Minnie Mitchell Archives
The research and study activities of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society are concentrated in the Minnie Mitchell Archives Building. Constructed in 1980, this building, located on the Oakleigh campus, houses our collection of Mobile maps, documents, family papers, photographs, rare books, memorabilia, and artifacts.
Among the photographs housed in our collection is the William E. Wilson Photographic Collection of 1894-1905. William E. Wilson came to Charleston, South Carolina from London, England in 1855 as a child. He began to study photography in New York and moved to Mobile in 1894. Here he compiled an impressive history of the city, which includes 2000 original glass negatives that may be viewed as 8x10 prints.
Historic Mobile Preservation Society also houses the George B. Rogers architectural library. This 404-volume collection includes books on topics ranging from landscape architecture to hardware catalogs and personal photograph albums. These pieces offer a powerful insight into the mind and imagination of one of the city's most notable architects.
The extensive files of the Bedsole Trust are also available for researchers in the Reading Room. These holdings refer to the City Hospital Restoration Board and the multi-million dollar adaptive use restoration of the 1836 City Hospital.
The archive holds the first edition of the Mobile Commercial Register, Volume 1, Number 1, dated December 10, 1821, numerous clippings and memorabilia, and the log book of the Steamer S. E. Meaher, 1855.
The holdings are constantly updated with the addition of clippings, books, historical records, photographs, and related items including an oral history collection, which is a continuing project.
Samples of our collection can be viewed through Alabama Mosaic; under Historic Mobile Preservation Society we have posted; "The Photographs of Albert Sandoz" consisting of 17 images made during the 1890s and "The William E. Wilson Collection" consisting of 100 images dated 1894 - 1907.
We welcome and encourage researchers to visit our archives. We are currently open by appointment only, Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm.
Please email us or call 251-432-1281.