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Rare Finds from a Media Goldmine, When You Have the Time to Look

I’m not sure you can find anyone who would dispute the statement that 2020 has been a strange year that has brought many changes to our lives. I certainly would not. For me, some changes have been a little stressful. Early in the pandemic, the Central Arkansas Library System closed down, sending all employees home,


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Art on the Move at CALS Library Square

Fusion, a spherical sculpture made of limestone sitting on a limestone base, was commissioned as a memorial to Vernon C. Johnson Sr., who was a security guard at the Central Arkansas Library System for more than twenty years. After Johnson’s death in 2006, the CALS community commissioned the artwork from sculptor Michael Warrick.


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Immanuel Lutheran Church Records Now Available for Research

Several German communities emerged to the west and southwest of Little Rock in the 1870s and 1880s in response to efforts by the state and by the railroads to promote immigration. These settlements, which still show evidence of their German heritage, continued to use the German language well into the twentieth century. The religious needs of community members were initially served by occasional visits from the pastor of First Lutheran Church in Little Rock.


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Enjoy November’s 2FAN in the Crisp Fall Air

CALS Galleries at Library Square

Second Friday Art Night (2FAN)

Friday, November 13, 5 to 8 p.m. 

Location: River Market Pavilion, downtown Little Rock

The opening exhibition for November features panels of artwork for the 2020 DrainSmart murals.


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A Spiritual Past in the Present

Genealogy is a search for your spiritual past. Standing in the present, someone guides you to a moment when you did not exist physically. Gathering evidence of those who prepared a path for your entry into the world sheds light onto who you have become.

Why do certain childhood memories remain strong while others fade?


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Sid McMath Collection (including Digitized Items) Now Open to Researchers

Today we are used to political campaigns filled with sound bites and fifteen- or thirty-second commercials. When Sid McMath ran for office in Arkansas in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he often bought large blocks of radio time to broadcast campaign events or to address the people.

The Sid McMath Collection (BC.MSS.18.33) at the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies contains examples of such broadcasts,


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Concordia Hall Collection of Jewish Event Materials Now Open to Researchers

For almost forty years, the Concordia Association, a social club established in 1864 to serve the Jewish community in Little Rock, leased space in various downtown buildings. Their meeting rooms, known at each location as Concordia Hall, often also served other Jewish organizations, as well as non-Jewish groups and individuals.

In 1882, the Concordia Association arranged with liquor distributors Max Hilb and William Probst to include a second story on their new building at 409 E.


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A Word from the Roberts Library: Changes…

I’m writing this on October 1, the first anniversary of the day I acquired the title of manager at the CALS Roberts Library. I knew that the work would present challenges. I didn’t expect, however, that more challenges than ever would come from outside the building, the system, the city, the state, and the country.


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Newsworthy Then and Now: Election Fraud

Here’s the truth about election fraud—it’s always been the means by which entrenched elites hold on to their power. Election fraud entails not only the devious misuse of ballot boxes but also acts of violence with the goal of intimidating certain groups of voters. And, if successful, election fraud ends up allowing its perpetrators to enact its aims into official policy.


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Olly Neal and Ernie Dumas: A Virtual Discussion

In May, Butler Center Books published OUTSPOKEN: The Olly Neal Story, by Olly Neal Jr., as told to Jan Wrede. Although we weren’t able to do the big book-launch event we had planned due to the pandemic, we were honored to be able to host a virtual discussion with Olly Neal, guided by longtime journalist Ernie Dumas (also a Butler Center Books author),


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