Resources for the 1957 Little Rock Integration Crisis

Central High postcard, courtesy of the Curt Teich Postcard Archive

The following list provides an introduction to the holdings in Special Collections which may be related to this topic. Please consult the University of Arkansas Libraries' catalog or contact Special Collections to obtain the latest information about additional holdings.

Arkansas Council on Human Relations Records 1954-1968, 18 linear feet. Materials in a variety of formats pertaining to the creation, organization, and functioning of the Council (an affiliate of the Southern Regional Council), and to the activities of its officers, directors, staff, members, supporters, and opponents in regard to the legal, political, moral, educational, religious, social, economic, and other aspects of race relations in Arkansas. Includes indexes of correspondents, subjects, and file titles.

Daisy Bates Papers (MC 582) 1948-1986, 8 linear feet. Materials include correspondence of Mrs. Bates and of her husband, L. C. Bates; records pertaining to Mrs. Bates's work with the Mitchellville Office of Economic Opportunity Self-Help Project, 1968-1980; memorabilia, honors, and awards; photographs; newspaper clippings; and, recorded interviews with Mrs. Bates and others.

Virgil T. Blossom Papers (MC 1364) 1952-1960. After serving as Superintendent of Schools in Fayetteville, Blossom became Superintendent of Schools in Little Rock in 1953. Blossom began working on a plan to integrate Little Rock's public schools shortly after the Supreme Court found segregation to be unconstitutional. After an unsuccessful court challenge, Little Rock's plan was put into operation in the fall of 1957. Blossom became a central figure in the controversy, and he was removed as superintendent in November 1958. He wrote an account of the crisis, published as a series of articles, "The Untold Story of Little Rock," in the Saturday Evening Post (May 23 - June 27, 1959) and then as a book, It Has Happened Here.

Arthur Brann Caldwell Papers (MS C127 209) 1912-1975. 8 1/2 linear feet of a variety of materials created and collected by attorney Caldwell, whose career with the United States Department of Justice (1941-1968) included positions as Chief of the Civil Rights Section and as assistant to the Assistant Attorney-General for the Civil Rights Division. In Series 3, materials pertaining to the integration of Little Rock's Central High School include a chronology of events; texts of statements by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Governor Orval Faubus, Attorney-General's office personnel, and Warren Olney, III; Caldwell's correspondence with L. Brooks Hays, Archie F. House, and William H. Hadley; and magazine articles.

Colbert S. Cartwright Papers (MC 1026) 1954-1965, 14 volumes on microfilm. Scrapbooks, created by Cartwright, include texts of his sermons, correspondence, and clippings. Cartwright, who was minister of the "liberal" Pulaski Heights Christian Church in Little Rock, was active in support of improving human relations, especially those involving racial issues.

Citizens' Councils of America Collection (MS C49) 1947-1969. 110 items including books, pamphlets, newspapers, leaflets, reprints, and other material published or distributed by the Citizens' Councils to promote their political and social views on federalism, public schools, communism, ethnology, and, especially, race relations in the United States.

Orval Eugene Faubus Papers 1910-1978, 504 linear feet. Materials created, received, or collected by Faubus or by staff members of the Arkansas gubernatorial office (1955-1967). Pertinent materials may be found in Series 14 "Records Pertaining to Little Rock Integration Crisis" and Series 15 "Records Pertaining to Race Relations in Arkansas." as well as in other series, especially those for photographs, sound recordings and motion picture films, clippings, subject files, and general correspondence. Includes alphabetical index to correspondents.

Oren Harris Papers 1926-1966, 165 linear feet. Materials created by Harris during his service in public office, including the period from 1941 to 1966 when he served in the United States House of Representatives. The folder label index identifies materials under the headings, "Civil Rights" and "Integration." Includes alphabetical index to folder labels and correspondents.

L. Brooks Hays Papers 1915-1981. 93 linear feet. Materials created and collected by Hays during his service in public offices and social welfare organizations. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1943 to 1959. Materials pertaining to integration in Little Rock may be found in several series of these papers, especially series 3 and 4. (Related item, in the Audio Visual Department, is a videocassette [F/415.3/>H39/B7/1980]), Brooks Hays, Return to Little Rock [Little Rock, Ark.?]: Arkansas Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, 1980.)

Elizabeth Huckaby Papers (MC 428) 1957-1978, 1 linear foot. Journals, correspondence, notes, interview transcripts, school publications, and other material created or collected by Mrs. Huckaby, who served as Vice Principal for Girls during the first year of integration at Central High School in Little Rock. The collection also contains two drafts of her book, Crisis At Central High.

Little Rock Central High Integration Crisis, Federal Bureau of Investigation Records (MC 1027) 1957, 1 linear foot. Photocopies of interviews and other records created during investigations resulting from actions taken during the integration of Central High School. (From Bureau File Number 4412284, series 855, 933, 937, 971, and 990.)

Little Rock Desegregation Crisis, Oral History Interview Transcripts 1972-1973, 10 items. Photocopies of typewritten transcripts of oral history interviews from Columbia University's Oral History Collection. Includes interviews with J. Bill Becker, Orval Eugene Faubus, Nathaniel R. Griswold, Archie F. House, Elizabeth Huckaby, Robert Lile, Sidney S. McMath, Terrel E. Powell, Everett Tucker, and Wayne Upton. (Related material in the Audio Visual Department [Microfiche/LC/214.23/.L56/B42/1977 through LC/214/214.23/.L56/W54/1977], including interviews with J. Bill Becker, Nathaniel R. Griswold, Archie F. House, and Sid McMath as well as interviews with Richard C. Butler, Brooks Hays, Irene Samuel, E. Grainger Williams, and Henry Woods.)

Herbert L. Thomas Papers (MC 437, etc.) 1899-1979, 10 linear feet. Correspondence, speeches, clippings, and other material created, received, or collected by businessman Thomas, who founded the First Pyramid Life Insurance Company of America. Thomas was active in politics, economic development of Arkansas, and the voluntary, cooperative integration of public schools in Arkansas. Materials pertaining to integration in Little Rock can be found in several series in these papers.

On the Web

The Gazette Project

Transcriptions of oral-history interviews of members of the staff of the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat, many of whom covered these events and give eyewitness accounts.

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
  • Phone: 479-575-4104
  • Text/SMS: 479-385-0803
  • Toll-free: 866-818-8115
  • Fax: 479-575-6656