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Arkansas Collection - Special Collections

Arkansas Collection in Print

An important function of Special Collections is to support research and writing in Arkansas studies. In addition to manuscript collections, there is a comprehensive Arkansas Collection of print materials, cataloged in InfoLinks with the location code ARK COLL. The Arkansas Collection is funded from the Libraries' budget, but it has benefited significantly from donations of print materials ranging from a single pamphlet to comprehensive personal libraries. It ranges across the spectrum of knowledge from history and religion to arts and sciences and beyond. It includes not only books but also periodicals published by Arkansas corporations, historical societies, churches, schools, and other organizations; sound recordings; a very large map collection; photographs and other images; and the record copies of graduate theses and dissertations produced at the University of Arkansas, along with many other publications of the University. The time period covered by the Arkansas Collection extends from colonial times through the present. A large vertical file contains uncataloged ephemeral items.als and books, exhibits, and television and film productions. Read more about doing research in Special Collections...

Index Arkansas

Index Arkansas is a growing file of almost 100,000 citations to publications about the history, people, places, and passtimes of Arkansas. Index Arkansas includes citations to articles and other information published in:

  • county history journals (from Benton County Pioneer to White County Heritage)
  • selected statewide magazines (from Arkansas Banker to Rural Arkansas)
  • selected newspaper articles from the Arkansas Gazette, Arkansas Democrat, Arkansas Traveler, Northwest Arkansas Times, and the Grapevine.
  • selected book titles (such as Arkansas Biography, Governors of Arkansas, and Untold Stories: Black Sports Heroes Before Integration)

The Happy Hollow Foundation,of Fayetteville, recently awarded a $58,500 grant to expand the Index Arkansas coverage from 1986-2008.

Digital Collections

The graduating class from 1896 poses in front of Old Main “Commence and Go Forth - University of Arkansas Commencement Speeches”
While there is evidence of commencement ceremonies starting as early as 1873, the earliest Commencement Program held in the University of Arkansas archives is dated June 17, 1875. The ceremony was held in a brand new building, which is now known as Old Main.
Fay Jones and Frank Lloyd Wright “Fay Jones and Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture Comes to Arkansas”
The lives of notable architects Fay Jones and Frank Lloyd Wright intersected during the ten-year period from 1949 to 1959. This digital exhibit of photographs, correspondence, lectures, writings, and other media highlights their affiliation, architecture, and theories of organic architecture—the harmonious and seamless relationship between the built environment and nature.
Mary Parler “ The Ozark Folksong Collection,” originally recorded and compiled between 1949 and 1965, is the largest and most complete collection of traditional music and associated materials from Arkansas and the Ozarks in the nation. The physical collection contains audio recordings of songs, oral histories, anecdotes, and tales from over 700 performers. In addition there are transcriptions of lyrics, and music notations. The contents illustrate a rich diversity of cultures, economic classes, and occupations.
Colonial Arkansas Post (map) “Colonial Arkansas Post Ancestry” covers 279 items relating to the historic colonial Arkansas Post settlement and fort in southeast Arkansas and focuses on the names listed in the censuses and inventories of 1723, 1726, 1731, 1743, and 1749. Materials on the Lower Mississippi Valley include maps, letters, land grants, wills, censuses, and genealogical records that describe the peoples and events of Arkansas’s first capital. Items in French and Spanish have been translated. A table of 98 primary family names and their derivatives is included.
Vol Walker Hall, ca. 1940  “Fine Lines, Late Nights: The Converging Histories of Vol Walker Hall and the Fay Jones School of Architecture” is a digital exhibit that explores the history of Vol Walker Hall, a prominent campus building, and that of the Fay Jones School of Architecture, the lively design school which has called the stately building their home for more than 40 years.
40-50-100 “40-50-100: Milestones in Arkansas’s Environmental History” contains close to 40 images and documents regarding the establishment in 1972 of the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas as the first “National” river, the creation of the Ozark Society environmental stewardship organization in 1962, and the 1912 birth of Dr. Neil Compton, the founding president of the Ozark Society.  Events commemorating these “40-50-100” year milestones took place in 2012.
Apples “Fruit-full” Arkansas: Apples is a collection of 69 items on apples assembled from a variety of collections of Arkansas folklore, souvenir booklets, poetry, photographs, speeches, and other documents. Among these are 50 images of apples from color plates in historic nursery catalogs held at the Library of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
BAD Times The BAD Times digital collection includes twenty issues of newspapers published between 1971 and 1977 by the Black Americans for Democracy, a student organization founded at the University of Arkansas in the late 1960s.
George Fisher “Drawing Distinctions: The Life and Work of American Cartoonist George Fisher” provides samples of the life and career of a Little Rock political cartoonist whose work documents Arkansas and American history since World War II.
Brooks Hays Politics and Principles: Documenting the Career of Congressman Brooks Hays” covers Hays' seven-decade career, early life and subsequent work in public service and education. Hays worked in five presidential administrations, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson, and he personally knew seven presidents, from Harry Truman to Jimmy Carter.
Envelope from Werner Gerbauer, 1947 German Prisoner of War Letters” is a collection of 10 letters sent after the war by former German prisoners at Camp Dermott to a prominent farmer and merchant near Parkdale in Ashley County, Mr. E.D. Gregory, on whose farm the men had labored as prisoners.
Memorial Hall, named for John C. Futrell Spaces and Faces: Namesakes at the University of Arkansas” highlights the people and places of the University of Arkansas by showing the names behind the buildings.
Students at Commonwealth College The Commonwealth College Fortnightly offers a first-hand glimpse of life at the labor college, 1926-1938.
Senator Fulbright and Edward Durell Stone "A Calm Voice in a Strident World: Senator J.W. Fulbright Speaks" presents a collection of selected speeches and images.
Protester at Arkansas AM&N Land of (Unequal) Opportunity: Documenting the Civil Rights Struggle in Arkansas” offers a variety of records and photographs that document the history of civil rights in the state.
Washington County Courthouse, 1980s Shared History: Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas” offers 500 photographs of the City of Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas Campus. Shared History was funded in part by grants from the Happy Hollow Foundation.
Arkansas Academy of Science The Arkansas Academy of Science Archive offers volumes 1-60, 1941-2006, of the Academy's Journal (1997 - ) and Proceedings (1941-1996).
Fay Jones Logo Fay Jones Projects pages present a growing catalog of photographs, drawings, and other materials from the collection of this premier American architect.
KUAF Ozark Folk Encyclopedia entries are read by archivist Ethel Simpson in this series of podcasts from KUAF Public Radio.
WPA interview manuscript WPA Early Settlers' Personal Histories of African Americans in Arkansas,” offers transcriptions of questionnaires from interviews with seventeen African Americans interviewed in Arkansas under this project.
Hank Hancock's Runnin' Razorback A History of Arkansas Razorbacks,” a digital edition of: Hancock, Hank. A History of Arkansas Razorbacks. Abilene, TX: The Author, 1976. (Arkansas Collection LD236.2 .H36 1976.)
Fulbright stamp The Fulbright Program, 1946-1996,” an online exhibit marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Fulbright Scholarship Program.
Image from Lee Wilson archives Lee Wilson & Company Archives,” an online exhibit illustrating the role of Lee Wilson & Company in the transformation of the Delta.

Arkansas Links

Links to both free and subscription resoures for Arkansas topics.

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Last updated: October 13, 2017