Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - J.H. Atkinson papers, MS.000014

James Harris Atkinson, long-time educator and historian, was born June 7, 1888, in Columbia County, Arkansas. He began his teaching career in Hempstead County in 1908, two years before his graduation from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. After serving in World War I, he became principal of schools at Nashville and Foreman, and after that, superintendent at Wilmot (Ashley County). He also taught at Little Rock High School until he received a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1927. Atkinson was then named chairman of the History Department of the new Little Rock Junior College (LRJC) and remained in that position until his retirement in 1957. His involvement in school activities through the years was varied: he helped organize the Classroom Teachers Association and served as its president; he acted as sponsor for the Delta Kappa fraternity for twenty years; he was debate coach at Little Rock Junior College; he was in charge of student employment at LRJC for many years; and, he was one of the pioneers in establishing the Teacher Retirement System.

Atkinson was one of the organizers of the Arkansas Historical Association when it was formed in 1941, and was thereafter active in its affairs. He frequently wrote articles for the "Arkansas Historical Quarterly" and served as associate editor for many years. On several occasions he headed membership drives to increase membership and procure financing for the struggling organization. Atkinson served as the Association's president for 1952-53.
He organized the state's second historical society (Pulaski County Historical Society) in 1951. Atkinson served as president of that group and edited its publication for thirteen years. He also provided leadership in the move to organize other local historical societies across the state.
Appointed to the Arkansas History Commission by Governor Sid McMath in 1949, Atkinson served twelve years, the last eight as chairman. Under his leadership, the History Commission selected and hired long-time Director and State Historian, Dr. John L. Ferguson. With Ferguson, Atkinson co-authored a textbook, "Historic Arkansas," which was used in the public schools for many years. Almost fifty years earlier, Atkinson had written an Arkansas history text which the state adopted for use in all public schools for six years, 1917-1923.
J.H. Atkinson was married to the former Zora Langston for over fifty years. He died September 17, 1973.

This collection documents J.H. Atkinson's dedication to Arkansas history and his active involvement in creating interest in that field for over forty years. The papers are arranged according to subject.
  • Personal
    • 1. Diary, J.H. Atkinson, 1915-1932 (Box 1)
    • 2. Diary, J.H. Atkinson, 1939-1967
    • 3. Diary, J.H. Atkinson, 1944-1973
    • 4. Correspondence, 1925-1927 (at University of Chicago)
    • 5. Family correspondence, 1927-1950
    • 6. Family correspondence, 1951-1960
    • 7. Family correspondence, 1961-1965
    • 8. Family correspondence, 1966-1970
    • 9. Family correspondence, 1971-1973 and undated
    • 10. Correspondence and notes from former students
    • 11. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1930-1970
    • 12. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1961-1973 and undated
    • 13. World War I notes, J.H. Atkinson
    • 14. Biographical information, J.H. Atkinson
    • 15. Autobiographical manuscripts, J.H. Atkinson
    • 16. Letters of recommendation for J.H. Atkinson, 1910-1913
    • 17. Awards/Certificates, J.H. Atkinson
    • 18. Family history, Atkinson
    • 19. Family history, "Reminiscence" by Emmett Atkinson, 1948
    • 20. Family history, Robert Atkinson
    • 21. Family history, Harris
    • 22. Family history; History of College Hill community
    • 23. Family history notes, records, correspondence
    • 24. Family history notes, records, correspondence
    • 25. Religious activities
    • 26. Religious activities, First Methodist Church "Visitor," 1951-1953
    • 27. Lions' Club activities (Box 2)
    • 28. Book Club activities
    • 29. Supreme Court records, S.W. Atkinson v. Bank of Nashville
    • 30. Sympathy cards, 1954 (received after death of father)
    • 31. Rezoning issue
    • 32. Miscellaneous
  • Personal, college
    • 33. Thesis, "The Overthrow of the Reconstruction Regime in Arkansas"
    • 34. Thesis notes
    • 35. Thesis notes
    • 36. Thesis notes
    • 37. College courses, notes
    • 38. College courses, Zora Atkinson
    • 39. General information, Columbia University
    • 40. Miscellaneous, University of Chicago
    • 41. Miscellaneous
  • Arkansas Historical Association
    • 42. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1944-1950
    • 43. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1951-1955
    • 44. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1956-1960
    • 45. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1961-1965
    • 46. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1966-1973
    • 47. Annual meeting, 1946
    • 48. Annual meeting, 1947
    • 49. Annual meeting, 1948
    • 50. Annual meeting, 1950
    • 51. Annual meeting, 1951
    • 52. Annual meeting, 1952
    • 53. Annual meeting, 1953
    • 54. Annual meeting, 1954
    • 55. Annual meeting, 1955
    • 56. Annual meeting, 1956
    • 57. Annual meeting, 1957
    • 58. Annual meeting, 1958
    • 59. Annual meeting, 1959
    • 60. Annual meeting, 1960
    • 61. Annual meeting, 1961
    • 62. Annual meeting, 1962
    • 63. Annual meeting, 1963
    • 64. Annual meeting, 1964
    • 65. Annual meeting, 1965
    • 66. Annual meeting, 1966
    • 67. Annual meeting, 1968
    • 68. Annual meeting, 1969
    • 69. Annual meeting, 1970
    • 70. Annual meeting, 1971
    • 71. Annual meeting, 1972
    • 72. "Arkansas Historical Quarterly" (Box 3)
    • 73. "Arkansas Historical Quarterly"
    • 74. Membership drives
    • 75. Membership lists
    • 76. County Organizations Committee
    • 77. Arkansas history in public schools
    • 78. Awards given by
    • 79. Miscellaneous
  • Arkansas History Commission
    • 80. Annual reports
    • 81. Minutes, reports, budget
    • 82. Membership
    • 83. Staff
    • 84. Collections
    • 85. Newsletter
    • 86. "Historic Arkansas"
    • 87. Miscellaneous
  • Pulaski County Historical Society
    • 88. Minutes
    • 89. "Review"
    • 90. Preparation of "Review"
    • 91. Newsletters
    • 92. Officers
    • 93. Membership
    • 94. Membership lists
    • 95. Meeting notices
    • 96. Meetings/Speakers at meetings
    • 97. Project to place marker at grave of E.P. Washburn
    • 98. "Forty Days of Disaster" project
    • 99. Mount Holly Cemetery historical marker project
    • 100. Project to place marker at grave of Sandy Faulkner
    • 101. Miscellaneous
    • Local/Other historical organizations
      • 102. Arkansas Archeological Society (Box 4)
      • 103. Arkansas Genealogical Society
      • 104. Arkansas Pioneers
      • 105. Benton County Historical Society
      • 106. Civil War Centennial Commission
      • 107. Educational television
      • 108. Faulkner County Historical Society
      • 109. Garland County Historical Society
      • 110. Independence County Historical Society
      • 111. Lafayette County Historical Society
      • 112. Newton County Historical Society
      • 113. Ouachita County Historical Society
      • 114. Overland Mail Centennial
      • 115. Ozark Society
      • 116. Phillips County Historical Society
      • 117. Southern Historical Association
      • 118. United Daughters of the Confederacy
      • 119. Washington County Historical Society
      • 120. Miscellaneous
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    • 121. Teaching contracts
    • 122. Retirement, J.H. Atkinson
    • 123. Student recruiting
    • 124. Promotional activities
    • 125. Expansion to four-year institution
    • 126. LRU (Little Rock University)-UA (University of Arkansas) merger
    • 127. Faculty
    • 128. Scholarships
    • 129. Letters by students, 1884-1891
    • 130. "Bulletin"
    • 131. History
    • 132. Donaghey Foundation
    • 133. Graduations
    • 134. Alumni
    • 135. Alumni newsletter
    • 136. "College Chatter"
    • 137. Debate
    • 138. Student Christian Association
    • 139. Football
    • 140. International Relations Club
    • 141. Fraternities/Sororities
    • 142. Other extra-curricular activities
    • 143. Miscellaneous
  • High school
    • 144. Class record, 1916-1917
    • 145. Teaching contracts
    • 146. Public night school
    • 147. Course material
    • 148. Debate/Oratorical contests
    • 149. Commencement, 1927
    • 150. Candidates for graduation, 1940 and 1941
    • 151. Class reunions, Little Rock High School
    • 152. Wilmot Public Schools
    • 153. Arkansas Education Association
    • 154. Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association
    • 155. Teacher salary issues
    • 156. Teacher retirement issues
    • 157. Miscellaneous
  • Historical
    • 158. Miscellaneous correspondence (Box 5)
    • 159. Miscellaneous correspondence
    • 160. Miscellaneous correspondence
    • 161. Manuscript, "History of Arkansas," textbook by J.H. Atkinson, published 1917
    • 162. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 163. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 164. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 165. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 166. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 167. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 168. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 169. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 170. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 171. Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, reports
    • 172. Typescripts, Civil War letters
    • 173. Miscellaneous printed material
  • Miscellaneous newspapers and clippings
    • Selected issues of college newspapers "College Chatter" (Little Rock Junior College, 1937-1956); "Little Rock University Forum" (Little Rock University, 1967-1968); "University Weekly" (University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, 1918) (Box 6)

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