Author: awelky

Vanished: Mapping a Forgotten Era of Little Rock History

In 2019, Jim Conner of Little Rock donated a treasure trove of family material to the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. The family has been part of Little Rock’s history for over 150 years.

What came to be called the Keith-Conner family collection contains documents, photographs, and memorabilia relating to the Keith family of Little Rock and the Conner family of Little Rock and Augusta,

Learn More

Project 365: Six Communities in the Spotlight

The expansion of historical knowledge starts locally, grows to state significance, and may explode onto the national scene.

A group was organized with a plan to document six communities in Pulaski County that follow Arkansas Highway 365 South. The Arkansas African American Historical and Genealogical Society, Preservation of African American Cemeteries,

Learn More

Learning Who I Am

Early in life, I learned that in the United States of America, there was once a “one-drop rule” determining whether a person was black (or “colored” or “Negro” in the terminology of a certain time frame). The rule specified that one ancestor with “one drop” of black blood determined you to be black.

Learn More

Springtime Art Exhibitions and Experiences at CALS

This spring offers a bountiful bouquet of opportunities to view and experience art at the Central Arkansas Library System through exhibitions, events, and classes.


The exhibition Courtesy of the Collectors: Portraits of African Americans in Photographs, Paintings, and Drawings opened in the Underground Gallery in the CALS Roberts Library in January and is in its last days.

Learn More

Oscars for Arkansas?

The recent Academy Awards celebration put me in mind of the many movies filmed in—or made about—Arkansas, if only because while the state has sent forth a number of talented people who have been nominated for—and won—Oscars, the state itself has generally not been significantly represented on Oscar night.

Billy Bob Thornton received an Oscar for Sling Blade,

Learn More

The CALS David Stricklin Research Fellowship Experience: Lisa C. Childs, 2023

I’m just starting to recover from the three busy days I spent in the Research Room of the CALS Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art late last year.

When I applied for the 2023 David Stricklin Fellowship, I listed about fifty collections that seemed likely to have something to do with my research topic: the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas (and eastern Oklahoma).

Learn More

Book Flood: Exploring Free Will and Memory

Some years back, my wife read about the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, which translates literally as “Christmas book flood” and entails giving and receiving new books on Christmas Eve. She liked the idea of this, and so each year we go to our local independently owned bookstore a few days before Christmas and try to find a book for each other.

Learn More

From the Archives to the Community: Dunbar’s Rich Legacy

The neighborhood surrounding what now is Paul Laurence Dunbar Junior High School has historically been predominantly Black. Until the early twentieth century, when restricted additions began being developed in Little Rock, the city’s neighborhoods were not rigidly segregated by race, but certain areas such as the “East End,” the “South End,” and the neighborhood around Dunbar always were more Black than white.

Learn More


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