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A series of images from the UAB Archives


  • The first class of the School of Dentistry, circa 1948

    Dental students on the steps of Hillman Hospital
    October 2023 Image of the Month

    Recruited to Birmingham by Dr. Joseph F. Volker, founding dean of the dental school, the 52 members of the first class of the School of Dentistry were all veterans of World War II.  The students began studies in the new dental school on October 18, 1948.  With no stand-alone home, the dental school was initially housed in the Hillman buildings of the hospital complex and it would remain there until 1951 and the completion of a new building.  Fifty members of the inaugural class would graduate on May 31, 1952; Walter C. Andrews, Jr., was the school's first graduate.

    Read more on the School of Dentistry website.

    Image ID: A90-01, #0223

  • Medical Center Dormitories and Apartments, November 1945

    Exterior of the Medical Center Dormitories and Apartments
    November 2015 Image of the Month

    When the medical school was established in Birmingham, the university acquired the former Cullom Apartments for use as faculty and student housing.  The 18 apartment buildings fronted South 20th Street and 8th Avenue South. The buildings later held various campus offices, such as the Urban Affairs Institute and offices for anthropology, art, chemistry, biology, and natural sciences. In 1962 some of the buildings were demolished to build the Engineering Building [Cudworth Education Center]. The remaining buildings were demolished in 1969 for the construction of the Kahler Plaza Hotel [Birmingham Hilton Hotel].

    Image ID: MC51, #152a

  • Dean Roy Kracke at his desk, circa 1945

    Dr. Kracke sits behind his desk looking at paperwork
    August 2014 Image of the Month

    Dr. Roy Kracke, became the first dean of the new medical school in Birmingham on August 1, 1944. He had one year to set up the four-year school in the crowded Jefferson Hillman Hospital complex, and the first new faculty were hired by the end of the year. Junior students began clinical training in June 1945. Faculty and staff were moved from Tuscaloosa in September and classes for freshmen began on October 8, 1945.

    Image ID: MC51, #4843

  • Officials break ground in the Medical Center for a building to house the Jefferson County Public Health Department, March 12, 1947

    A group of men stand on the construction site for the Medical Center
    March 2012 Image of the Month

    Participants include second from left James W. Morgan, County Commissioner; fifth from left James E. Folsom, Sr., Governor of Alabama; sixth from left Dr. D. J. Gill, state health officer, and seventh from left Dr. George A. Denison, county health officer. Dr. Alfred A. Walker, chair of the county health board, operates the steam shovel. When the building opened in 1948, the health department was able to vacate space in the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital that was needed for the growing medical school and the new dental school.

    Image ID: MC51, 127i

  • Jefferson Hospital postcard, ca. 1941

    Outside of Jefferson Hospital
    February 2011 Image of the Month

    The county’s new hospital was constructed with over $2 million in federal funding and was dedicated in December of 1940.  It was called “the South’s finest private hospital.”  The first patient was admitted to Jefferson Hospital on February 1, 1941; he was a construction worker who had helped lay the building’s foundation.

    Image ID:  MC51, #127g

  • Class of 1949 tours the Eli Lilly Company, March 1949

    The Class of 49 stands on steps for a photo
    June 2009 Image of the Month

    On the trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, were thirty-five faculty, class members and spouses. On June 3, 1949, thirty-one students graduated from the Medical College of Alabama as the first class to complete all four years of medical education in Birmingham.

    Image ID: MC51, #127l

  • Dean Roy R. Kracke with faculty and students, 1945

    A group of people pose for a picture
    March 2009 Image of the Month

    Kracke (seated third from left) graduated in 1924 from the two-year medical school in Tuscaloosa. In 1944 he was named dean of the Medical College of Alabama, the university's newly established four-year school in Birmingham. The medical school had originally been founded in Mobile in 1859 as a proprietary institution. It was first affiliated with the University of Alabama in 1897 and officially became an academic unit of the university in 1907.

    Image ID: MC51, #127e

  • The hospital complex, circa 1945

    Exterior of the hospital complex
    January 2009 Image of the Month

    The hospital photographed at the time of the establishment of the University of Alabama's Birmingham Medical Center. The tall building (center) is Jefferson Hospital. The building at the right is the newest wing of the Hillman Hospital. This facility had been dedicated January 15, 1929, as a major addition to the hospital. In 1979 the two buildings were officially designated as the New Hillman Building and as Jefferson Tower.

    Image ID: MC51, 127q

  • Commencement ceremony for the Medical College of Alabama, October 25, 1946

    A male and female graduate look at a degree
    October 2006 Image of the Month

    Homer W. Allgood, Jr., and Virginia D. Hamilton examine a diploma from the medical school's first commencement in Birmingham. Allgood was the first person to receive a diploma at the ceremony and Hamilton was the first female in the history of the medical school to receive the MD degree.

Mervyn H. Sterne Library

917 13th St S
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-6364

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL

(205) 975-4821

Reynolds-Finley Historical Library

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Lister Hill Library at University Hospital

615 18th Street S - P235 West Pavilion
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-2275

801 Building

801 5th Ave South
Room 1111
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-5432

J. Ellis Sparks Medical Library

301 Governors Drive SE - 3rd Floor
Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 551-4405

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