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Libraries at The University of Alabama provide graduate students with an extensive array of print and virtual online collections that encourage and support a rich and fruitful graduate education. With more than three million volumes and access to more than 47,000 scholarly journals, the Libraries rank among the top forty publicly funded U.S. university research libraries in annual expenditures for collections per Ph.D. program.


The University Libraries' website is available 24/7 from any computer, provides all library users with access to integrated collections, services, and information resources. Currently the University Libraries provide access to over 30,000 full text electronic journals. In addition, more than 300 databases including indexes, abstracts, and other reference resources are linked from the Libraries' website. A growing number of electronic books are also being added to the collection in all disciplines. Course specific software is available on a number of computers within the Libraries.


The Libraries' catalog containing records for more than three million items in all formats (print, microfilm, archival, serials) can also be accessed via the Libraries' home page. Digital collections from the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library are linked through a separate catalog on the home page. Links to books and electronic materials on reserve, to Interlibrary Loan services, and to other self-initiated services such as renewing books and requesting materials from the Libraries' Annex are also available. Faculty and students also have access to research collections encompassing more than one million titles from the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) via interlibrary loan.


Subject specialists work closely with graduate students and faculty to assist them in ordering or locating materials and in advising students and faculty who need specialized assistance with research projects. A list of subject specialists is available on the Libraries' website.  Reference services are available in person, over the phone, and online. The University Libraries provide services for users with disabilities. In addition, librarians provide instruction for courses and can assist graduate assistants and faculty with developing course-specific instruction or tutorials. For students needing digital media for class projects or individual papers, expert assistance is provided in the Sanford Media Center in Gorgas Library.


As research has become increasingly interdisciplinary in nature, scholars may find collections of importance in more than one library. There are eight libraries on the University of Alabama campus. Five discipline-related libraries compose the University Libraries system. Three others are attached to their respective administrative units (Health, Law and Maps).


Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, serving the humanities, social sciences, and arts is centrally located on the University Quadrangle. The Music Library, the Sanford Media Center and the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection are located in Gorgas Library. Three other units are located adjacent to their discipline-related teaching areas: Angelo Bruno Business Library, McLure Education Library, and Eric and Sarah Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering. The W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library is located on the second floor of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall. Under separate administration are the Health Sciences Library located in the University Medical Center, the Bounds Law Library located in the Law Center, and the Map Library located in Farrah Hall.


The W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library contains materials related to Alabama and the Deep South (including manuscripts), rare editions, Confederate imprints, pamphlets, maps, archives of the University, and Alabama state publications.


The A.S. Williams III Americana Collection is located on the third floor of Gorgas Library. The book collection contains some 20,000 volumes and pamphlets, published between the late 17th century and 2009. These pertain to the U.S. presidents and the history and culture of the South. The Civil War is particularly well represented with some 6,000 volumes published from the earliest days of Secession to the present and reflecting the observations and opinions of the Union, the Confederacy, European visitors during the War, veterans, and subsequent generations of scholars. Unpublished portions of the Collection contain archival materials ranging from 19th-century letters, diaries, and newspapers to business records and a wide variety of documents recording the American experience of both the famous and the unknown from the mid 18th century to the Great Depression. Particularly noteworthy are some 12,000 photographs of the South taken between the 1850s and the mid-1930s.


The Libraries serve as the Regional Depository for United States government publications. Through interlibrary loan and document delivery services, the Libraries provide options for obtaining materials unavailable in the University's collections. The University issues each student an Action Card that provides access to library services throughout the University Libraries system. 


The University of Alabama has an academic membership in the Association of Research Libraries, a selective group of institutions emphasizing research and graduate instruction at the doctoral level and supporting large, comprehensive collections of library materials. The University Libraries also hold memberships in the Center for Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Southeastern Library Network, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries.




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