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President Oliver C. Carmichael Records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-013

Scope and Contents

The record group contains records created or used by Dr. Oliver C. Carmichael, president of the University of Alabama from 1953 to 1957. These records include correspondence, reports, and general records. Of special interest within the Carmichael records is material related to Autherine Lucy, who in 1956 became the first African American student to enroll at The University of Alabama. She was expelled a few days later due to protests and riots on campus. The record group contains four accessions. Each accession arrived at the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library as a discreet group of materials. This arrangement has been retained.


  • 1944 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Oliver Cromwell Carmichael was born October 3, 1891, in Goodwater, Alabama. He attended Alabama Presbyterian College in Anniston and graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.A in 1911 and an M.A. in 1914. In 1913 he received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Wadham College, Oxford University.

After graduation, Carmichael pursued a career in education, beginning as a high school teacher and principal. From 1926-1935 he served as president of Alabama College, now the University of Montevallo. He left Alabama College in 1935 to become dean of the graduate school at Vanderbilt University, where he later served as Chancellor from 1937-1946. From 1946 until 1953, Carmichael was president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

In 1953 Carmichael was named president of The University of Alabama. In February 1956, Autherine Lucy became the first African-American to enroll at The University of Alabama. She was expelled a few day later following riots on campus. In the wake of the Autherine Lucy incident, Carmichael resigned as University of Alabama President in 1957.

Carmichael married Ruth Mae Crabtree. The couple had two sons, Oliver Cromwell Jr., and Fred Henry. He died September 25, 1966.


28 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This record group contains the records of University of Alabama president Oliver C. Carmichael. The records document his years as president, from 1953-1957, and include information on the attempt by Autherine Lucy to end racial segration at The University of Alabama in 1956.


The arrangement of items in this record group has not been completed. Email us at for more information.


Transferred to university archives from the Office of the President, The University of Alabama, 1980-1984.

Processed by

Deborah Nygren; Tom Land; Katherine Lammers, 2013; updated by Kevin Ray, April 2020.
Guide to President Oliver C. Carmichael records
Updated by Kevin Ray, April 2020.
January 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266