The Jack Friend Research Library

The Jack Friend Research Library at the History Museum of Mobile is open to researchers interested in the social, political, and economic history of Mobile and south Alabama. Located on the second floor of the History Museum (Room 260), the library is named in honor of Jack Friend, a noted Mobile historian whose book West Wind, Flood Tide is considered the authoritative account of the Battle of Mobile Bay.

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Charles Torrey
Research Historian


Hours of Operation
Tuesday: 9am – 4pm
Wednesday: 9am – 4pm
Thursday: 9am – Noon
And by appointment

Researchers are urged to contact us ahead of time to ensure that we will be open, that the collection of interest is available, and that adequate staff will be on hand. 

Highlights of the Collection

The Jack Friend Research Library contains primary source and reference material on a variety of topics. The library is particularly rich in the areas of:

  • Biographies of Prominent Mobilians
  • Mardi Gras
  • Mobile Business Histories
  • Crime & Punishment
  • The Immigrant Experience

The library maintains a broad selection of subject files, compiled over the years by the museum’s research historian, Charles Torrey. A folder-level inventory of these files will be available on this website soon.

Creole Fire Company Records

The Creole Fire Company chronicles the activities of Mobile’s Creole volunteer firemen. This extensive collection includes manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts, and is a supplement to the records of the Creole Social Club (see below.) Chartered in 1819, the club was a vital, and well-respected, organization that not only fought fires but formed a cohesive, recognizable community. The company made small loans to its members, hosted parades that attracted large crowds, and challenged laws that discriminated against Creoles. 

An appointment is required to view this collection.

Creole Social Club Records

The records of the Creole Social Club (1850s – 1880s) include the organization’s monthly minutes, and minutes of certain committees, as well as correspondence, receipts, governing documents, and other business records, and a small selection of photographs. 

An appointment is required to view this collection. 

Caldwell Delaney Collection

A variety of correspondence, articles, manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other published materials relating to the history of Mobile and south Alabama collected over a fifty-year period by historian Caldwell Delaney, the first director of the History Museum of Mobile. This collection is currently being processed and is closed to researchers at this time.

Jack Friend Collection

Research materials collected by the late historian for his book West Wind, Flood Tide: The Battle of Mobile Bay. This collection is currently being processed and is closed to researchers at this time.

Mary McNeil Fenollosa Collection

Ranging from the 1890s to the 1940s, the collection contains the correspondence, books, pamphlets and diaries of Mobile author Mary McNeil Fenollosa who published several acclaimed books on topics ranging from the American South to post-Imperial Japan under the pen name Sidney McCall. For more information about Fenollosa’s life and work, click here.
An appointment is required to view this collection. 

Thomas M. McMillan Collection

The Thomas M. McMillan Collection contains a wide variety of books, manuscripts, and photographs pertaining to the Civil War from well-known figures such as Generals Robert E. Lee, P. G. T. Beauregard, Admiral David Farragut, and Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles. The collection also contains a wealth of information on life in Mobile and south Alabama during the Civil War, including personal and business correspondence, slavery in the Urban South, receipts and bills of Confederate officers located near Mobile, information on the defenses of Mobile, and the Battle of Mobile Bay.

 An appointment is required to view this collection.

William T. Mumford Diaries

Lieutenant William T. Mumford was a Confederate artillery officer who traveled across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana during the Civil War. His two diaries (the first dated September 10, 1862 - October 24, 1864, and the second November 24, 1864 - May 29, 1865) offer vivid details of troop life throughout the war, including movements, events, sickness, gossip, weather, and pay. 

An appointment is required to view this collection. 

Yuille Family Collection
Accession: 1801

The Yuille family immigrated to Mobile from Scotland in the early 1820s. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, clippings, booklets, ledgers, and personal journals which detail the family’s long history and their importance to banking in Mobile. 

An appointment is required to view this collection.

Online Guides and Resources

New records will be periodically added to this section.

Click here to view WWI and WWII casualty lists for Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

Click here to view the Resources and Links page.