The Alabama Department of Archives and History was founded in 1901, becoming the nation’s first publicly funded, independent state archives agency. The Archives identifies, preserves, and makes accessible records and artifacts of enduring historical value to the state.  Thomas Owen founded the agency and served as its first director. He was succeeded by his wife, Marie Bankhead Owen, who headed the archives for 35 years and was the second woman to lead a state agency.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama