Grand Opening of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives Set for Thursday

Kimberly J. Williams
For those who enjoy tracing family histories, there’s a brand new facility opening in northeast Arkansas that you’re going to want to visit soon!

The dedication and grand opening ceremony for the new Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) facility on the grounds of Powhatan Historic State Park in Powhatan is scheduled for Thursday, March 3 at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend and a reception and building tour will follow the ceremony.

The facility is a branch of the Arkansas History Commission. NEARA’s mission is to collect, preserve, and make available a variety of source materials pertaining to the history of northeast Arkansas and its people. The development and operation of NEARA is a partnership between Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas History Commission.

The new structure contains approximately 4,000 square feet overall, and includes a large, fireproof vault, an archival processing room, and a public research room. Included in the building is a time capsule, incorporated in the vestibule to preserve memorabilia for future generations.

NEARA offers a variety of research resources related to northeast Arkansas. Holdings include traditional archival material such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, newspapers, and broadsides. Books, periodicals, and other print resources create a general Arkansas history reference library. The core of NEARA’s initial holdings includes approximately 500 cubic feet of Lawrence County government records, donated by the Lawrence County Historical Society. These county records are among Arkansas’s earliest documentary resources. Records from numerous counties in the region are also available on microfilm. Lawrence County was established in 1815, prior to the creation of the Arkansas Territory in 1819. The county encompassed most of north Arkansas and was later subdivided into more than 30 modern counties in both Arkansas and Missouri. For additional information, visit the NEARA’s website at

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