Shelby County Museum & Archives

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Shelby County Museum & Archives


Shelby County; Museum; Archives; Courthouse; Shelby County Historical Society Inc.; Genealogy; Maps; Deeds; Marriage Records;


Our extensive and growing collection of research materials includes books, periodicals, microfilm, microfiche, family folders and much more. We have the index and records from 1957 through 1994 of the Bolton Funeral Home located in Columbiana, Alabama. We maintain the original old Shelby County Alabama courthouse records, including such records as (1) Probate Estate Files through 1915, (2) Probate Minute Books and Will Books, (3) Marriage Records through 1982, (4) Divorce Case Files through 1950, (5) Chancery Court Records, (6) Circuit Court Records, and much more!  We have all up-to-date published counties of the Heritage of Alabama Book Series. For easy research, we have on microfilm and/or CD such items as (1) Shelby County Newspapers dating back to 1866, (2) Shelby County Deed Books through 1899, (3) 1908 through 1959 Alabama Death Certificate Index, (4) 1950-1979 Alabama Obituary Clippings, (5) 1907-1908 Alabama Confederate Soldiers Census, (6) Alabama Confederate Pension Applications, (7) Shelby County Alabama World War I Draft Registrations, (8) Shelby County Alabama World War I Service Records, (9) 1936 through 1969 Alabama Marriage Record Index, (10) 1950 through 1959 Alabama Divorce Record Index, and (8) 1820 through 1940 Shelby County Alabama Census Records, with index for each.  We have equipment for you to view and copy these microfilm/microfiche and CD items. For your convenience, we also have on microfilm Alabama County Marriage Certificates for (1) Bibb, 1818-1929, (2) Chilton, 1870-1935, (3) Clarke, 1890-1930, (4) Coosa, 1834-1925, (5) Madison, 1809-1820, (6) Perry, 1820-1929, (7) St. Clair, 1819-1933, (8) Talladega, 1833-1929, (9) Tallapoosa, 1830-1911, and the Jefferson County 1818-1940 Marriage Index, including the Bessemer Annex. In addition, we have Death Index for the following states (1) Arkansas, 1914-1950, (2) Mississippi, 1912-1943, (3) Tennessee, 1908-1954, (4) Texas, 1903-1963, and Pre 1900 Georgia Death Certificates. Our library also offers additional researching FREE through "", "" and "". The Alabama Historical Commission Oral History Project in 1978, and through a grant received in 2011 from Alabama Historical Records Advisory Board and matching public contributions to digitalize this collection, are now available for your private listening pleasure. To see the index  Click Here.

The Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. accepts and collects materials which provide information on the history of Shelby County Alabama. It is possible that some of these same materials are also available at the Alabama Department of Archives & History and/or public libraries throughout the state. These materials are acquired for researchers' convenience and not with the expectation that they will be kept forever. We also acquire duplicate copies of many items which tend to be heavily used by researchers. The archive's collection consists of books, dissertations, theses, journals, and newsletters, and also contains materials in a variety of formats, such as microfilm, microfiche, and vertical files of unpublished materials. Because the history of Shelby County is closely tied to the history of Alabama, we also collect some Alabama history reference materials. If you would like to offer reference material to the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. please contact Bobby Joe Seales.

We are located in the Old Shelby County Courthouse, built in 1854 in Columbiana, Alabama.  This building has been designated a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage.

The Museum displays many old Shelby County photographs and artifacts from the Indian era through WWII; including such items as the bell from the Alabama, a well-known railroad engine during its time, Creek Indian artifacts, the 1906 Shelby County Courthouse cornerstone contents removed 24th June 2006, and three chestnut wood cars and several feet of wood track that were found on the 4th May 1974 in the forgotten Confederate Gurnee Coal Mine in West Shelby County. They proudly display a serving for 12 of the (1) Alabama College Wedgwood 50th Anniversary Reynolds Hall dinner plates, 1896-1946, and (2) serving for 12 tea cups and saucers, introduced in 1949, with the Library (Wills Hall).

Effective August 1, 2015 (until further notice) the hours of operation of our Museum and Archives are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. We are temporarily closed, until further notice, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and Holidays. Please come and visit us. 

Information above from Shelby County Museum & Archives Website

2013 article about updates to 1854 Shelby County Courthouse which houses Museum and Archive.

Historical Marker Database record of 1854 Shelby County Courthouse.


Liz Clayton, Shelby County Historical Society


Alabama Cultural Resources Survey


Original Courthouse built in 1854


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