Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives Celebrates Six Years


The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) will be celebrating its sixth year anniversary with an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Fri., March 3, 2017, at the Male and Female Academy in Powhatan, announced Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst.

The open house will feature presentations by staff members and past recipients of the NEARA award for historical scholarship and tours of the facility. Light refreshments will be served.

NEARA is a branch of the Arkansas State Archives. NEARA’s mission is to collect and preserve primary and secondary source materials pertaining to the history of northeast Arkansas. Its collections span a 16-county region dating back to 1806. The opening of NEARA in 2011 marked the return of the original Lawrence County court records to Powhatan from Arkansas State University, where they had been housed for several years.  These records constitute some of the earliest records on Arkansas, dating back to the early 19th century. Lawrence County was created in 1815 as part of Missouri Territory and was the second of five large counties in what became Arkansas Territory in 1819.

NEARA’s holdings include traditional archival material such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, newspapers, as well as broadsides, books, periodicals, and other print resources. The core of NEARA's holdings includes approximately 500 cubic feet of Lawrence County government records, including court cases, marriage records, probate records, and pension records, donated by the Lawrence County Historical Society.

“Arkansas is fortunate to have these early territorial papers,” remarked State Archives Director Dr. Lisa Speer, “and we are grateful to the foresight of the Lawrence County Historical Society members who saved these historical records from destruction.” With the bicentennial of Arkansas Territory coming up in 2019, Speer noted that she expects these records and NEARA to receive increased attention and use.

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington.

Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Friday, February 17, 2017

ASA launches new Japanese American internment digital collection



On February 19, the Arkansas State Archives is launching an online digital collection of materials related to Japanese American internment camps in Arkansas, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today. The launch coincides with the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from the west coast in February 1942 and led to the creation of internment camps across the interior of the country during World War II.

The collection, “You Fought Prejudice and Won: Japanese American Internment Camps in Arkansas,” contains over 750 documents and images from the State Archives, relating to the Rohwer and Jerome Relocation Centers in the Arkansas Delta.  The camps housed approximately 16,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens between 1942 and 1945.  Materials in the online collection include photographs, letters, official documents, newspaper articles, personal narratives and artwork from internees and camp officials.

These materials were digitized as second phase of a larger collaborative project, funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service.  The collaborative project, “Rohwer Reconstructed,” directed by the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, will feature materials from multiple Arkansas archival repositories, as well as 2D maps and a 3D reconstruction of the camp.  Phase one of the Rohwer Reconstructed project is slated for completion in March 2017, with phase two materials to be added over the course of the following year. The entire project is slated for completion in September 2018.

Dr. Lisa Speer, state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives, says of the digital project, “This project to create greater public awareness of the plight of Japanese Americans and Japanese- born immigrants in the U.S. during the second World War is critical to helping us understand the experience of those who suddenly find themselves under suspicion by the country they have chosen to call home.”  “Hopefully, this digital collection has lessons we can learn from the past and apply to our future,” Speer noted.

“You Fought Prejudice and Won: Japanese American Internment Camps in Arkansas,” is the 20th online collection created by the Arkansas State Archives since the launch of its digital collections website, the Arkansas Digital Ark-ives in 2014. This collection joins others on the site relating to World War I, Arkansas Territory, and the Civil War, which can all be viewed at The Arkansas Digital Ark-ives

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington.

Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection: James R. Turner papers SMC.18.13

James R. Turner was born on August 7, 1848, to William R. and Elizabeth F. Ewett Turner of Phillips County, Arkansas. He was a livery merchant for twenty-five years in Poplar Grove (Phillips County) and also served as postmaster for twenty years. He married Retta N. McCoy on February 2, 1868. They had several children including Robert N., Daisy, Eva, Templin, and Cavett. He served as Justice of the Peace for eight years, following in his father's footsteps. In 1869, he became a correspondent for the "Southern Shield" newspaper. After he lost everything in a fire, in 1895 he established "The Shield," a Helena newspaper. He was a member of the Knights of Honor, and he and Mrs. Turner were members of Knights and Ladies of Honor. He died June 9, 1936.

This collection contains invitations and programs of various social activities in and around Poplar Grove, Helena, and Marvell, Phillips County, Arkansas, including Knights of Honor and Knights and Ladies of Honor events that were attended by James R. Turner. There are also items related to President Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Little Rock in 1905. Other items in the collection include a Justice of the Peace commission for William Turner (James R. Turner's father) and a land grant issued to Walter and Sarah Burress.

  • Commission (Reel MG00210)
    • 1860 October 17: William Turner, Justice of the Peace, Marion Township, Phillips County, Arkansas
  • Land grant
    • 1839 October 10: Walter and Sarah Burress, Phillips County, Arkansas
  • Invitations
    • 1873 February 25: Carnival of Helena, to J.R. Turner and Lady
    • 1874 February 17: Grand Mardi Gras Ball given by Knights of Phillippi
    • 1874 June 24: Lafayette Lodge, Number 189, A.F. and A.M. Masonic Picnic, Poplar Grove, Arkansas
    • 1875 February 9: Carnival Ball, Knights of Phillippi, Helena, Arkansas
    • 1877 December 18: The "Helena Rifles" Grand Ball and Flag Presentation
    • 1878 May 14: "Helena Rifles" at Phillips Academy, Helena, Arkansas, William H. Coates to James R. Turner
    • 1878 July 4: Ball, Helena Fire Department
    • 1881 May 19: Dance and Ice Cream Supper, Ladies Aid Society, Marvell, Arkansas
    • 1883 May 23: Grand Ball, Young Men of Clarendon
    • 1883 October 16: Poplar Grove Lodge Number 2442, Knights of Honor, Turner Hall, Poplar Grove, Arkansas
    • 1883 December 27: Social Dance, Poplar Grove Hall
    • 1884 January 15: Grand Supper and Masquerade Ball, Clarendon Dramatic Club
    • 1885 December 10: Grand Ball, Irvin House, Poplar Grove, Arkansas
    • 1886 June 17: Grand Ball, Irvin House, Poplar Grove, Arkansas
    • 1887 October 20: Young Men's Annual Hop, Armory Hall
    • 1881 December 21: Wedding of Janie Neel and Stephen W. Williams, First Presbyterian Church, Shelbyville, Kentucky
    • 1887 December 27: Grand Ball and Supper, Trenton Social Club at the Masonic Hall, Trenton, Arkansas
    • 1888 January 27: Ball and Supper, Ladies Aid Society, Irvin House, Poplar Grove, Arkansas
    • 1888 August 7: Wedding of Bessie Noel and John Williams, St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church South, Wytheville, Virginia
    • 1889 December 26: Grand Ball and Supper, Masonic Hall, Trenton, Arkansas
    • 1891 June 5-12: Grand T.P.A. Special Train Excursion to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and through the Great Southwest
    • 1891 July 23: Army and Navy Reception at Redondo Hotel, Redondo, California, in honor of arrival of the U.S.S. War Ship Charleston, to Mr. James R. Turner and family
    • 1892 May 13: Bridge Opening Banquet, Gayoso Hotel, Memphis, Tennessee
    • 1893 December 21: Knights of Pythias Grand Ball, Clarendon Opera House
    • 1896 January 23: Program, Public Installation of the officers of Reynolds Lodge Number 7, Knights of Pythias, Grand Opera House, Helena, Arkansas
    • 1897 November 24: Mr. and Mrs. Carruth, Fortieth Anniversary, Marvell, Arkansas
    • 1898 May 3: Reception and Banquet in honor of the Grand Lodge, Knights and Ladies of Honor, Batesville, Arkansas
    • 1898 June 1: Wedding of Sue Louise Powell and Rufus Walter Polk, Christ Church, Arkansas, Edward Wadsworth Winfield to Mr. Turner
    • 1899 February 14: Programme, St. Valentine's Ball, Concordia Hall, Little Rock, Arkansas
    • 1908 May 21: Luncheon, Arkansas Press Association, Hotel Marion
    • 1908 May 21-23: Program, Arkansas Press Assocation
    • 1909 October 6: Banquet commemorating the Twenty-Third Anniversary of Al G. Field, Greater Minstrels, Columbus, Georgia
    • May 24: Banquet, Ridge City Club, Helena, Arkansas
    • May 24: Program, Officers Memorial Assocation
    • June 3: Odd Fellows' Picnic, Marvell, Phillips County, Arkansas
  • Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Little Rock, Arkansas
    • 1905 October 25: Announcement
    • 1905 October 5: Press Stand Admission, James R. Turner
  • Miscellaneous
    • 1892 March 14: Card, Ridge City Club, Helena Arkansas, to J.R. Turner, Introduced by William M. Neal
    • 1892 April 23: Letter: R.W. Nicholls, President, Sons of Veterans, Helena, Arkansas, to "Sir"
    • 1894 February 5: Membership card, New Orleans Chess, Checkers, and Whist Club, to Mr. Turner
    • 1896 February 7: Pamphlet, "Yankee Doodle and Dixie," Cleburne Chandler's book
    • Undated: Postcard, "A New American Novelist"
    • May 18-20: Card, The Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company
  • Correspondence
    • 1906 March 12: Dr. and Mrs. Rightor to Mr. Turner
    • 1908 July 4: "Daisy" to Mr. J.R. Turner, Helena, Arkansas
  • Other
    • 1906 March 28: Kubelik Turner died
    • Undated: Christmas Greeting, Forrest to Grandpa

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ASA Conducts Records Preservation/Retention Workshops for State Agencies

The Arkansas State Archives is conducting a series of records retention and preservation workshops for state agencies. They will be conducted on the following dates:

March 8, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
April 5, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
May 3, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
June 7, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
August 2, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
September 6, 9:00 a.m. - 11 a.m.
October 4, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
November 1, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The workshops will cover the current Arkansas general records retention schedule, how to maintain and preserve records, donation of records to the State Archives, and electronic records.  


For more information or to register, please contact Danyelle McNeill at danyelle.mcneill@arkansas.gov.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

AHC and BHCA Quarterly Meeting Dates

The Arkansas History Commission will meet on the following dates and times this year:

March 9, 10 a.m.
June 8, 10 a.m.
Sept. 7, 10 a.m.
Dec. 7, 10 a.m.

The Black History Commission of Arkansas will tentatively meet on the following dates this year:

Feb. 9, noon
May 18, noon
Aug. 10, noon
Nov. 9, noon

All meeting will be held in the Arkansas State Archives conference room, located on the 2nd floor of the Multi-Agency Complex at One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas.  Meetings are open to the public. 

The Black History Commission of Arkansas is an advisory body to the Arkansas State Archives charged with preserving the history of black Arkansans and promoting the teaching of black history in Arkansas’s schools.

For questions and comments, please contact the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Black History Commission of Arkansas quarterly meeting

The Black History Commission of Arkansas will hold a regular, quarterly meeting on Thurs., Feb. 9, 2017, at noon in the Arkansas State Archives conference room, located on the 2nd floor of the Multi-agency Complex at One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas.  This meeting is open to the public.
 
The Black History Commission of Arkansas is an advisory body to the Arkansas State Archives charged with preserving the history of black Arkansans and promoting the teaching of black history in Arkansas’s schools.

For questions and comments, please contact the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ASA Launches New World War I Exhibit


The Arkansas State Archives is opening a new exhibit, "On the Fields and in the Trenches: Relics of the First World War," which features World War I artifacts held in the State Archives museum collection, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced.

 The collection includes weaponry, medical equipment, medals, photographs, a uniform and a variety of military helmets from several countries.

“This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I,” says Archives Director Dr. Lisa K. Speer.  “Over 71,000 Arkansans served in the military during the ‘Great War’,” Speer noted, “and this exhibit provides a glimpse into the carnage and brutality of the war experienced by soldiers, medics and nurses on both sides of the conflict.”

Speer serves as a member of the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee, and the State Archives is among a number of museums that will host World War I exhibits in 2017.  The Arkansas State Archives has a large collection of artifacts related to the First World War acquired in the early decades of the twentieth century for a Great War Museum at the Arkansas State Capitol.  Many of these artifacts were picked up off the battlefields by Louis C. Gulley, an Arkansan working as a postmaster for the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the war.

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington.


Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.