In partnership with the University's Photographic Services Department, the Library is currently working on the Photographic Services Negative Project. The negatives are historical in nature, representing the work of several university photographers and others from the 1930s onward. Many of these negatives are in poor condition and deteriorating; by digitizing them, the Library hopes to preserve these images and provide access for the future. In addition, the Library also holds its own photograph collection, made up of photographic prints from a variety of time periods and sources. Once the Photographic Services negatives have been digitized, the Library will also be adding its own print photographs to the collection. Photographic Services also hosts all current images (1999 to the present) in its own database.
The JSU Yearbook Collection spans the years from 1926-2007. The publication began as the Teacola (sometimes spelled " Teacoala"), a name later used by the University's student newspaper. In 1933, the title of the yearbooks changed to the Mimosa. Preceding and during World War II, no yearbooks were published, so there are no volumes available from 1934-1946. The Library has begun digitizing yearbook volumes starting with 1926, and the project is ongoing.
The Chanticleer, the Jacksonville State University student newspaper, is published weekly and has a print circulation of approximately 5,000. The newspaper began publication in 1943, under the name of The Teacola, which changed soon afterward to The Collegian. The newspaper changed to its current name and tabloid-sized format in 1967. The Library has digitized issues of the newspaper dating back to 1946, and the digitization project is still underway.
The Jacksonville Republican, one of the oldest newspapers in Northeast Alabama, first appeared as a weekly paper in January of 1837, published by J.F. Grant. The paper was in almost continuous publication (with a brief month-long cessation at the end of the Civil War) in various formats until it ceased permanently in 1904. The Houston Cole Library's digital archives of the Republican range from 1837 to December 1895.
The First Hundred Years: The History of Jacksonville State University, 1883-1983 was written and published as a brief history of JSU by Effie White Sawyer, who served as secretary to two JSU Presidents. The book was digitized as part of the Library's participation in the Cornerstone Project, which has since evolved into the Alabama Mosaic digital repository initiative.
The Glen Browder Collection is made up of information, documents, manuscripts, scrapbooks, and other materials relating to the life of Glen Browder, a political scientist and Eminent Scholar in American Democracy at JSU. Dr. Browder's experience as a participant and observer in Alabama and American politics has spanned the latter third of the 20th Century and into the first years of the 21st Century. Dr. Browder served as an Alabama State Legislator, Alabama Secretary of State, and U.S. Congressman. The Collection consists of over 300 boxes of materials that are currently being processed and housed at the JSU McClellan Center. The Library has digitized Dr. Browder's Analytic Guidebook, a detailed overview and finding aid for the Collection.
The Harry Strange Collection of Alabamiana is a compilation of more than 200 items, from letters to Congressional documents, relating to early 1800s Alabama history. The Library began digitization of the collection as part of its participation in the Alabama Mosaic digital repository initiative, and the digitization and creation of metadata for the Collection is still underway. Many of the materials in the Collection are in fragile condition, and they are currently housed in closed stacks in the Library's Alabama Gallery.
This chapter from the book A Dynamic Tradition: The history of Alabama academic libraries from their establishment through 1988, edited by Vicki L. Gregory, was authored by Thomas J. Freeman and Martha Merrill, former Library employees. The chapter recounts the history of the Library from 1836 through 1988, covering the institution, the collection, the librarians, and the physical facilities.
This biography was commissioned, produced, and distributed under the auspices of the Friends of the Houston Cole Library. Authored by various former JSU faculty and administration, as well as Dr. Cole's nephew, this biography chronicles the life of the former JSU president for which the Library is named.
The Library's Oral History Collection grew out of a project assigned by a JSU history faculty member to her American History (HY202) students. Some of the interviews in the Collection were also part of a similar project the professor assigned to her students at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia. The project consisted of student interviews of individuals who lived through some pivotal era of U.S. History, so the interviewees discuss subjects such as the Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and much more. The Collection consists of approximately 250 interviews with accompanying print materials. The digitized interviews are available for listening in MP3 format, with the print materials in PDF.