, we house scrap books, original artwork, local business and organization records, early church records and minutes, diaries and personal correspondence including materials from the Civil War.

We often collaborate with local colleges to display engaging exhibits about Alabama history.

Online Resources

Contact Us

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library

Main Branch

915 Monroe St. (3rd floor)

Huntsville, AL 35801