Images Get People Talking

Gentlemen dining at Tutwiler Hotel from the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

Yesterday, I was in a local restaurant and noticed the photographs on the wall.

Well, first I noticed the group of people were huddled around the images and making comments. There was a lot of "I remember this ...," "Do you remember that?," "I never knew ...," and "Wow! Look at that..."

As I walked near the group, it became apparent that all the photos on display were of bygone days in Jefferson County. Then, I noticed something else: all the photographs were courtesy of the Birmingham Public Library.

I began to think of other local restaurants, hotels, and businesses that have remembrances of the past on their walls, many of which are images preserved at the Birmingham Public Library.

Why do businesses display these photos on the wall? Because these images from yesteryear get people talking.

There's something about delving into history --- especially our local history --- that firmly captures and holds our collective attention.

It’s fascinating to think of how these people lived and what our community looked like back when.

To think that you have just eaten at a restaurant that existed long ago, or a building that had a different life decades ago.

But why wait to take such a nostalgic trip?

From the comfort of your computer or mobile device, the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections allows you to take that trip back in time right now, to see how things were back then and how they looked and if they’ve changed a lot or not at all.

We invite you to take a trip to yesteryear by browsing through images in our Digital Collections. And if you need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact or visit our Archives or Southern History Departments.