Come See Us Periodically at the CALS Roberts Library Research Room!
As most patrons who come into the CALS Roberts Library Research Room probably know, our collection includes many types of research materials, from books to manuscript items. I’m sure most people would assume that we also have periodicals but might be surprised at the number in the collection, the scope of the titles, and how old some are.
We have subscriptions to periodicals that are published around the state, including local county historical journals. We also have newsletters and publications from neighborhoods and neighborhood organizations, which can be very valuable to genealogists and Arkansas history researchers. The Viewpoint: A Newsletter from Capital View-Stifft’s Station Neighborhood Association and Hillcrest Life magazine are two examples. We also subscribe to Arkansas publications of general interest to our patrons such as Arkansas Business, the Arkansas Times, At Home in Arkansas, and Soirée.
Our current journal subscriptions include journals from professional organizations such as Arkansas Banker, Arkansas Dentistry, Arkansas Lawyer, Arkansas Libraries, and the Journal of the Arkansas Medical Association. We also subscribe to newsletters from organizations such as the Arkansas Quilters Guild. More specialized publications we have subscriptions to are City and Town, published by the Arkansas Municipal League; County Lines, published by the Association of Arkansas Counties; the Arkansas Law Review; and the University of Arkansas Law Review. We also subscribe to publications such as Arkansas Wildlife and Arkansas Highways, which are put out by state government agencies. Because we are an archive, we keep back issues as well as current issues for every publication we subscribe to.
We also have many issues of periodicals that have ceased publication. There are so many notable magazines from the past, so I will highlight just a few.
Southern Magazine began publication in Little Rock in 1986 by Southern Limited Partnership in association with the Arkansas Writers’ Project. Seen as a rival to Southern Living, it was a very successful magazine reaching 275,00 households before it was sold in 1989 and publication moved to Birmingham, Alabama.
Two alternative newspapers based in Little Rock are among the periodicals in our collection. Little Rock Free Press began publication in 1993 and was often referred to as the Freep. The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas describes it this way in its entry on the paper: “Often incurring the wrath of religious groups and politicians, the Freep was said by its editor to be ‘provocative Arkansas history with a twist.’” Little Rock Free Press’s predecessor was Spectrum Weekly, which ran from 1985 to 1993 and was printed in Russellville.
Slick Times is a unique title in our periodical collection. Calling itself America’s Premier Lampoon, it focused on Bill Clinton’s presidency. It had the look of National Lampoon but contained mostly jokes and stories about the Clintons. It was famous (or infamous) for its fake $3 bills. Unfortunately, we do not hold the full run of Slick Times, but we have 1996 through its farewell issue in 2000. The holdings also include a special issue called The Laugh-Out-Loud Campaign 2000 Satirical Reader & Joke Book.
By Alysanne Crymes, CALS Roberts Library Cataloguer