Special Collection

University Archives are part of the Special Collection department and serves the Samford University and Alabama Baptist community. The collection is open to the public and all researchers are welcome to use the materials during our hours of operation; Monday – Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm. We recommend outside researchers contact the collection for an appointment to insure the availability of our staff members during your research visit. If the collection is in use by students, a class or group; outside researchers may be asked to wait before materials can be pulled for use.

Find Special Collection Materials

What's in Special Collection?

University Archives

Special Collection serves as the collective memory of the university through the ongoing acquisition of material produced for or by the university.



  • Howard College catalogs, beginning in 1845
  • Entre Nous, beginning in 1909 (1912 – 2009 online)
  • The Howard/Samford Crimson, beginning in 1915
  • Samford Today, beginning in 1972
  • Seasons, beginning in 1984
  • Howard/Samford University Alumnus, beginning in 1950


  • Catherine Allen Sesquicentennial Collection
  • Lou Arnold Photography Collection
  • James H. DeVotie Collection
  • Dissertations and Theses
  • Ida V. Moffett Collection
  • Matriculation Schedule
  • Presidential Collections
  • Records of the Philomathic and Franklin Literary Societies
  • Sizemore-Douglass Collection

Alabama Baptist Collection

Since 1955, Samford University has been designated by the Alabama Baptist State Convention as the repository for Alabama Baptist Records.


  • Original church and associational records (Online through 1900)
  • Histories of Baptist organizations, agencies and institutions
  • Minutes from the Alabama Baptist State Convention, beginning in 1823 (Online, 1823 – 1913)
  • Biographical information of Alabama Baptists
  • The Alabama Baptist, beginning in 1843
  • Baptist newspapers of the Southeast: From Maryland to Missouri
  • Minutes from the Southern Baptist Convention


  • The papers of the State Board of Missions executives, including George Bagley, Earl Potts and Troy Morrison Missionary papers
  • American Missionary Association manuscripts
  • American Home Missionary Society papers
  • Grady Cothen
  • Gaines S. Dobbins
  • Lloyd Elder
  • William E. Hull Collection
  • Charles H.Spurgeon
  • Frank Stagg

Alabama Collection

Special Collection houses materials that document the social, family, cultural, and religious history of the state.


  • State, county and local histories/
  • Alabama genealogical and biographical materials
  • Political and social movement histories
  • Histories of institutions
  • Denominational and church histories
  • Newspapers and periodicals


  • Family files and diaries
  • Pardon petitions and amnesty papers following the Civil War
  • Alabama Freedmen Collections
  • William H. Brantley Collection
  • Chriss Doss Collection
  • James E. Horton Collection
  • Wayne Flynt Collection
  • Maud McLure Kelly Collection
  • Albert Brewer Collection

Literary Authors Collection

Special Collection has been fortunate to amass major collections on four literary authors and a printing scholar. Exhaustive first edition files, both American and English first issues, of the three authors John Ruskin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and John Masefield are collected. In addition, healthy representations of illustrated, finely printed, and unusual editions of the works of these authors are kept in the department.

The first editions of the Ruskin, Tennyson, and Masefield collections are nearly complete. Lafcadio Hearn is the other literary author collected. However, his material is not as comprehensive as the other three authors.

A near complete file of the books and pamphlets of Douglas C. McMurtrie, a renowned bibliographer and printing historian, is also preserved in Special Collection.

Irish Collection

Dr. Albert E. Casey, Alabama pathologist and avid family historian, donated his research materials on southern Ireland to Samford's Special Collection Department.

Annotated Bibliography

Further Information

The mission of Samford University Library's Special Collection and University Archives is to document the history of the university, the state of Alabama and its people, and Alabama's religious institutions through the acquisition of historically significant, rare and unique materials.