Shelby County Alabama Historical Society, Inc.
County Map

See map below for directions

Shelby County Historical Society, Inc.
Museum & Archives

1854 Old Courthouse
P.O. Box 457
Columbiana, Alabama 35051-0457

(205) 669-3912

Organized January 18, 1974
Incorporated February 18, 1974

 History of Shelby County 
 Alabama Bicentennial 
 Books for Sale 
 Courthouse Record Books In Archives 
 Catalog of Library Books In Archives 
 Online Application & Payment for Membership 
 Shelby County Historical Society CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS New
 Shelby County Pioneer Certificate Program Updated
 Ambassador Program 
 General Suggestive Guide for Planning a Shelby County Alabama Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony  
 After 16 Years of Service Bobby Joe Seales Retires ~ Slide Show ... November 1, 2015

Visit  Shelby County Tourism Points of Interest.

The Shelby County Museum & Archives is a member of the  Shelby County's Museum Trail.

Visit  Shelby County Museum & Archives.

Shelby County Historical Society, Inc.

 The Shelby County Historical Society, Inc., a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, is dedicated to the discovery, collection, and preservation of all things related to the history of Shelby County Alabama; to the encouragement, promotion, and sponsorship of historical research and the public dissemination of that research; to the acquisition of physical artifacts and documents and provision of their public display; and to the presentation of educational programs and other activities for our citizens and visitors about our past history and our heritage.

Our extensive and growing collection of research materials includes books, periodicals, microfilm, microfiche, family folders and much more. We have the index and records from 1957 through 1994 of the Bolton Funeral Home located in Columbiana, Alabama. We maintain the original old Shelby County Alabama courthouse records, including such records as (1) Probate Estate Files through 1915, (2) Probate Minute Books and Will Books, (3) Marriage Records through 1982, (4) Divorce Case Files through 1950, (5) Chancery Court Records, (6) Circuit Court Records, and much more! We have all up-to-date published counties of the Heritage of Alabama Book Series. For easy research, we have on microfilm and/or CD such items as (1) Shelby County Newspapers dating back to 1866, (2) Shelby County Deed Books through 1899, (3) 1908 through 1959 Alabama Death Certificate Index, (4) 1950-1979 Alabama Obituary Clippings, (5) 1907-1908 Alabama Confederate Soldiers Census, (6) Alabama Confederate Pension Applications, (7) Shelby County Alabama World War I Draft Registrations, (8) Shelby County Alabama World War I Service Records, (9) 1936 through 1969 Alabama Marriage Record Index, (10) 1950 through 1959 Alabama Divorce Record Index, and (8) 1820 through 1940 Shelby County Alabama Census Records, with index for each. We have equipment for you to view and copy these microfilm/microfiche and CD items. For your convenience, we also have on microfilm Alabama County Marriage Certificates for (1) Bibb, 1818-1929, (2) Chilton, 1870-1935, (3) Clarke, 1890-1930, (4) Coosa, 1834-1925, (5) Madison, 1809-1820, (6) Perry, 1820-1929, (7) St. Clair, 1819-1933, (8) Talladega, 1833-1929, (9) Tallapoosa, 1830-1911, and the Jefferson County 1818-1940 Marriage Index, including the Bessemer Annex. In addition, we have Death Index for the following states (1) Arkansas, 1914-1950, (2) Mississippi, 1912-1943, (3) Tennessee, 1908-1954, (4) Texas, 1903-1963, and Pre 1900 Georgia Death Certificates. Our library also offers additional researching FREE through "", "" and "". The Alabama Historical Commission Oral History Project in 1978, and through a grant received in 2011 from Alabama Historical Records Advisory Board and matching public contributions to digitalize this collection, are now available for your private listening pleasure. To see the index  Click Here.

The Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. accepts and collects materials which provide information on the history of Shelby County Alabama. It is possible that some of these same materials are also available at the Alabama Department of Archives & History and/or public libraries throughout the state. These materials are acquired for researchers' convenience and not with the expectation that they will be kept forever. We also acquire duplicate copies of many items which tend to be heavily used by researchers. The archive's collection consists of books, dissertations, theses, journals, and newsletters, and also contains materials in a variety of formats, such as microfilm, microfiche, and vertical files of unpublished materials. Because the history of Shelby County is closely tied to the history of Alabama, we also collect some Alabama history reference materials.

We are located in the Old Shelby County Courthouse, built in 1854 in Columbiana, Alabama. This building has been designated a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage.

The Museum displays many old Shelby County photographs and artifacts from the Indian era through WWII; including such items as the bell from the Alabama, a well-known railroad engine during its time, Creek Indian artifacts, the 1906 Shelby County Courthouse cornerstone contents removed 24th June 2006, and three chestnut wood cars and several feet of wood track that were found on the 4th May 1974 in the forgotten Confederate Gurnee Coal Mine in West Shelby County. They proudly display a serving for 12 of the (1) Alabama College Wedgwood 50th Anniversary Reynolds Hall dinner plates, 1896-1946, and (2) serving for 12 tea cups and saucers, introduced in 1949, with the Library (Wills Hall).

Effective August 1, 2015 (until further notice) the hours of operation of our Museum and Archives are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. We are temporarily closed, until further notice, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and Holidays. Please come and visit us.

Type of Membership and Annual Dues Effective November 6, 2016
$20.00 Individual  ~  $30.00 Couple  ~  $50.00 Sustaining or Contributing  ~  $100.00 Patron

The informative 8 page Quarterly Newsletter is published yearly in February, May, August and November. These publications provide members with local historical and genealogical information and photographs.

The annual dues are from January 1 through December 31; all renewal dues become due on January 1 and delinquent after February 1 of each year. Those that join after January 1 will be placed on the mailing list and will receive all previously published publications for that year.

Join now ...  Online Payment Membership Application .

Shelby County Pioneer is a certificate program offered by the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. and is designed to identify and honor the memory of the early residents of Shelby County Alabama. For each qualifying ancestor you will receive a beautifully designed 8-1/2" x 11" certificate that is ready for framing. Each certificate is numbered and signed.

Guests and members are always welcome to attend the Quarterly Meetings held at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday in February, May, August, and November at the Shelby County Museum and Archives,located in the 1854 Old Courthouse in Columbiana.

The final Quarterly Magazine was published by the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. in December 2012.

To view searchable digital archives of the Shelby County Historical Society's Magazines, Newsletters and Society Programs [April 1974 thru May 2016] furnished through Alabama Department of Archives & History  CLICK HERE.

The Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. express their appreciation to their members and corporate, governmental, foundation and individual donors for their financial support to maintain and enhance the services of the Shelby County Museum & Archives. The membership to the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. is very important to their success.

Click on image ... Take a virtual tour

For description place cursor over each photograph
Visit the Shelby County Museum & Archives
"A History Museum"
Maintained by the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc.
1854 Old Courthouse ~ Columbiana, Alabama
(205) 669-3912

Effective November 1, 2015 Mrs. Jennifer Maier became the new
Director of the Shelby County Museum & Archives
upon the retirement of Bobby Joe Seales after 16 years.

Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. Receives Recognition From State of Alabama
Alabama Department of Archives & History ... Local Government Records Commission

"Governor Bob Riley State of Alabama Has Presented This Certificate of Appreciation To Shelby County Historical Society"
This certificate is presented in appreciation of your longstanding and successful
efforts to collect, preserve, and disseminate information on historical Shelby County
records, newspapers, and artifacts through your operation of the Shelby County
Museum and Archives. Because of the hard work of your volunteers, these historical
records are available to the citizens of Alabama and will be preserved for future generations.

Shelby County Historical Society, Inc. Receives Most Outstanding Local Historical Association Recognition Award
The Alabama Historical Association
"James Ray Kuykendall Historical Society Award"
Presented To Shelby County Historical Society
in recognition of outstanding achievements and significant contributions
to a greater appreciation of community and state history
Huntsville, Alabama ... April 13, 2012

The Shelby County Historical Society received on April 15, 1994 the "Local Historical Society Award" from the Alabama Historical Association.
The Local Historical Society Award honors a local historical society in Alabama for outstanding achievement in historical preservation and for significant contributions
to a greater appreciation of the history of the community and state.

Seales passes gavel to Olive
Outgoing President Bobby Joe Seales
after serving 16 years passes the gavel to
Incoming President Fred Olive on November 1, 2015

Officers & Board of Directors
Meet the Officers and Board of Directors
[left to right] Bobby Joe Seales, Rachel Clinkscale, David Nolen, Fred Olive, Ricky Harmon, Bill Justice, Peter Datcher,
Jim Day, Scott Martin, Jim Lewis, Glenn Nivens, Clem Muck, Jennifer Maier
Not pictured: Josh Arnold, Della Fancher, Tim Nettles

2016-2017 Officers:
 Dr. J. Fred Olive, III  President
 William R. "Bill" Justice  1st Vice President
 Dr. James S. "Jim" Day   2nd Vice President
 Scott A. Martin  3rd Vice President
 R. Glenn Nivens  Recording Secretary
 Jennifer Maier  Treasurer
 Rachel Clinkscale  Historian

Board of Directors:
2016-2021  Ricky Harmon  David L. Nolen  Bobby Joe Seales
2014-2019  Albert "Peter" Datcher, Jr.   Herbert J. "Jim" Lewis, III  Vacant
2012-2017  Joshua D. "Josh" Arnold  Della Fancher  Timothy D. "Tim" Nettles, DMD

Advisory Board:
 Vacant  Vacant  Vacant  Vacant

(1) Kenneth R. Penhale; 1974-1975, 1980, 1983-1988, 1991-1993, 1998-1999 (2) Barbara Baker Roberts; 1976-1977 (3) Miriam Rodgers Fowler; 1978-1979
(4) Tom O. Caldwell, M.D.; 1981-1982 (5) Mary Roach; 1989-1990 During her term in 1990 she had a stroke and First Vice-President Jane Martin served as acting President
(6) Charles A. Butler; 1994-1997 During his term in 1997 he died and his wife, Nancy Butler, who was First Vice-President completed his term (7) Bobby Joe Seales; 2000-2016

Directions To
Shelby County Historical Society, Inc.
Museum & Archives

1854 Old Courthouse
Columbiana, Alabama