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The War Years At Home and Abroad

The War Years at Home and Abroad collection contains images of photographs and documents chronicling the lives of veterans and their families during wartime. Also included are oral histories where veterans and their wives tell about their experiences in the military while overseas as well as at home.

Wheeler Collection

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library is pleased to have partnered with the Alabama Historical Commission to digitally preserve a number of rare images and documents from Pond Spring, the General Joseph Wheeler Home. Among the items included in this collection are photographs of Wheeler riding ahead of his men on parade at the Philadelphia Peace Jubilee at the end of the Spanish-American War, three rare letters, and dozens of stereo card images, some showing Wheeler posing with the high command of the United States cavalry forces in Cuba, including future president of the United States and Rough Rider Theodore Roosevelt. There are also a number of intimate family portraits, including one of Wheeler and his daughter Annie, called Comrades by Annie.

Oral Histories

The Oral Histories collection consists of digital audio recordings created from interviews conducted with Shoals area citizens who share their memories of school, work and everyday life in Florence and the surrounding area during the 1900s. We recognize the value of our senior citizens as priceless resources for historical accounts of various aspects of life in our area and will continue to record their stories and present them online as an educational resource.

George L. Bracey

The Bracey collection houses scanned images of photographs taken by local photographer, George L. Bracey [1896 - 1975]. Mr. Bracey’s family has graciously allowed the Digital Archive to include these images in its collection.

Faces from the Past

Faces from the Past is a collection of photographs taken of individuals, couples and families from around the Shoals area. Many images are formal portrait shots while others are casual action shots which give an interesting view of hairstyles, dress, activities and other glimpses of the ‘look’ of the early years in the Shoals area.

Journals, Scrapbooks and Diaries

Journals, Scrapbooks and Diaries exhibits images of the writings and collections of memories created by Shoals area citizens during the early days of Florence and the area. One scrapbook that is featured was created by Miss Winnie Willoughby, a teacher in the Tuscumbia, Alabama school system during the early 1900s. Another is a “commencement album” which shows a collection of notes, photos, newspaper clippings and other items from the State Normal School in Florence, Alabama.


This collection includes various types of correspondence such as letters, funeral notices, birth announcements and wedding invitations and announcements.

Cunningham Collection

This collection contains documents from the Cunningham family who owned a large plantation in the eastern part of Lauderdale County. The two store ledgers, believed to be from the plantation store, contain names of many residents of eastern Lauderdale County.

Ronnie Flippo

Ronnie Flippo is a Shoals native who represented our district in the United States House of Representatives from 1976 to 1991.

Deibert Collection

Lillian and Kirk Deibert settled in Florence, Alabama in 1954 when they purchased the Rolling Acres Stock Farm. Dr. Kirk Deibert was the first board certified radiologist in the Florence area and Lillian raised horses and gave riding lessons. They later donated this land to the city of Florence and in May 2000 it was renamed Deibert Park.

Landrum Collection

G.W.Landrum’s photographs document the growth of the Shoals area in the early 20th century. Landrum's granddaughter, Patricia Landrum Counts, generously left a portion of her family's photograph collection to the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Digital Archive, and we are proud to share these images with the community.

Beckwith Papers

The Beckwiths, as depicted in this collection, were people who were adventurous, well-educated, confident in their own worth - and endowed with an extraordinary measure of good sense and comprehension of their circumstances.  The family is replete, in every generation, with colorful and remarkable people - from Sir Jennings Beckwith, who “delighted in joining the Indians in excursions to their hunting grounds” - to his nephew, Hugh Mercer Beckwith, who went to New Mexico and became involved in the Lincoln County War - to Elizabeth Buchanan Beckwith, the daughter of his nephew, Dr. Jonathan Beckwith, who was able to hold on to her Lauderdale County plantations through the Civil War and changing social and economic conditions.

The Beckwiths were all talented writers, and kept in frequent touch with one another, exchanging news and information on family connections and current political situations. Their letters confirm their reputation for being sometimes affectionate and often irate. We are fortunate to have this record of their thoughts, actions, and adventures, as we can follow the history of our country and our region through their comments on conditions and events of each important era.

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