Alabama Department of Archives and History

Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery: Address, Phone Number, Alabama Department of Archives and History Reviews: 4.5/5

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Alabama Department of Archives and History
4.5
Libraries • History Museums
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The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) has been the home of Alabama history for more than a century. It is the nation's oldest state-funded, independent archival and historical agency. Located in downtown Montgomery across the street from the capitol, the ADAH is the official government records repository for the state, a private collections library and research facility, and also home to the Museum of Alabama, the state's history museum. The Museum of Alabama is the only destination where you can explore Alabama's past from prehistory to the present. Permanent exhibitions at the Museum of Alabama include The Land of Alabama, introducing the geology and natural resources that helped shape the state's history, and The First Alabamians, featuring artifacts, murals, and a diorama that tell the inspiring story of fourteen thousand years of Native American culture. An entirely new centerpiece exhibition called Alabama Voices opened in February 2014. This exhibition covers the dramatic unfolding of Alabama history from the dawn of the 1700s to the beginning of the 21st century. More than 800 artifacts, hundreds of images and documents, and twenty-two audiovisual programs tell the story of struggles over the land, the rise of a cotton economy, the Civil War, industrialization, world wars, civil rights, the race to the moon, and more. Voices taken from diaries, letters, speeches, songs, and other sources convey the experiences of Alabamians who lived through and shaped the history of these periods. The Museum of Alabama provides interactive educational resources for children and families in the Hands-On-Gallery and Grandma's Attic. Here, families and children can dress in period costumes, play with toys from bygone eras, make their own crafts, listen to stories, and much more. The Museum of Alabama is open Monday-Saturday, 8:30-4:30 and admission is always FREE! Visit our Research Room, open Tuesday-Friday and the second Saturday of each month from 8:30-4:30, to learn more about your family's contribution to Alabama's history. Get expert guidance from our staff, work with original records and online resources, and start building your family tree. Come find your story!
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
232 reviews
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interceptpubs
Columbus, IN1,011 contributions
May 2021
We stopped by this museum as part of a quick history tour of the state capitol complex - in addition to the Museum of Alabama in this building, the First White House of the Confederacy is next door, and the state capitol itself is across the street.

As state museums go, this is a fairly small one, but it presents a good deal of history in a relatively small amount of space. The building itself started out as the state's World War Memorial and indeed the building still carries that title above the doors on one side. Inside the first floor are busts and sculptures dating back to this original role - indeed many people today may not recognize who, for example, Richard Hobson or William Oates are, but others like Booker T. Washington are perhaps better known.

The museum exhibits are on the second floor. The logical starting place is, "The Land of Alabama," located in a small room and devoted to the natural history of the state, broken down by region. Next door is another smallish room describing "the First Alabamians" which describes the Native American residents from their entry in the region some 12,000 or so years ago to their ultimately disasterous interactions with European explorers and settlers entering what is now Alabama.

This leads to the main exhibit in the museum titled "Alabama Voices" which provides the history of the state from the 18th to the 21st century - from the contentious early days when the English, French, and Spanish each staked claim to at least parts of the future state to the cotton economy, Civll War, industialization, two World Wars, the civil rights movement, and even the space race.

One final exhibit space, "Alabama Treasure," houses a temporary exhibit on Alabama's role in World War I which provides a fascinating in depth look at the state's role in the conflict from Alabama men and women serving overseas to industry in the state supporting the war effort.

Throughout the exhibits, there are information panels, videos, interactive displays, photos and artwork, and artifacts to chart and explain the story of Alabama and its people.

We spent about an hour here and finished up in the large gift shop on the first floor where there was a large selection of books on various subjects related to Alabama history as well as the usual souvenirs, prints, clothing, etc. Admission and parking are free. Overall, it is definitely worth a stop, but as we have seen bigger and better museums in other states, we had to dock the museum one "ball." It is still very good though.
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joanna B
Hoover, AL16 contributions
Mar 2019
Having played in many concerts in the front of the ARCHIVES I can say I really appreciate this grand building. I took California guests there and they were enthralled with the third floor particularly .It begins with the Giant wooly Mammouth and moves thru then eons of time to modern times..it will hold your interest as it has the latest technology displays and objects...The 3rd floor was designed in cooperation with the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. You can expect excellence and a good use of your travel time.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

orelas1
Bronx, NY6 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
The museum is a nice mix between what you probably already know, and a marvelous display of what you probably don't. You'll know some of the famous faces and names on display, but features on the state's founders, portraits of unknown people, and exhibits on location, topography, and Native American history can define the heart of what you learn. A must visit for history and museum buffs.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Djpoll
85 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
Great artifacts and information about the WHOLE history of all peoples in Alabama. You should plan a good hour and one half to read and review all the information in the many galleries. The main gallery if full if soci history and details about the life and times if all Alabamians from prehistory to black live matter movement. Quite impressive for museum lovers!
Written June 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bearbranchgirl
Washington DC, DC61 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
We ended up with extra time in Montgomery and had heard we should visit the Archives. Wow, The building is lovely and you think you are in for a slow paced tour of busts of famous people, but the second floor has a fascinating history exhibition. I learned alot about the Creek people and how they were treated in this area. There is a wonderful explanation of the impact of Native and European influences on a man in a portrait. Unfortunately our time was cut short by a fire alarm, but running out of the building I spied a million other objects and paintings I'd love to learn more about.
Written August 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kyle H
Birmingham, AL217 contributions
Jun 2018 • Friends
When someone said we were visiting the archives, I was less than excited. But who knew inside the state archives was a FANTASTIC museum? In just a short time you see so many things about Alabama history complete with artifacts and displays and hands on items. It really was impressive. It's a shame more people in AL don't even know about this. If you are ever in Montgoemery, this is 100% worth an hour of your time.
Written July 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lanierpoet
Montgomery, TX50 contributions
Dec 2014 • Family
Alabama has been blessed with a rich history that has been well captured by our Archives and history. Ed Bridges took Milo Howard's work to unbelievable levels. From Indians,civil rights and to space Alabama is a leader. As. we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march our nations movement and healing started in Montgomery. Capture this rich healing history at the Archives.
Written December 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jessica W
Montgomery, AL5 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
The Department of Archives and History is a must see while you are visiting downtown Montgomery. From Creek Indian artifacts to Hank Williams, Sr. memorabilia, you could spend the entire day browsing their collections.Be sure to check out the Spider Martin exhibit while you are there!
Written September 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MississippiMomOfive
Madison, MS52 contributions
Aug 2010
I have 5 children ages 3 to 13. Grandma's Attic is on the second floor of the Alabama Department of Archives and History building. It a fantastic, "hands-on" collection of antique everyday items that children can "try out" or a trunk full of dresses the girls can play "dress- up" . The boys even have old military or band uniforms they can try on and play pretend. There is a real typewriter, old phones, tin dishes, just to name a few "real" items they can play with. If you want to learn a little local history they have "discovery" bins you can pick through and investigate. There is a wooden train and two " real" phone booths to climb into and make a call! If you want to "scissor and glue" you can make your own miniature " patch work quilt". Next door on the same floor you will find an amazing collection of local Indian artifacts and civil war uniforms, weapons and flags, etc. This wonderful experience will cost you nothing but a couple of hours of fun!
Written June 29, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NH Mom
95 contributions
Sep 2019
My husband and I were passing through Montgomery and decided to check out their state history museum-especially since it was FREE! We were very impressed with how well this history of Alabama was presented. There was a good mix of pictures, artifacts and multimedia presentations. As a teacher, I liked the interactive displays and the items that were available to touch-too many museums have everything behind glass keeping children from fully experiencing the artifacts. Can't recommend this place enough if you are in Montgomery.
Written September 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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