Special Collections News
Arkansas Heritage Month 2012: Arkansans at Work
In recognition of Arkansas Heritage Month 2012, Special Collections has created an exhibit exploring this year's theme, "Arkansans at Work."
Through the years, the way people make their living has changed dramatically, from farming and agriculture, to technology. This exhibit showcases images of the people of Arkansas working in the early years of the twentieth century. All images used in this exhibit are from the photograph collections in Special Collections.
Images showcase the rice, cotton, fruit and sorghum industries. Harvesting energy, in the form of coal and oil has contributed to the state’s economy since the early part of the 20th century. The railroad and lumber industries that radically changed the landscape of Arkansas forever are also recognized.
To view "Arkansans at Work," visit the department in Room 130 in Mullins Library. For more information about the collections or to schedule a research visit, contact special collections at email@example.com.
BAD Times: the Manuscript and Digital Collections of Black Americans for Democracy are Now Open
In recognition of Black History Month 2012, special collections has made materials associated with Black Americans for Democracy, or BAD, a registered student organization that began at the University of Arkansas in the late 1960s, available to researchers on campus and around the world. BAD's archives are now open to the public, and the organization's newspapers published during the 1970s are available as a fully searchable digital collection.
The Black Americans for Democracy Materials manuscript collection (MC 1915.UA) contains meeting minutes, assorted paper materials, photographs and objects documenting the important work and legacy of the university's first organization for African American students. Founded after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, BAD was a political and social group striving to bring awareness to issues black students faced on campus and to provide social interaction and activities. The group encouraged black students to become more involved on campus and urged administrators to provide more opportunities for black students and to expand black representation among the faculty. BAD began a week-long annual educational conference devoted to Black history and culture, Black Emphasis Week (later Black Awareness Week), and sponsored the Miss BAD beauty pageant (later Miss Black University of Arkansas). BAD also provided services such as tutoring, fundraising, and political advocacy to the local community.
BAD also published a campus newspaper regularly between 1971 and 1977 under three different titles: The BAD Times, Black Americans for Democracy News, and Times (Black Americans for Democracy). The Libraries' entire collection of BAD newspapers is now available as high resolution scans through BAD Times: a Digital Collection of the Black Americans for Democracy Newspapers. In addition to helping preserve the original newspapers, the digital collection also enhances researcher access by providing full-text searching and indexes of contributors and the subjects covered by their work. BAD began their newspaper in order to ensure that greater attention was paid to black students, who they felt were not adequately covered in the campus-wide student newspaper, the Arkansas Traveler. The newspapers provide a record of BAD's effort to more quickly integrate the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus and more rapidly expand African American student involvement in all aspects of university life. In 1979, BAD changed its name to Students Taking A New Dimension, or STAND, and then became the Black Students Association in the 1990s.
To access the Black Americans for Democracy Materials manuscript collection (MC 1915.UA) or find more information about all of the archival resources related to the history of the University of Arkansas, integration, civil rights, and other aspects of Arkansas's rich heritage, contact special collections at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the department in Mullins Library.
Crusader for Civil Rights: An Exhibit Celebrating the Life of Daisy Bates
This exhibit showcases materials from the Daisy Bates Collection (MC 582) and associated collections housed in University Libraries Special Collections in order to celebrate the life and work of Arkansas Civil Rights leader, Daisy Bates. The exhibit's opening coincided with the pre-screening of Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, a new film by writer and director Sharon LaCruise that incorporated materials from Special Collections. The documentary airs February 2, 2012, on PBS.
Daisy Lee Gatson Bates was born in the small southern Arkansas community of Huttig, in Union County, November 11, 1914. She and husband, L.C. Bates established the weekly Arkansas State Press 1941, and it became the largest and most influential black paper in the state and a leading voice in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1952, Daisy was elected president of the Arkansas State Conference of NAACP branches. As president, she became the advisor to the Little Rock Nine during Little Rock Central High School integration crisis of 1957. Her memoirs of the Central High crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, was published in 1962 with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Bates next worked for the Democratic National Committee and for the Johnson Administration's anti-poverty programs before suffering a stroke in 1965 and returning to Little Rock.
In 1968, Mrs. Bates moved to Mitchellville, Desha County, Arkansas, where she was a community organizer for the Mitchellville Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) Self-Help Project for six years. After the death of L.C. in 1980, she revived the Arkansas State Press. Following her retirement, the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas passed a resolution commending her for her outstanding service to the state. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in May, 1984. A reprint edition of The Long Shadow of Little Rock received the American Book Award in 1988. Daisy Bates died on November 4, 1999. In 2001, the state legislature designated the third Monday of February as “Daisy Gatson Bates Day.”
Through photographs, news clippings, and personal and professional correspondence, the exhibit highlights four areas documented by the Daisy Bates Collection: the pioneering work of Daisy and L.C. Bates as journalists through the Arkansas State Press and their involvement with the NAACP; Mrs. Bates’ work as advisor and strategist during the 1957 Little Rock integration crisis; her later work as a community organizer in the impoverished African American community of Mitchellville, Arkansas; and the numerous accolades and honors bestowed on Mrs. Bates during her lifetime. Special thanks to Krista Jones and Cat Wallack for their work in creating the exhibit.
For more information about the Daisy Bates Papers or any of the other thousands of resources preserving the history of Arkansas available through the University of Arkansas Libraries, contact Special Collections, email@example.com, or visit the department in Mullins Library.
Before Crystal Bridges: A Selection from the Neil Compton Papers (MC 1091)
The opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, brings a world-class art museum to northwest Arkansas. The museum is situated on land that belonged to Dr. Neil Compton from 1952 to 1978 when it was sold to the Walton family. There, Compton operated a nursery business he named Crystal Spring Gardens. In 1952 he drew this map to show the connection between the nursery and the Compton family home and land, which is now open to the public as Compton Gardens. Hiking trails connect Crystal Bridges, Compton Gardens, and the Bentonville downtown square.
A physician born and reared in Benton County, Dr. Neil Compton was also a dedicated conservationist. He was a founder of the Ozark Society, which led efforts to save the Buffalo River from being dammed, and served as president of the Benton County Historical Association. He received numerous commendations for his decades of work to preserve the natural beauty of his home state. The map shown here is now a part of the Neil Compton Papers (MC 1091) housed in the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections Department. The collection of Compton's personal and professional papers includes log books and files from his work as a physician, as well as correspondence, project files, photographs, slides, films, and a variety of other materials.
For more information about the Neil Compton Papers or any of the other thousands of resources preserving the history of Arkansas available through the University of Arkansas Libraries, contact Special Collections, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the department in Mullins Library.
The University of Arkansas Libraries and Special Collections Remember Willard Gatewood, Jr.
Willard B. Gatewood Jr., who was a renowned professor of history at the University of Arkansas, died on October 23, 2011. Since joining the University in 1970 as the Distinguished Professor of History, Dr. Gatewood had a profound impact on Arkansas and its people. In addition to shaping a generation of historians, Dr. Gatewood touched the University and the community in a myriad of ways. Realizing that very little had been written about the state, Dr. Gatewood urged his students to conduct pioneering research on Arkansas topics. He co-founded the University of Arkansas Press, which was a major factor in a renaissance in Arkansas studies. Dr. Gatewood was an unflagging supporter of the University of Arkansas Libraries, and the Special Collections Department in particular. The Library is pleased to present the following information on this very remarkable man, Willard Badgett Gatewood, Jr.
Special Collections has made available an article by James S. Chase published in the Ozark Historical Review upon Dr. Gatewood's assumption of emeritus status in 1998.
A partial bibliography of Dr. Gatewood's publications has also been provided. The bibliography includes Dr. Gatewood's books available in the University of Arkansas Libraries and the numerous theses and dissertations he supervised.
For more information on the life and legacy of Dr. Gatewood, see the tribute in the University of Arkansas Newswire.
AETN Documentary on Mid-Century Modern Architecture Uses Special Collections Resources
Mark Wilcken, a producer at the Arkansas Educational Television Network in Little Rock, is releasing a 55-minute documentary, Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture, that explores Arkansas architecture by presenting the best examples of modernism from around the state. Special collections had the opportunity to assist Wilcken and his fellow researchers as they assembled material for the project.
Buildings featured in the film include those designed by prominent Arkansas architects whose papers are housed in special collections. The papers of Fay Jones, Edward Durell Stone, and Warren Segraves were consulted for the project, as well as other resources available in special collections, such as university records and Razorback yearbooks.
The film has already been shown at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library in Jonesboro and the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock. Northwest Arkansas residents will have two opportunities to view the film before the AETN television premiere on November 14 at 9 p.m. The film will be screened at the University of Arkansas Global Campus in Fayetteville on October 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., and at the Fort Smith Public Library in Fort Smith on October 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Wilcken will attend all of the screenings. For more information on the film, read the Newswire article.
For more information on the architectural resources available in special collections, please contact Architectural Records Archivist Catherine Wallack, email@example.com, or visit the department in Mullins Library.
Special Collections Department Offers Fellowship
Are you planning a research project on the topics of labor or working class studies using the materials at the special collections department of the University of Arkansas Libraries? A new fellowship may help cover related expenses. Special collections is now accepting applications for the Lioneld Jordan Fellowship in Labor and Working Class Studies, which conveys reimbursement of expenses for up to $500 incurred while using the special collections department’s Arkansas labor history, labor culture, labor education, labor lore, occupational folk life, trade union traditions, and worker culture collections during the period of May 1, 2011, to April 30, 2012.
The fellowship is intended to encourage innovative study in the historical problems, identities, philosophies, and especially, the expressive cultures of working people in Arkansas. A special purpose of the fellowship is to support research that will result in publications (traditional or online) from scholars who are exploring important, innovative topics relative to the lives of working people that might fall outside of the parameters of traditional academic research and funding.
The stipend can be used for any purpose related to the research project, including reproduction of materials, oral history interviewing, and traveling and lodging. Documentation will be required for reimbursements.
Applicants may be from any relevant academic discipline, including but not limited to anthropology, art, communications studies, cultural studies, drama, English, folklore, geography, history, journalism, labor studies, literature, political science, sociology, or gender studies.
The Lioneld Jordan Fellowship in Labor and Working Class Studies has been established to honor the leadership and vision of Lioneld Jordan, the current mayor of Fayetteville, Ark. Jordan was an undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas, a carpenter with the university department of facilities management (previously known as the physical plant) for 26 years, president of Local 965 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, president of the Northwest Arkansas Labor Council, and an advocate for the interests of working families.
For more information, or instructions on how to apply, please contact the Jordan Fellowship Committee at 479-575-5577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.