Alabama Heritage masthead

Alabama Heritage Celebrates 35 Years of Publishing

the cover of Alabama Heritage magazine, picturing a bust of Poarch Creek Chief Calvin McGhee
The Summer 2021 issue features a cover story on Chief Calvin McGhee and the Poarch Creek Renaissance.

In 1986, under the editorship of founder Suzanne Wolfe, Alabama Heritage published its first issue. Now, 140 issues later, the magazine marks 35 years of publishing.

Alabama Heritage was created with a broad perspective of heritage and incorporates more than traditional history; the quarterly issues tell the stories of Alabama that educate, inspire and entertain.

Bill Barnard, then chair of UA’s history department, recruited Wolfe to help create a state history magazine. In the mid-1990s, proration of state education budgets jeopardized Alabama Heritage’s continued service; however, the community rallied and came to the publication’s rescue. Co-published by The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the magazine’s “Friends of Alabama Heritage” program and corporate sponsors stand as key pillars of the magazine’s long-term survival.

The award-winning feature writing has made an impact in many areas throughout the state from historic preservation to politics. Each year, Alabama Heritage highlights the Alabama Historic Commission and Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of endangered landmarks throughout the state in its “Places in Peril.” The media attention the magazine gave the Queen City Pool in Tuscaloosa inspired a couple to purchase the building. The property is now restored and serves as the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. The magazine’s feature on the Scottsboro Boys inspired support for efforts to pardon the men posthumously, which met with success in 2013.

Alabama Heritage continues to be intertwined with the missions and welfare of numerous organizations around the state. Closely allied with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Alabama Heritage produced special commemorative issues to help celebrate Alabama’s 200th birthday as a territory and state, which culminated in its first-ever book, “Alabama from Territory to Statehood.”

The Summer 2021 issue is available for purchase at the University of Alabama Supply Store, at statewide Barnes & Nobles and Books-a-Millions, and online at Readers can also follow the magazine on social media.