Celebrate Arkansas

Kerry Kraus

Did you know
the Arkansas History Commission has the largest archival collection related to the Civil War in Arkansas? 

If you’ve never visited the State Archives/History Commission in

Little Rock

, I suggest you put it on your “to do.” And since this week is Arkansas Archives Week, it would be a great time to do it.

For those who aren’t familiar with the State Archives, they are the state agency charged with recording, protecting and saving Arkansas’s valuable history. According to State Historian and Archives Director Wendy Richter, “
Arkansas Archives Week 2010 celebrates the value of Arkansas’s historical records, illuminates the many ways historical records enrich our lives, and recognizes those who maintain our state’s historical records. Through these archives, every generation of Arkansas citizens can study the past and learn from the experiences and accomplishments of our ancestors, while celebrating the unique history of our state.”

Blue and Gray: Documenting Civil War Arkansas, 1861-1865,”
a new exhibit by the Arkansas History Commission opens Wednesday, October 27, with a 10 a.m. ceremony. It takes place on the second floor of the Multi-Agency Complex building located directly behind the Arkansas State Capitol. It is one of several events taking place this week and showcases primary source materials from 150 years ago. Rare Civil War artifacts and documents collected by the State Archives during the past century are included.

Another new exhibit, “Arkansas in 1860: On the Eve of Conflict,” is celebrated Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Arkansas State Capitol

rotunda. Recently opened, this exhibit tells “the tale of a pivotal year in Arkansas’s history through images and artifacts depicting life in pre-Civil War Arkansas. It highlights the topics of transportation, society, plantation agriculture, and the politics of 1860, as well as the profound transformations within these areas of a state on the brink of secession.” Artifacts and documents from the collections of the Arkansas History Commission, as well as materials loaned by several state parks, Arkansas State University, and private individuals, are featured.
The Arkansas History Commission is located at One Capitol Mall, just west of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.


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