The 1927 Flood

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Vanished: Documenting a Forgotten Era of Little Rock’s Built Environment

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DIY Memory Lab Now Open

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Lost West Ninth Street

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Love Your Library?
Make a Gift to Show Your Support!

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Black History at CALS Roberts Library

Event

Discover Arkansas’s Own Hidden Figure: Raye Montague

Come hear the story of Raye Montague, Little Rock’s own hidden figure credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. She was the first female program manager of ships in the U.S. Navy and paved the way for Black women in STEM.

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Event

Highlighting Little Rock’s Historically Black Communities (Dee Brown Branch)

Community outreach archivist Danielle Afsordeh will give an overview of Little Rock’s historically Black communities and their enduring significance, while highlighting related materials from the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas and the collections of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

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Event

In Our Own Words: Black Voices from the Archives

CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Presents LEGACIES & LUNCH

Speaker: Courtney Bradford

Courtney Bradford, curator of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, will use artifacts from the museum’s collection to speak on the significance of African American narratives in Arkansas history.

Courtney Bradford is from Little Rock,

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Event

Crucial Conversations: Race in America Book Club

BookSouth to America by Imani Perry

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WHAT?

This six-month book club will explore issues around the history of race relations and our collective memory of the South in partnership with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

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Event

Finding Family Facts (February 13)

The Butler Center offers a beginner’s genealogy class the second Monday of every month, taught by Rhonda Stewart, the Butler Center’s local history and genealogy expert. Participants will learn how to use online databases and city directories, as well as how to archive family documents. Jump-start your genealogy research with this fun and creative way to learn about the past.

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Event

Highlighting Little Rock’s Historically Black Communities (Fletcher Branch)

Community outreach archivist Danielle Afsordeh will give an overview of Little Rock’s historically Black communities and their enduring significance, while highlighting related materials from the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas and the collections of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

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To see all CALS programming for Black History Month, check out our Black History Month at CALS page.

COMMUNITY HISTORY PROJECTS

Community History

Looking north on Main Street from 4th Street

Mapping Downtown Little Rock

Using images from our collection, we have constructed an architectural tour of downtown Little Rock.

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Community History

Arkansas Traveler Project

The Arkansas Traveler Project is a collection of interactive narratives that examine various topics of Arkansas history. The project uses a mapping tool to provide context and illustrate spatial relationships.

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Community History

Wood frame houses with car parked in driveway

Lost West Ninth Street

For many decades, Little Rock’s West Ninth Street was the heart of the city’s African American community. “The Line,” as the street was sometimes known, was home to businesses, churches, fraternal groups, and a host of other entities.

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Art @ Roberts Library

Event

AnarchoAnachro

On View ~ January 13, 2023–April 1, 2023, regular Gallery hours
Landing Gallery, Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library

Spam enthusiast, U.S. Air Force veteran, and photo-collage artist the Right Reverend Sternodox wages holy war on inter-dimensional reptiles, killer klowns, and the soul-sucking blandness of daily life. His fascinating collages are a reflection of what happens if you stay up too late,

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Event

Natural Connections: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood and Laura Brainard Raborn

ON VIEW Friday, November 11, 2022–Saturday, January 28, 2023 
Loft Gallery, CALS Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, Roberts Library

This exciting collection of paintings by Emily Moll Wood and Laura Brainard Raborn explores a visual dialogue with the natural world and nature’s deep connections to their own family histories.

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Event

Illustrated Arkansas: The Art of Comics

On View ~ October 14, 2022–January 28, 2023, regular Gallery hours
Underground Gallery, Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library

The Illustrated Arkansas exhibition features artists living and working in the state who have created or contributed to print or digital comics and graphic novels. The exhibition will represent a wide range of illustration styles and media of the comics art form.

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Recent Blog Posts

Blog

Dropping History Is Impossible

I recently had a student of mine, from when I was doing some adjunct teaching at the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service, contact me regarding the possibility of her going back to school, this time for a PhD. What could I tell her about the program I myself attended? I could tell her plenty,

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Blog

The Tax Man: Turley Toombs

This is the time of year for gathering receipts and documents to meet that looming tax deadline in April… The hustle and bustle of tax season is carved into the address recognized as 1400 S. Woodrow Street, west of Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the modest home that was converted into a tax business by Turley Toombs,

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Blog

Exploring the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927

The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was one of the largest natural disasters to affect Arkansas, as well as the largest and most destructive flood in our nation’s history, inundating over 27,000 square miles. Arkansas was the hardest hit of the states: Of the seventy-five counties in Arkansas, thirty-six of them were under water.

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Art Exhibitions

Art on Exhibit at CALS

The CALS Art Exhibitions highlight art by Arkansas artists and showcase exhibitions that promote Arkansas history and culture. The CALS Permanent Collection is displayed in our branches and rotating exhibitions are featured in the Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square.

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Archival Collections

Archival Collections

The CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies archival collection offers unique glimpses into the state’s history through documents and photographs. Many of the collections depict the daily life in Central Arkansas by preserving the cultural, political, literary, military, and environmental history of Pulaski and Perry Counties.

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Genealogy

Genealogy Help & Resources

Whether you have been on your family history journey for years or are just beginning, the CALS Roberts Library offers resources for genealogists and researchers at all skill levels.

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CALS Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art (including CALS Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture) is open to the public the following days and times: 

  • Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square (501.320.5790) 

    • Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

  • Research Room (501.320.5700)

    • Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    • Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Masks are recommended for those who have not been fully vaccinated. If you are feeling unwell or experiencing COVID-related symptoms, please use our online digital resources. (as of March 1, 2022)