Special Collection Treasures feature different materials housed in the Special Collection, Samford University Library.

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1999 Samford Basketball Program

The 1999 basketball team were the first to get an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Led by head coach Jimmy Tillette, the Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 24-6 record and won the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) tournament.

Hammond No. 2 Typewriter

The typewriter industry evolved during the late 19th century. Competing manufacturers sought to enhance typing efficiency and user experience through various designs and technological innovations.


Birmingham Canteen Service

In May 1918, A branch of the American Red Cross Canteen Service was established in Birmingham, Alabama where it was housed in the Birmingham Terminal Station to service the many troops traveling by train during WWI. The Birmingham station was one of many operated by the Red Cross Canteen Service.

Founding of the Alabama Baptist State Convention

It was 1823 and the state of Alabama was still in its infancy. Thousands of settlers were flocking to Alabama in hope of a new life on the frontier. By the 1820s it is estimated that 5,000 Baptists ministered and worshipped throughout the state.

Juan de la Cosa Map

The earliest known map of the New World was drawn in 1500 by Juan de la Cosa. It is known as the Juan de la Cosa Map or the Universal Chart of Juan de la Cosa after its creator.


Legion Field

Around town the stadium is often affectionately referred to as The Old Gray Lady. The stadium was dedicated on November 17, 1927.


Ida Vines Moffett

Nursing in Alabama cannot be discussed without mentioning Ida Vines Moffett.

1918 Spanish Flu in Alabama

Like the pandemic we are currently experiencing with COVID-19, the world was changed by the Spanish Flu Epidemic.

Benjamin Sterling Turner

Benjamin Sterling Turner (1825-1894) was the first African-American elected to represent Alabama in the United States Congress.


Armistice Day

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War.

Jail at Houston

Built in 1868 the Jail at Houston is the oldest standing jail in Northern Alabama.

Observations on a Journy to Naples

WHEREIN the frauds of Romish Monks and Priests and farther Discover'd, 1691.

The Alabama Medical and Surgical Age

The Alabama Medical and Surgical Age was published between 1888-1900.


Ambrotype of Bernice Strange

These ambrotypes are a portrait of Bernice Strange and her diploma from East Alabama Female College.

Cadet Uniforms at Howard

Colonel James Murfee was Howard College's sixth president, installed in 1871.


In Special Collection, we are celebrating the graduation of the Class of 2017 by looking back at commencement materials from Samford University's history.


Scrapbooks have been around in one way or another for centuries. People have always tried to keep memories documented, whether in a diary or a more eclectic form.

A New Name

Before there was a vote, arguments for a new name for Howard College were being heard across campus.


Howard College Incorporation

Howard College was formally incorporated on December 29, 1841.

Educational Opportunities Offered to Veterans at Howard College: A 1945 Recruitment Bulletin

The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights, was passed a year before the end of the World War II.

Matriculation Records

Here at Samford we're getting ready to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of our university.

Reid Chapel

Reid Chapel was to be the center for religious education when the new Homewood campus of Howard College was erected.

Evan Zeiger

Samford's president Andrew Westmoreland sends a weekly email out to all students, faculty, and staff, known as the Monday Mission.

Major Harwell Goodwin Davis

Major Harwell G. Davis (November 23, 1882-August 8, 1977) was President of Howard College from 1939-1958.


Aldine Press 1518

The Aldine Press was located in Venice and began printing in 1494, forty years after the completion of Gutenberg's bible in 1454.


Sarah Hale, Mother of Thanksgiving

Most people are familiar with the story of the pilgrims and Thanksgiving. However, Thanksgiving didn't become a nationally recognized annual holiday for almost 200 years.

Book Clasps

Among the things people have done to decorate books over the years, putting clasps on them is one of the more uncommon today, but historically was pretty popular.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s – Letter from the Birmingham Jail

April 16, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail."

Charles H. Spurgeon Sermon

Charles H. Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers, was the foremost preacher of the 19th century.


Emancipation Proclamation Illustration

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Course Registration

In the past, course registration was done at a specified location on campus.

James Madison Papers

In May of 1787, the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to address the governing of the United States of America.

Centennial Flag

This flag is made of linen and was sewn by hand during the centennial year of the United States by Matilda Baker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Photos from IGHR at Samford University Library

Lady Liberty Libby – Mascot

Libby, whose formal name was, Oser's Lady Liberty, was a registered English bulldog owned by David and Rhonda Oser of Vestavia Hills.


Incorporation of Birmingham

On December 19, 1871 the city of Birmingham was incorporated by an act passed by the Alabama Legislature.

King James Version of the Bible

The Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly known as the King James Version (KJV), was commanded by King James VI & I in 1604 at Hampton Court.

William E. Butterworth Collection

William E. Butterworth III grew up around New York City and Philadelphia.

Judge James E. Horton

James E. Horton was born in Limestone County, Alabama in 1872.

American Civil War

2011 is the sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War.

Julia Tarrant Barron

Julia Tarrant Barron played an important role in Alabama Baptist history.


Entre Nous

2010 marks the centennial anniversary of the Entre Nous, Samford University's yearbook.

Rickwood Field

Baseball and the Barons have been in Birmingham since around 1885.

Family History Drawer

This antique secretary's drawer shows how family history can be found in the least likely of places.


Commencement Exercises Over the Years

Early Howard College

The 1845 Howard College catalog lists a tuition price of $25.00 per term.

Pratt Cotton Gins

Daniel Pratt, Alabama's first great industrialist, was born in 1799 in Temple, New Hampshire.


400 Years of Baptists

In 1609 a group of Christians living in Amsterdam, led by John Smyth, began to practice believer's baptism rather than infant baptism which was the accepted practice.

Gutenberg Facsimile

Johannes Gutenberg (1398 - 1468) a German goldsmith and printer is credited with being the first European to use movable type c. 1439 and the creator of the printing press c. 1450s.

1888 Commencement Invitation

In June, 1888, the first Commencement of Howard College in its new location in Birmingham was held at the pavilion on the border of East Lake.

Nina Miglionico

Nina Miglionico graduated from Howard Collage as the class valedictorian in 1933 with a degree in history and economics.

We Love America

Mrs. Hester Wulffaert, a music teacher at Phillips High School, published "We Love America" in 1939.

Booker T. Washington Letter

In March of 1907, Booker T. Washington was invited to speak to the Theological Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.


War Bond

In 1942 Howard College celebrated its centennial year of classes.

Sherman Bookends

The library collection of Howard College, now Samford University, began as a gift in 1842 to the year-old college from the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

Hearn Collection

The Papers of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Hearn contain information from the years 1907 - 1948.

Lotus Shoes

Foot binding is a custom that began over a thousand years ago among the court dancers of China.

Early Campus Clubs

They may not have lasted long, but they were fun while they lasted

Bulldog Chosen as Official Mascot

The 1912 Entre Nous, states the "Baptist Tigers" were able to hold the "Thin Red Line" to one touchdown in the first three quarters of the season's opening game against The University of Alabama.


1935 Football

Football from the Howard vs. Stetson game.

Howard College Magazine

Soon after the founding of Howard College two literary societies were formed, the Adelphi and the Franklin.

Maud McLure Kelly

Maud McLure Kelly was a pioneer among Southern women.

Fore-edge Painting

A fore-edge painting is a watercolor design painted on the edge of a book.

Homewood Campus

When enrollment increased, Major Harwell G. Davis had a vision for a new and more accommodating campus.


Southside of Birmingham

An early photograph of Five Points on the southside of Birmingham.

1909-10 Rowing Club

In 1909 when Howard College was located in East Lake, the college formed a rowing club.

Dr. Westmoreland

June brought a new beginning to Samford University.

Dr. Corts Inaugural Address

“This is a wonderful occasion and I am deeply indebted to all of you who have chosen to share it with us.”

Civil War Era Surgical Kit

This kit was bought and given to the Special Collection department by William H. Brantley.

Millionth Phone

On June 30, 1966 a telecommunications milestone was reached in the state of Alabama.


Christmas Cards

A selection of Christmas cards found in the archive of the Samford University Library.

Early Howard College circa 1870

This photograph was taken during President James Thomas Murfee's administration.


The Rushton Memorial Carillon was first installed on campus in Reid Chapel in 1968.

Ruhama Baptist Church

Ruhama Baptist Church was organized in March of 1819 and is the first known Baptist church in the Birmingham area.

Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

The images are from the original pages of the speech Governor Wallace gave on June 11, 1963 during his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Widow's Mite

The mite, also known as a lepton, was a Jewish coin and the smallest used in New Testament time.

1902 Football Team

Although football had been played at Howard College prior to 1902, the first official football team was not formed until that year.

Early Birmingham

Birmingham was founded in Jones Valley in 1871, fifty-two years after Alabama became a state.

Sherman Letter

Samuel Sterling Sherman was born on November 24, 1815 and grew up on his family's farm in Bennington Co. VT.