New in the ADAH Collections: Alabama Film Office, Surface Mining Commission, and More

In FY 2020, 45 state agencies transferred permanent records to the ADAH Government Records Collections. Created between 1960 and 2020, these records represent the portion of public records which the State Records Commission has identified as having ongoing historical significance and research value.

Read on for highlights of a few recent additions to the ADAH Government Records Collections.

Film Office

Sharecropper cabin in Prattville, Alabama.

The Alabama Film Office fosters economic development opportunities in Alabama by promoting filming locations in the state to the movie and television industry. The Film Office scouts and photographs Alabama locations to highlight potential filming sites for production teams. The records transferred to the ADAH include film negatives, slides, and photographs of diverse landscapes and landmarks in Alabama dating from 1980 to 2000.

Other items of interest from the Film Office include scripts of movies from Alabama writers or movies filmed in Alabama. A script for the 1994 film Forrest Gump, for example, includes notes or “marginalia” that show the office’s efforts to promote Alabama locations for the film.

Surface Mining Commission

The Alabama Surface Mining Commission transferred permit files spanning from 1983 to 1989 to the ADAH. The permits document licensees’ authorization to work at surface coal mines in the state. Permit files are the most complete record of each mining operation, containing engineering and design plans; hydrologic/geologic studies; maps; archaeological and historic studies; and other historically valuable information.

Alabama House of Representatives

In an initiative to save records related to COVID-19, the ADAH received digital photographs and records from the Alabama House of Representatives documenting the legislative session during the pandemic. To ensure that these historic records documenting the pandemic and the government’s response are preserved for the future, the ADAH has encouraged state agencies to set aside and secure COVID-19 documentation as it is created.

Speaker of the House, Rep. Mac McCutcheon, Chief of Staff Mark Tuggle, and Sound Operator Holle Christiansz.

Alabama Office of the Secretary of State

The Secretary of State’s Office transferred electronic publications, administrative files, and photographs to the ADAH. These records include annual and quarterly reports, brochures, press releases, programs for special events, and award nomination letters.

State Publications

State agency publications such as newsletters, bulletins, and annual reports provide valuable insight into an agency’s activities. The Records Management Section collects these publications from agencies on an annual basis. In FY 2020, 59 state agencies submitted a total of 1,383 publications, which are available in the ADAH Electronic Records Collections (Preservica).

Rosters and Registers of State Licensing Boards

In an initiative launched in FY 2020, Records Management Section staff collected electronic registers and rosters from 31 state licensing boards. Licensing boards traditionally produced rosters in the form of printed volumes on an annual basis. These volumes serve two primary functions: (1) license verification (e.g., a current/former licensee seeking verification of his/her own licensure), and (2) genealogical/familial research (e.g. a genealogist can verify where in the state an ancestor practiced medicine in the early 1900s).

Many of Alabama’s licensing boards haven’t created printed rosters in ten or twenty years. These days, licensee information is predominantly stored in electronic databases. To capture this information for future researchers, the ADAH has begun collecting digital annual reports of licensure in lieu of printed volumes.

Schedule a visit to learn more!

If any of these collections pique your interest, schedule a visit to the ADAH Research Room to access records onsite. The ADAH is currently providing onsite access to the Research Room by appointment only. Additional information is available on the department’s website under the Research tab: https://archives.alabama.gov/research/reservation_requests.html.

See an overview of our 2020 State Government Permanent Records Transmittals below:

Researching from home? Check out digitized records in the ADAH Digital Collections and born-digital records in the ADAH Electronic Records Collections (Preservica).

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