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Rare Gardner photo book in Williams III Americana Collection

Back in June of this year, The University of Alabama Libraries acquired one of the most extensive collections of Americana and Southern history in private hands: the A. S. Williams III Collection of History and Culture of the South, which is valued at over $12 million. For more than 40 years, Williams, a Eufaula native and UA alumnus, collected rare American, primarily books, manuscripts and photographs, relating to the history of the United States.

The photography portion of the collection has more than 12,000 photographs from the South and Alabama ranging from the late 1850s to the mid-1930s. Civil War photographs, perhaps one of the finest of its kind and a specialized archive and research collection titled “The Southern Photographer, 1860-1910” are features of this collection. The work of Southern photographers contains approximately 4,000 images from 2,500 different studios.

The collection is housed on the third floor of Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, University of Alabama and is open to the public, with the opening ceremony tomorrow, 9th November. A dedicated website to this extraordinary collection can be found here, and a video here.

Photo: Among the items in the Williams Collection is an extremely rare copy of Scottish photographer, Alexander Gardner's "Photographic Sketch Book of the War." (Photo by Robin McDonald)

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