The Digital Exhibit

Selected from more than fifteen archival boxes at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), the communications posted here represent only a small fraction of the voluminous correspondence sent to Governor Miller regarding the cases. The selections here are organized thematically, as well as chronologically, catalogued in three sections: Organizational Appeals, Individual Voices, and International Opinions. The selections include letters from many perspectives and many locales, showing that neither support for nor opposition to the defendants was demarcated by the Mason-Dixon line. 

The images can be accessed through a searchable database of transcriptions, which are linked with the original mostly handwritten letters. We hope that viewing this small fraction of the correspondence online will lead to further interest in the collection at the ADAH in Montgomery, Alabama. Research visits can be arranged by contacting the Alabama Department of Archives and History. And, we hope this exhibit will stimulate journeys to the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, to view original materials from the trials and the campaign to free the nine defendants.


Special thanks to UA American Studies graduate student Margaret Sasser, who pored over the archive collection, selecting letters and identifying significant themes, and to Frances Abbott, Muzel Chen, Amy Garner, Tyler Grace, Jim Hall, John Miller, Debbie Pemberton, Ellen Griffith Spears, and Emma Wilson. Transcriptions and other support provided by William Bomar’s Museum Studies students, Camden Adrian, Melissa Elliott, Ben Flax, Grace Hagemann, Erin Hein, and Caitlin Roberts. Thanks to the Morgan County Archives in Decatur, Alabama, and director John Allison for permission to include the Fred Hiroshige photographs. Thanks also for institutional support from the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, the Department of American Studies, New College, and the Summersell Center for the Study of the South.

To reach the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, contact Shelia Washington through the website: www.scottsboro-boys.org, 428 West Willow Street, Scottsboro, AL 35768. For more information about the collaboration or the online exhibit or to share how you are using the collection, contact Ellen Griffith Spears at egspears@ua.edu. Or, write to Scottsboro Boys University-Community Partnership, New College, Box 870229, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

These materials from the Alabama Department of Archives and History are government records from the Records of the Governor’s Office of the State of Alabama and are subject to the provisions of 36-12-40 Code of Alabama, which covers the rights of citizens to inspect and copy public writings.