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The UAH Archives and Special Collections

What We Collect: Major Emphasis Areas of the Collection

Special Collections and Archives contains unique materials on specific subject areas collected at the comprehensive level. The major components of the collection include:

Archives of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

In compliance with the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 41-13-21, the University of Alabama in Huntsville assists with permanent storage of important university records, particularly those of permanent historical value. The retention of records is governed by the State Records Disposition Authority (RDA) for the public universities of Alabama. The Archives only receives materials of permanent historical and archival value. The Archives does not house student academic records or financial records.

Aerospace, Flight, and Space.

The University in Alabama in Huntsville has a lengthy relationship with the aerospace, flight, and space industries, and as such Special Collections and Archives collects materials which relate to this field. Thematic collections focus on such topics as the Aircraft Engine Historical Society, the Apollo Program, Lunar Roving Vehicles, Microgravity Experiments, the Saturn Rocket Program, Skylab, and Transplanted Rocket Pioneers. Personal collections from individuals who have made contributions to these fields, such as astronauts, engineers, pilots, and research professionals are also collected. Examples of these type of personal collections include those of David Christensen, Konrad Dannenberg, Rudolf Hermann, Walter Jacobi, Saunders B. Kramer, John P. Rankin and Lawrence J. Thomson.  Special Collections also houses a secondary source collection of booklets, monographs, and technical bulletins which focus on these three areas. Over 100 oral history interviews relating to space history are also housed in the facility.

Alabama’s Tennessee Valley History and Culture.

Manuscript and monograph materials which document the history and culture of the Tennessee Valley region of northern Alabama during the 20th and 21st centuries are a strength of the archival collections. The Frances Cabaniss Roberts Collection, Harvie P. Jones Collection and Goldsmith Schiffman Collectionsare indispensable to researchers interested in the local history of the region. Special Collections also holds a secondary source collection of monographs and journals which relate to this topic. UAH works with other regional archives to find an appropriate home for regional history materials.

Political Papers related to North Alabama.

Special Collections and Archives actively solicits the papers of political figures from Madison County and the surrounding north Alabama region. The Congressional papers of Robert E. Edward “Bud” Cramer, Jr. and Robert E. “Bob” Jones form the core of the political collections.

Science Fiction Literature.

Science fiction literature is collected in a variety of forms, including individual monographs, short stories, and the papers of science fiction writers and organizations. The Willey Ley Collection and Robert L. Forward Collection both contain material related to science fiction, while the Windell Strickland Collection contains over 2,500 works of popular science fiction literature.

Rare Books

While these materials are not a primary collecting area, the facility does house a small collection of rare books.

How to Donate to the Collection

Special Collections and Archives welcomes donations of primary source materials which enrich and strengthen the core emphasis areas of the collection. Donors should contact Reagan L. Grimsley, Head of Special Collections and Archives, to discuss a potential donation. Normally the facility does not accept materials which fall outside of our collections strengths. Gifts of monographs and rare books which support the five core collecting areas are also welcomed.