From ADAH: Last Call for HRAB REgrant Applications for 2010!

Received the following via e-mail this week from the Alabama Department of Archives and History:


Last Call for HRAB REgrant Applications for 2010!


The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has awarded $50,000 to the Alabama Historical Records Advisory Board (HRAB) to distribute for regrants to local governments and local historical repositories for records preservation projects. This program will be administered by Government Records Division archivists of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). The deadline for applying is October 1, 2010.

Who is eligible for a local records preservation grant?
Any county or municipal government agency (including public libraries), non-profit historical entity (historical or genealogical societies, non-government archives and museums) or circuit court may apply for an award. The HRAB especially encourages cooperative projects between government agencies and non-profit entities to preserve a community’s records.

How do I apply?
Review the grant program guidelines and grant application form on the HRAB website at: http:// Then complete an application form and submit it to the HRAB by October 1, 2010. HRAB staff will review draft applications for prospective applicants through September 17, 2010.

What kinds of projects can be funded?

With only $50,000 to allocate statewide, grant projects must be relatively small and inexpensive. Last year, the board set a $3,000 limit on awards. Examples of eligible projects might include:

Hiring an archival or records management consultant
Conducting a records inventory and improving storage space
Cataloging, indexing, or preparing finding aids for historical records
Undertaking limited records conservation or reformatting projects

What are the project requirements?
Each applicant must be prepared to provide a 50% cost share of the total project budget.
Funded project staff will attend an archival training workshop before starting project work.
Awards will be announced on December 1, 2010. Grant projects will begin in January 2011 and should be completed by September 30, 2011.

Interested in hosting/attending a regrant writing workshop?

Let us know by contacting Tom Turley (334-353-4607; or Tracey Berezansky (334-353-4604; Tracey.Berezansky@archives. at ADAH.

Change in Program Topic/Speaker for June 26th Meeting

We have a change  in Saturday’s program. Our previously scheduled speaker has had a death in her family and will be unable to present the program on Saturday, June 26th. We hope to reschedule her later this year.

We would like to thank Ben Petersen, Department Head of BPL Southern History Department, for filling in at the last minute as speaker. Ben will be presenting a program titled: “Preservation 101, the Basics of Preservation”.

I hope everyone will join us. Remember refreshments/meet & greet at 1:30 pm; program begins at 2 pm.  We will be meeting in the “StoryCastle” on the 2nd floor of the new building.

February 28, 2009 – BGS Meeting – Loose Records Project in Jefferson County

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (excluding Nov. & Dec.) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library.  Guests are encouraged to attend!

Next meeting: Saturday, February 28th at 2 p.m.  Refreshments at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: Gary Gerlach, BGS Parlamentarian and coordinator of the Jefferson County Loose Records project

Program Topic: Loose Records Project in Jefferson County

Details: or BPL-Southern History Dept. at (205) 226-3665

The Loose Records Project is a national, county by county, volunteer program to make older public court records more available to historians, genealogists and the general public.

At the state level, it is coordinated through the Alabama State Archives and locally with the approval of the Jefferson County Probate and Circuit Courts. Gary Gerlach, BGS Parliamentarian, coordinates the Jefferson County project. Gary has outlined the project as follows: “In 1999 members of our group cleaned, organized, and catalogued the court records of Shelby County.  From 2001 to 2005 our group organized 22,262 Jefferson County Probate Court files (1860s to 1936).  Both projects were funded by the county Probate Court system.  A CD index was created for the Jefferson County records and was distributed free to the courts, local libraries and museums.  The Genealogical Society of Utah microfilmed the Jefferson County Probate Court files (512 reels) to make them available world-wide. In August 2005, we began working on the pre-1920 Jefferson County Circuit Court cases. These records are important to the legal profession, historians and genealogists. Wills, divorces, bankruptcies, business disputes and property settlements name family members, neighbors and business partners.  The maps, newspapers, booklets and pictures included as supporting evidence, bring the history alive. There is no index for pre-1908 Jefferson County Circuit Court records and only a partial index for the 1908-16 records.  We have identified 90 boxes of approximately 100 files each that pre-date 1900 and 169 more boxes that predate 1917.  (Only 6 boxes of files dated between 1916 and 1939 are known to exist.)  The files are slowly disintegrating and the hand written script is fading.  Records are flattened, cleaned and cataloged and will be scanned into an Alabama State Court database located in Montgomery to be made available on-line.”

Please join us as Gary Gerlach discusses the accomplishments and current undertakings of the Loose Records Project in Jefferson County.

August 23, 2008 BGS Meeting – Church Records and How to Use Them

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, August 23rd at 2 p.m. Refreshments at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: Elizabeth Wells, Head of the Special Collections Department, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

Program Topic: Church Records and How To Use Them

Details: or BPL-Southern History Dept. at (205) 226-3665

Alabama Methodist Church Records

Laurel Baty shared the following information with the Jefferson County Rootsweb E-mail List. She was kind to grant permission to me to share on the blog.

An index to “Memorial Sketches of the Lives and Labors of the deceased Members of the North Alabama Conference, 1870 -1912” by W. T. Andrews can be found on the webpage of Birmingham Southern College Library, under Special Collections:

Index to Memorial Sketches of the Lives and Labors of the deceased Members of the NAC

There is also an index to Memorials of Methodist Ministers who died in the North AL Conference from 1870 – 2003:

Index to Memorials of Methodist Ministers who died in the NAC from 1870-2003

There is an inventory of Methodist Church records held at Birmingham Southern:

Inventory of Methodist Church Records Held at Birmingham Southern

Visit the Special Collections, North Alabama Conference UMC Archives page for links to all resources:

North Alabama Conference UMC Archives page

Preserving Church Records, part II

Providence #1 Baptist Church, March 31, 2007

I posted last week about a church fire in my birth county of Chilton and encouraged everyone to get involved and work with churches in their area to get the records microfilmed. Well, Friday night another church in Chilton County was set ablaze (yes, it has been ruled arson) and this one strikes close to home.

Providence #1 in North Chilton County was the church home for my GREEN and related families. I have visited the church several times and photographed many of the burials (though not all – the cemetery is quite large). The “new” sanctuary (see photo above) was saved, but the old sanctuary and fellowship hall are a total loss. No word on the fate of the church records.

For a long while now, I have been plagued by this little voice that kept telling me that I needed to get involved more with all of the local churches and work with them to get the church records microfilmed. Well, I guess the Providence fire is the kick in the posterior I needed to actually get up and do something. Maybe that is how things work sometimes… we put off until tomorrow… then it hits close to home and we realize that tomorrow is too late.

Don’t wait too late to get involved. Talk to a local church today about record preservation.

Preserving Church Records

I posted back in November 2007 about church record preservation and how IMPORTANT is was to have old church records microfilmed before an unfortunate incident occurred.

This past week in the county of my birth (Chilton County, Alabama) we had a small church that dated back to the 1860’s devastated by fire. ALL church records were lost, including photographs of all of the former pastor’s of the church. In our Chilton County Genealogy Yahoo Group, we want to try to locate replacement photos of the ministers. But the church records are gone forever – they had not be microfilmed or copied.

In light of the recent fire, I thought the time opportune to give information on how to go about preserving local church records. Many of the links I give below refer to Baptist/Southern Baptist records, but the general guidance is applicable to all denominations.

The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives gives very detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do this here.

A list of Church Records on microfilm at the the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives is here.

Samford University is the repository for the Alabama Baptist Historical Association. See the website for listings of some of the holdings.

Samford will microfilm Alabama Church Records free of charge… if the church wants a copy of the cost there is a charge for that… but no charge just to microfilm them and preserve them. Click here to find out more on this program.

Recently a friend was able to track down the early church records for a church two of my great- grandparents were founding members. In the next few weeks I will make the trip to Samford to drop them off to be microfilmed and preserved for posterity.

Many of our early churches have never had their records preserved. If you know of a church in your community who is in this situation – volunteer to assist in preserving the records. If they are in Alabama, the cost to have microfilmed at Samford is $0 – who can beat that price?