Discover Local HerStory at BPL!
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the Birmingham Public Library invites you to utilize its Special Collections to learn more about the lives, roles, and status of women in Alabama ’s past. What you will find is a vast array of personalities, mostly named but many unnamed, who played a vital part in the development of the state’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Speaking of unnamed - once upon a time, in the U.S. Census, womens’ names were listed only if they were the head of the household. That’s right, prior to 1850, a woman’s presence in a male-headed household was noted only by a hash mark. Beginning in 1850, women’s names were included, but not those of slaves. The 1870 U.S. Census is particularly significant for anyone researching women because, from that point forward, all women’s names were included, regardless of race. Census records can be found on several of the library’s subscription computer databases or on microfilm in the Microforms Room. Women are also