The Special Collections are research materials gathered and preserved for educational and scholarly use. These materials are housed in our secure, monitored environment and are made available to researchers within the Archives & Special Collections' Reading Room.
About the Archive
After accepting and cataloging manuscripts and special collections for more than twenty-five years, Arkansas State University formally opened its archives in 1997. Today the archives focuses on collecting, preserving, and making accessible to students and researchers the documentary history and heritage of Eastern Arkansas. More specifically, we concentrate on the demographic and economic transformations occurring throughout this region during the twentieth century.
The archive holds collections related to the agricultural and political history of Northeast Arkansas. Important collections in these areas include the papers of Congressmen “Took” Gathings and Marion Berry and the records of the Judd Hill Plantation. The archive also collects the history of Arkansas State University and seeks collections that support the university’s growing research emphasis. It is our intent to complement rather than replicate specific collecting emphases at other repositories in the state. We do not, therefore, develop collections that support genealogic research or the study of the American Civil War.
Special collections maintained by the archive include the Cass S. Hough Aeronautical Collection, which has been described as the single most valuable collection of aviation materials in private hands; an outstanding collection of Lois Lenski books for children; collections of notable Arkansas authors Charlie May Simon, Lois Snelling, Faith Yingling Knoop, and John Gould Fletcher; an Arkansas Collection; and Arkansas State University publications.
Using the Archive
Archives & Special Collections are on the seventh floor of the Dean B. Ellis Library. Most of our special collections have been cataloged and are accessible through the library’s online system. Many of the Archives’ manuscript collections are currently unprocessed, but they will be made publically available once physical and intellectual control has been accomplished. Researchers are advised to contact us to discuss collection availability before they visit.
Generally, these items and collections are available to members of the ASU community and other researchers who are at least eighteen years of age. Patrons must complete a registration form and present current photographic identification in order to use the collections. Because some of the materials are fragile, their use may be restricted.