In April of 2015, The Arkansas History Commission celebrated the 110th anniversary of its creation by the Arkansas General Assembly. The establishment of the state archives reflected an awareness of the importance of preserving the historical record. Alabama and Mississippi emerged as pioneers in the founding of state archives in 1901 and 1902, respectively.
The state of Arkansas followed as a close third in 1905, the state’s General Assembly overturning Governor Jeff Davis’ veto in order to create the Arkansas History Commission. John Hugh Reynolds, who served as the first secretary to the AHC, hailed the bill’s passage as “public recognition by the State of its duty to its history and its public records.”
Through the following one hundred and ten years, the Arkansas History Commission has been dedicated to organizing and maintaining the state and local history of Arkansas by collecting manuscript materials, artifacts, books, land records, census records, military records, family histories, and various county, state and federal records, and serving over 14,000 patrons each year.
"Tales from the Vault" is a collection of 110 items from the Arkansas History Commission's diverse holdings. Each item was picked by a member of the AHC staff for the interest it sparked, or the connection the staff member felt with the item, and the selections vary widely across the AHC's collections. Take a moment and browse the collection, and commemorate this grand anniversary with us.