The University of Alabama
Wade Hall Collection of Southern History and Culture at The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
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A continuing gift of Union Springs, Alabama native Dr. Wade Hall, the collection is a sweeping portrayal of Southern History and American culture in word, picture, and song.  Dr. Hall is the author of numerous works relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history, as well as hundreds of articles, poems, essays, and reviews published in scholarly and popular publications.   Dr. Hall is a graduate of Troy University (B.S.), The University of Alabama (M.A.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.) and taught English and served as an administrator at Bellarmine College in Louisville for many years, where he also hosted a weekly interview program on Louisville public television. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. His celebrated work Conecuh People has been adapted for the stage and is performed annually in his hometown.
The collections which make up the Wade Hall Collection of Southern History and Culture include:

American Picture Postcards

In addition to local photographs on postcards, there are printed examples from across the United States. Subjects include public buildings, college dormitories, tourist attractions, wildlife, street scenes, bridges, motor courts, agricultural scenes, ruins, city parks, lakes, and hotels.

American Photography

From family vacation shots to formal portraits to farm life scenes, these photographs provide a unique view of American life and experiences around the world. history is captured through photos of natural catastrophes, the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893, and the American liberation of a Nazi concentration camp. Photographs of African-Americans make up a significant part of the collection. An accompanying collection of books on photography serves to illuminate and aid in the use of this rich collection.

American Music

Sheet Music from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century representing all styles, including ballads, popular and patriotic music, show tunes, country, western and music relating to American wars complements the blues, jazz, gospel, popular sound recordings from the early 1920s to the late 20th. century.  An online exhibition, Over There! and Back Again, focuses on World War I patriotic sheet music from this collection.

American Letters and Diaries

Slavery-related documents relate to the sale and hire of slaves and runaways. Civil War materials include diaries and letters of Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate, as well as Confederate veterans reunion materials. Nineteenth century materials -- memory books, letters of travelers, and documents -- give a glimpse into the lives of such figures as Jefferson Davis and Andrew Jackson. Twentieth century subjects include Nat "King" Cole, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Keller, T.S. Stribling, Octavus Roy Cohen, and Booker T. Washington.

Southern History and Culture -- Books, Serials, and Newspapers

This collection of books, serials, and newspapers relates to the history, law, and literature of the American South through works of noted authors such as, but by no means limited to George Washington Cable, Joel Chandler Harris, Mark Twain, Erskine Caldwell, Jesse Stuart, Tennessee Williams, James Agee, William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Truman Capote, Sue Grafton, and others.

American Quilts

The Wade Hall and Gregg Swem American Quilts Collection at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama, is a representative cross section of quilts and coverlets from various regions in the United States dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the 2000s. The collection contains examples of numerous traditional styles and techniques, and serves as a valuable resource in better understanding the craftsmanship, artistic talent, and historical and cultural significance of the quilt as a uniquely American artifact.  A guide to the collection is available at


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