Home » Alabama Museums » Shelby County Museum & Archives

Shelby County Museum & Archives

Rate This:


1854 N Main St, Columbiana, AL 35051


The mission of the Shelby County Museum & Archives is to safeguard the legacy of Shelby County, Alabama by conserving its history. Housed in the venerable Old Shelby County Courthouse, constructed in 1854, the Museum is recognized by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as well as the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. It is managed by the Shelby County Historical Society and also known as the Columbiana Alabama Museum. Its inclusion in the NRHP dates back to October 29, 1974, while its ARLH designation was conferred on January 25, 2011.

Things To Do

Explore a vast assortment of relics dating back to the Indian era, and delve into the fascinating history of Shelby County by investigating its archives. In addition, visitors can also conduct genealogical research to trace their family lineage with the aid of the museum's comprehensive collection of historical documents.


Tues-Fri- 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Shelby County Museum & Archives in Alabama is a cultural institution that serves as a historical hub for the region. It is located in Columbiana, the county seat of Shelby County, which is approximately 25 miles south of Birmingham. The museum is home to an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight the history of Shelby County from prehistoric times to the present day.

The museum’s collection includes a diverse range of exhibits, including Native American artifacts, Civil War memorabilia, antique tools, and early 20th-century household items. One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is its collection of historic photographs, which document the growth and development of the county over the past two centuries. The museum also has a library of local history books and genealogy records, which are available to researchers and visitors.

The Shelby County Museum & Archives is housed in a historic building that was originally constructed in 1854 as a courthouse. The building has undergone several renovations over the years, but it still retains much of its original architecture and charm. The museum’s exhibits are displayed in the former courtroom, which features a stunning pressed tin ceiling and large windows that provide plenty of natural light.

In addition to its exhibits and archives, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages. These include guided tours, lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, such as a Christmas open house, a Civil War reenactment, and a genealogy conference.

The Shelby County Museum & Archives is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, who work tirelessly to preserve and share the county’s rich history with the public. Many of the volunteers are local residents who have a deep appreciation for the county’s heritage and are passionate about preserving it for future generations. Their hard work and dedication have helped make the museum a beloved institution in the community.

Visitors to the museum can expect to learn a great deal about the history and culture of Shelby County, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the people who have lived and worked here over the years. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the county’s past, from its earliest Native American inhabitants to its role in the Civil War and beyond.

Overall, the Shelby County Museum & Archives is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Alabama. With its extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and archives, as well as its dedicated team of volunteers and educational programs, the museum is an invaluable resource for the community and a fascinating window into the past.

Museums in the Shelby County area:

  • American Village Citizenship Trust: This museum and educational center in Montevallo tells the story of America’s founding and the ideals of citizenship through interactive exhibits, historical reenactments, and programs for all ages.
  • Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington: Located in Columbiana, this museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of America’s first president. It features a collection of Washington-related artifacts and memorabilia, including a lock of his hair and a replica of his Mount Vernon office.
  • Alabama Wildlife Center: This rehabilitation and education center in Pelham is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife in Alabama. The center also offers educational programs and exhibits about native wildlife and conservation.
  • Oak Mountain Interpretive Center: This nature center in Pelham is located within the 10,000-acre Oak Mountain State Park. It offers interactive exhibits, live animal displays, and educational programs about the plants and animals of Alabama’s forests, wetlands, and streams.
  • Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum: Located in Calera, this museum preserves and celebrates the history of Alabama’s railroads. It features historic locomotives and railcars, model train displays, and train rides on a restored stretch of railroad track.
  • Southern Museum of Flight: This aviation museum in Birmingham features exhibits and displays about the history of aviation in the Southeast, with a particular emphasis on Alabama’s contributions to aviation and aerospace technology.
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: This museum and cultural center in Birmingham is dedicated to the history and legacy of the civil rights movement in America. It features exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs about the struggle for civil rights and social justice.
  • McWane Science Center: This interactive science museum in Birmingham offers hands-on exhibits, live science demonstrations, and educational programs about a wide range of scientific topics, from biology and chemistry to physics and space science.
  • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: This museum in Birmingham is home to one of the world’s largest collections of motorcycles, with over 1,600 vintage and modern bikes on display. The museum also features a collection of rare cars and racing memorabilia.

Shelby County Museum & Archives, Columbiana, Alabama history, Native American artifacts, Civil War memorabilia, historic photographs, educational programs, volunteerism, local heritage, genealogy records