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Wade Hall Collection on Arts and Culture

Identifier: MSS-4265

Scope and Contents

The Wade Hall Collection on Arts and Culture contains poetry, correspondence, drawings, ephemera related to theater, music, sports, and crafts, and other items gathered by author and professor Wade Hall (1934-2015) that document participation in arts and leisure activities in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The materials in this collection are arranged into three series: Poetry, Lyrics, and Other Writings; General Arts and Leisure Materials; and Celebrity Materials, which is restricted for privacy.

The Poetry, Lyrics, and Other Writings Series primarily contains poems and song lyrics. Many of the poems are anonymous. The song lyrics include a copy of "In the Baggage Coach Ahead," a popular song by Gussie L. Davis, as well as some folk songs and Christian hymns. There is also a typed science fiction short story, "My First Ride in an Airship."

The General Arts and Leisure Materials Series includes a 1918 postcard to Hendrik van Loon, a Dutch author who won the first Newbery medal in 1922 for his children’s book The History of Mankind; gloves that once belonged to boxer Muhammad Ali; invitations and playbills for concerts and theater performances; and a number of files related to stamp collecting. The series also contains articles about artists including Marian Anderson, Martha Graham, Duke Ellington, and many others.

The Celebrity Materials Series is currently restricted.


  • circa 1800s-2005

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection has been restricted by Archives and Special Collections in order to preserve the original materials. Contact University Libraries Special Collections at or 205.348.0500 for information on access to the restricted portions of this collection.

The rest of the 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

A Union Springs, Alabama, native, Wade Henry Hall was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He continued his education by earning a BS from Troy University, an MA from the University of Alabama, and a PhD from the University of Illinois. He wrote numerous works relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history, including The Kentucky Anthology: 200 Years of Writing in the Bluegrass State, One Man’s Lincoln, and Conecuh People: Words of Life from the Alabama Black Belt. Hall taught English and served as chair of the English and Humanities programs at Kentucky Southern College (1962-1969) and Bellarmine University (1969-1996) in Louisville, Kentucky, for almost forty years. He retired in 1996 and returned to Union Springs, Alabama, in 2006. Hall was an avid collector, focusing primarily on items related to Southern history and culture. His interests included books, music, manuscripts, photographs, and quilts. He donated significant portions of his collections to the universities of Alabama, Troy, and Kentucky as well as to art museums in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia. The manuscripts collection at The University of Alabama gathers together letters, journals, and other papers from the middle of the nineteenth through the whole of the twentieth century and allows researchers to see the world through the lives of everyday Americans, demonstrating the value of ordinary people’s perspectives to researchers interested in American history, literature, and culture. Hall died on September 26, 2015, aged 81, after a long illness.


3.8 Linear Feet


The Wade Hall Collection on Arts and Culture contains poems, correspondence, music, memorabilia, and other materials related to arts and leisure activities in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


This collection is made up of sixty-nine individual collections previously donated by Wade Hall that have been combined to create the Wade Hall Collection on Arts and Culture. These smaller collections were originally processed by Special Collections staff between 2006-2014.

The materials in this collection are grouped into three series and arranged in chronological order within each series, with undated items at the end of the folder list.

Physical Location

These materials are stored at our off-site Archival Facility (AF) and may require up to two business days for retrieval and delivery for use in our Hoole Library reading room. Please email archives@ua.eduor call 205-348-0500 for more information.

Custodial History

Donor Wade Hall acquired the materials in this collection from a variety of sources, including estate sales and private individuals.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Wade Hall, 2004-2010.

Related Materials

See: MSS.3870, Billy Lightelle Vaudeville Scrapbook, The University of Alabama Special Collections;

MSS.3711, Heritage Study Club Scrapbooks, The University of Alabama Special Collections;

MSS.3645, University of Alabama Glee Club Collection, The University of Alabama Special Collections

Processing Information

Processed by Erin Ryan, June 2020.


Guide to the Wade Hall Collection on Arts and Culture
Erin Ryan
June 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266