Birmingham Yearbooks Research
|Yearbooks at the Birmingham Library|
In the summer of 2006 I visited the Birmingham Library to research old yearbooks on file. I soon discovered some tips that I wanted to share with anyone wishing to attempt the same endeavor. Upon finally locating the correct building after getting the runaround, I soon discovered that you can't just sit down and browse through yearbooks. The librarian, or historian as I think they are called, told me I need to fill out a form and request the piece of information I wanted to view. I told her I wished to look through old yearbooks whereby she asked which ones. I stated "all of them" and she said "you will need to fill out this request form identifying the specific piece of information you wish to view."
Now I am a somewhat patient person but I could see this was going to be an adventure. I asked if they had a list of the yearbooks in stock and she stated they did but it was on the internet. I was able to get online and download a list of the yearbooks and again approached the front desk with my request. I told her " I want to see all of these" as I handed her the list. That was the moment I learned the Librarian had absolutely no little sense of humor. "We are short staffed on Saturdays and there is no way I can get all these 500 yearbooks from upstairs. "No problem I can go upstairs and get them myself." Not even a smile crossed her lips.
It was at that moment I discovered that it was not going to be a stellar day for the research team of my wife and I. Reluctantly I gave her a list of maybe ten annuals out of the list I had download that included over 5000 yearbooks. I remember thinking this was going to take forever as I waited for maybe thirty minutes for her to return and tell me she could only find about three of the yearbooks I requested. She stated they were still being logged in and if I would return during the week they could better help me. Well, a return trip for me is about 250 miles so that was not a option.
I was able to regroup after my initial disappointment and actually managed to get through a good many yearbooks that day. Since that little adventure I decided to put together a list of the yearbooks the Birmingham Library stated they have on the property. I will admit it would be easier to break in the place after dark to get anything done but if you decide to abide by the law and visit the Library during normal business hours I would suggest going during the week.
Here is a link to the list and I included the yearbooks I was able to look through on that day or have been able to find elsewhere. The list includes just over 500 yearbooks from the Birmingham area.
The first night game played between high school teams in the state occurred on September 23, 1927 when Pike Road and Cloverdale met in the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.