As families across our state start the new school year, the Arkansas State Archives is taking a moment to look back at the history of education in Arkansas. On August 15, the Archives launched its 21st digital collection, “Time for Class – Arkansas Schools through the Years.”
The materials in this collection have been digitized by archivists at the main archives in Little Rock, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington.
The purpose of the collection is to bring awareness to the ongoing history of education in the state, from its early beginnings to its ever-progressing present. Over the course of two centuries, the state has migrated from one-room schoolhouses with teachers instructing multiple grade levels to a standardized and wide-spread network of school districts spanning the state.
Examples from the new digital collection include late 19th and early 20th century class portraits, guidelines for teachers, a school director’s oath of office, court documents alleging misuse of school tax funds, a 19th century women’s college curriculum, petitions for the creation of new school districts and appeals against school district consolidation.
This collection does not embody near the entirety of the Archives’ holdings on the history of Arkansas’s schools, but showcases examples of the great variety of education-related materials. However, the digital collection is only in its beginning stages and will continue to grow as new historical documents and photographs are added.
Take some time to visit this collection and the other digital collections offered by the Arkansas State Archives: http://ahc.digital-ar.org/.