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A Postcard from Ponca

Three years ago, my wife and I spent a week that fall holed up in a cabin in Ponca, an unincorporated community in Newton County that is one of those rural places that thrives on outside visitors like us. Perched right near the Buffalo River, it is home to a handful of canoe and cabin rental services,

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So Many ____ , So Little Time

You’ve probably heard the expression “so many books, so little time.” You could replace the word books with just about anything related to what you love to do. Are you a knitter? So much yarn, so little time. Are you a hiker? So many trails, so little time. Are you a traveler? So many places,

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William L. Terry Papers Now Open to Researchers

The William L. Terry papers, donated to the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in 2014, are now available to the public. Consisting of professional working papers, family mementos, photographs, and other items, this collection reveals more than three generations of life in Little Rock for researchers to examine.

Donor William Leake Terry (1922–2016) was an attorney and community leader in Little Rock.

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A Word from the Roberts Library

Three months have passed since my last report. Things have changed—some for the better, and others not.

Sadly, we lost two major figures in the Arkansas history community in the last few weeks: Richard C. Butler Jr. and John G. Ragsdale Jr. They each had a profound effect on the development of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

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A Continuing Struggle for Black Civil Rights in Arkansas: OUTSPOKEN, by Olly Neal Jr.

Many are discussing current issues of police violence, inequality in opportunities and pay, and other problems facing the African American community in the nation and in Arkansas. Olly Neal’s autobiography, just published by Butler Center Books at the Central Arkansas Library System, confronts these same concerns, providing historical context for the protest movements of today.

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Newly Digitized: Arkansas Military Academy Yearbook

One recent addition to the CALS Butler Center’s digital collection gives insight into the educational systems in Little Rock in the first years of the twentieth century. The Amazer Vol. I was the first yearbook, and perhaps the only yearbook, produced by the students of Arkansas Military Academy (AMA). This private school was established in Little Rock as a boys’ university training school in response to overcrowding and other problems in the public schools of the city.

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CALS Butler Center Home Movie Collection


Several years ago we put together a compilation of the home movies in our collection. Spend about half an hour to see how Arkansans in past decades (from about 1930 to 2010) were spending their ordinary and extraordinary days. To experience it with music and audio, go to our website.

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An Epistemology of Ignorance

Much of our history remains invisible to us. This is not due to a lack of original sources or a paucity of published works on particular subjects. Rather, this invisibility is based upon our ways of conceiving the past.

For example, I was once in conversation with a man on the prevalence of anti-Confederate sentiment in Arkansas during the Civil War.

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A Spotlight on Watercolors at the Galleries at Library Square at the CALS Roberts Library

Opening Friday, June 12, in the Galleries at Library Square, West Gallery, are the exhibitions Mid-Southern Watercolorists 50th Annual Juried Exhibition and the Founders of Mid-Southern Watercolorists: Celebrating 50 Years of Watercolor. At this time, due to CALS building closures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are available for viewing by appointment only—email gallery@cals.org to make an appointment to enter the CALS Bobby L.

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The Butler Banner archives between 1999-2018 are available in PDF format only.

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