Thursday, August 29, 2019

Staff Lectures Showcase State Archives

Jane A. Wilkerson, archival assistant, presents a lecture for the
Johnson County Historical Society in Clarksville on Aug. 1.
What exactly does the Arkansas State Archives do?

In addition to our efforts to preserve and make available the historical resources at the Arkansas State Archives and its two branches, our staff is dedicated to reaching out to communities across the state through various types of programs and consultations. Arkansas State Archives staff has been traveling across the state to give presentations, lectures and discussions to societies, associations, groups and communities interested in Arkansas history, preservation, research and genealogy.

“We are committed to making our records accessible and to reaching out to our communities to make sure they know what historical material and documents we possess. We want people to be able to understand and use their State Archives,” said Jane A. Wilkerson, archival assistant. “These lectures are an important part of what we do.”

Wilkerson presented information about the Archives during an Aug. 1 presentation to the Johnson County Historical Society in Clarksville. She gave a brief history of the division, which is now part of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, and introduced the crowd to the branches of the State Archives – The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives. Those branches house specific collections.

Wilkerson emphasized the unique items Archives has related to Johnson County, including newspapers, archival collections, books and county records. She also discussed the new and exciting changes that were coming in the research room, online and our volunteer projects.  Attendees were particularly interested volunteering to index historical records.   

After the presentation, Wilkerson spoke with Mark Hodge about county records housed at the historical society. The society rescued records from the courthouse and are interested in transferring them to the archives for preservation. 

“We are always interested in talking with groups and helping preserve records,” Wilkerson said. Staff have met with county officials, including Lee and Hempstead counties, to talk about preservation and transfers of records.

For information about staff presentations, volunteering or on how to donate historical material, please contact the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900 or by email at