Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Arkansas State Archives receives grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

The Arkansas State Archives has been awarded a grant in the amount of $208,128 for the digitization of historic Arkansas newspapers through the National Endowment of the Humanities, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today.  The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant will allow 100,000 pages of historic Arkansas newspapers from the collections of the State Archives to be digitized and made available online for research. The project is a partnership between the Arkansas State Archives and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which will provide technical support to Arkansas in the digitization.

Arkansas State Archives Director Dr. Lisa Speer expressed appreciation for the grant, saying, “I am delighted that the NEH selected the Arkansas State Archives’ grant application for an award.  Arkansas is one of a handful of states not participating in the NDNP.  This grant and collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History will benefit scholarship on our state by providing convenient access to a large body of public domain Arkansas newspapers.  I’m very grateful to the MDAH for their willingness to share their expertise to help us achieve this goal.”

The project will take two years to complete. Once digitized, the newspapers will be housed online through the Chronicling America website hosted by the Library of Congress ( and will be accessible to the public for free. An announcement of which Arkansas newspapers are to be digitized will be made at a later date following the work of a selection committee.

The State Archives holds the largest and most extensive Arkansas newspaper collection in existence. Its total newspaper holdings include an estimated twenty million pages from almost 1,800 titles representing all seventy-five counties in the state.

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest publicly available collection of historical materials on Arkansas.  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.