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A series of images from the UAB Archives

Access to Collections

Processed collections are open for research by the University community and by outside researchers.

Materials are kept in closed stacks and are not open for browsing by the public. Patrons are not allowed to pull material; a staff member will bring requested material to the Reading Room.

Some material may not be available for research where state and federal legal or confidentiality requirements pre-empt open access. The staff can provide additional information on these materials onsite.


The papers and materials housed in the UAB Archives may be protected under Title 17 of the United States Copyright Law. It should be noted that the UAB Archives may not own the copyright or intellectual rights to some material in its collections. The UAB Archives reserves the right to refuse duplication requests that might involve a violation of copyright law or where restricted by state or federal requirements. Final determination in all such cases rests with the University Archivist.

Staff can provide additional copyright information on site.

Publication of Material

Patrons should provide appropriate credit for all material used in their research, publication, presentation, exhibition or any other display in any media format.

  • Credit shall be provided for "the UAB Archives, the University of Alabama at Birmingham." Proper citation forms can be provided to patrons onsite.
  • Details on usage and publication fees will be provided to patrons onsite.

Note: In granting permission to use materials, the University of Alabama at Birmingham does not waive any proprietary rights in the material. The patron takes full responsibility for securing permission from the owner of the copyright or literary right in the event of publication. The patron also assumes responsibility for obeying any privacy or legal regulations regarding the use of material.

Reading Room Policies

Patrons are required to complete a registration form prior to using archival materials. Patrons should bring their photographic identification (i.e. valid driver's license, UAB issued ID cards) with them to the Reading Room.

Patrons should bring only those items (i.e. paper and pencils) needed for research into the Reading Room.

  • Personal computers are permitted in the Reading Room; carrying cases must be stored in the lockers provided.
  • Patrons may not bring briefcases, purses, backpacks or other such personal items into the Reading Room; these items must be stored in the lockers provided.
  • Hand-held scanners are not permitted in the Archives.
  • Please be considerate of others by not using cell phones in the Reading Room.

Eating, drinking and smoking are not allowed in the Reading Room.

Always use a pencil when conducting research. Pencils can be provided onsite.

A staff member will speak with you about your research interest and the proper use of archival material. The staff will bring requested material to you upon completion of a Materials Request Form.

  • All material must be used in the Reading Room and may not be removed for any reason.
  • Patrons will be provided with a limited amount of requested material at a time and staff will monitor use of all material.

Because of the irreplaceable and often fragile nature of many of the materials both staff and patrons have the obligation of preserving them for future use.

  • Patrons should exercise the greatest care in the use of materials by not marking, tearing or otherwise damaging them.
  • Material may not be leaned on, folded, written on, traced over or handled in any way that may cause damage.
  • Extreme care should be used when working with photographs, negatives and oversized items such as scrapbooks.
  • Patrons should be careful when using photographs and should not write on top of the image. With photographs and certain other material patrons will be required to wear cotton gloves that will be provided by the staff.

Please maintain documents in the existing order in which they are found in the folders, and the folders in the existing order within each box. If you feel something is misplaced or missing, please consult with the staff.

Before leaving the Reading Room, patrons should return all material to the staff. Archive patrons should also return documents to folders and folders to boxes.


In most cases, patrons can request photocopies of materials or reproductions of photographic images.

  • A staff member can provide information on costs involved and will instruct patrons on how to tag material for duplication.
  • Costs for photocopies or photograph reproductions are due prior to the release of the duplication order.
  • For individual research and scholarship – and by following the conditions noted below – photographs may be made with personal cell phones or cameras for the following material only: Published items such as a book, newsletter, newspaper, yearbook, campus directory, journal, magazine, pamphlet, etc.

Conditions that apply for the use of personal photographic devices with published items.

  • Completion of a duplication permission form is required
  • Flash photography is not permitted
  • Items may not be pressed in such a manner that bindings may be damaged
  • Non-published items in the collection, including archival papers, manuscripts, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, etc., will continue to be photocopied or scanned for patrons -- fees apply
  • Photographs are not eligible for personal photography

The UAB Archives reserves the right to refuse duplication requests that might involve a violation of the United States Copyright Law or where restricted by state or federal requirements. Final determination in all such cases rests with the University Archivist.

Requests for photocopies or photographic reproductions may also be refused for material deemed too rare and/or fragile for handling. The University Archivist shall assess and make the final decision on all such requests.

The staff will make all photocopies at the fees detailed on the duplication request form. Photocopy requests of more than a couple of pages may not always be available on the day requested.

Duplicates of photographs may be requested for personal use or publication. Photographs may not be photocopied. Please discuss photographic needs with the staff, further details on usage, reproduction costs and publication fees will be provided onsite. Patrons will be required to pay the duplication costs incurred by the UAB Archives and appropriate processing, usage and/or publication fees.

  • Digital reproductions may be available for collection items and images.  Scanning is performed by the staff of the UAB Archives and may not be available the day requested.  All decisions on the reproduction of material is at the discretion of the University Archivist.  The staff will discuss procedures for scanning onsite.

Mervyn H. Sterne Library

917 13th St S
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-6364

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL

(205) 975-4821

Reynolds-Finley Historical Library

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Lister Hill Library at University Hospital

615 18th Street S - P235 West Pavilion
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-2275

801 Building

801 5th Ave South
Room 1111
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-5432

J. Ellis Sparks Medical Library

301 Governors Drive SE - 3rd Floor
Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 551-4405

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