Author: awelky

Memories Around the Holiday Table: Collecting Family Oral Histories

Many stories are shared at family gatherings around the holidays. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the CALS Roberts Library would like to help you capture those stories in an oral history interview. Oral history interviews are structured conversations that are created to preserve personal or cultural histories, document unique experiences, illuminate historical events from a personal viewpoint,

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Mapping Little Rock’s Historical Theaters

Downtown Little Rock has been home to more than a dozen movie theaters over the years, though one would not guess it in this age of suburban cineplexes. It is hard to believe there was a time when four theaters were clustered within a block of each other, with even more spread around the city blocks.

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My Sister Feeds Me

We will officially acknowledge things we are thankful for in our lives on the day of recognition known as Thanksgiving Day. Some will spend all or part of this day with family or friends who wear the label of family. Some will spend the day alone or with strangers. My day will be repetitive of my family beginnings.

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The EOA’s Project Zelda

I wanted to call it Project Hogthrob after Link Hogthrob of The Muppet Show, but I was outvoted. Instead, it was named Project Zelda.

This has been something with which we have been preoccupied of late, a project that involves revisiting every single entry we have on the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

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One Last Research Question

October 6, 2023, was the last day of my thirty-eight-year career at the Central Arkansas Library System. I spent the first thirty years in the Reference Department, now known as Information Services, and the last eight in the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art. A substantial portion of both positions involved answering research questions,

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Preserving Legacy for Dia de Muertos: Archives, Art, and Celebration

In Central Arkansas, we have seen a steady growth in the Spanish-speaking community beginning in the late 1980s that continues to the present. Recognizing the importance of these narratives, the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is working to ensure that the invaluable stories of this community are safeguarded for future generations. These efforts aim to help in the forming and documenting of community memory.

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Genealogy Workshop Illuminates Past

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, housed in the CALS Roberts Library, hosted its annual genealogy workshop on Saturday, October 7, in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. The Butler Center has been hosting this event since 2002.


The expert speaker this year was Ronnie A. Nichols, a descendant of a Black Civil War veteran and a scholar of the American Civil War,

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The Root Systems of History

My long-suffering colleague Ali Welky, who manages the Roberts Library and Encyclopedia of Arkansas blogs, occasionally complains that my own contributions here too often take the form of rambling ruminations upon some book I’ve recently read that take a long time to tie back into the work we do at the EOA, and sometimes tie in rather indirectly.

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Little Rock: A Changing City

From 1930 to 1960, the tallest building in Arkansas was the Hotel Ben McGehee. Located on the northwest corner of Main and Markham Streets in downtown Little Rock, the sixteen-story Art Deco structure was designed by architect Julian Bunn Davidson.


The Ben McGehee was a mid-grade hotel while the Hotel Marion,

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Butler Banner Archive

The Butler Banner archives between 1999-2018 are available in PDF format only. The Butler Banner was our print newsletter.

> Check out the back issues


We allow certain outlets to reprint our copyrighted Butler Banner or CALS Roberts Library blog posts with express permission. To seek permission, please email Glenn Whaley at