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The Annals of Arkansas comprise four volumes of narrative and biographical histories of Arkansas, written by several experts in the state’s history and edited by Dallas Tabor Herndon, who was director of the Arkansas History Commission (now the Arkansas State Archives). The Annals were meant to revise, re-edit, and continue preserving and recording the historical record of Arkansas’s development initially begun by Herndon’s previous multi-volume study, Centennial History of Arkansas, published in 1922. In short, the Annals of Arkansas and the Annals’ forerunners—the Centennial History of Arkansas and Fay Hempstead’s Historical Review of Arkansas—form the beginnings of an authoritative study of Arkansas history.
The first two volumes of the Annals contain brief but informative historical entries on various subjects organized chronologically, from Arkansas’s Native American heritage to the American Civil War and on to World War I. In addition to historical events, the first volume contains chapters on Arkansas industries, infrastructure, churches, colleges, libraries, and the press. There are also brief histories of the seventy-five counties and the various communities within them.
The last part of the second volume and the entirety of volumes three and four contain biographical sketches of prominent Arkansans, beginning with Governor George W. Donaghey, accompanied by photographs and signatures. A biographical index is included at the end of volume four. Altogether, the Annals comprise approximately 2,000 pages.
Since publication in 1947, the Annals of Arkansas have been used by countless researchers. All four volumes of the Annals are included in most every Arkansas library’s reference collection and are still used frequently by students, librarians, researchers, archivists, and teachers as a common starting point for research on almost any aspect of Arkansas history and culture. The Annals are now out of print.
For additional information:
Herndon, Dallas Tabor, ed. Annals of Arkansas. 4 vols. Hopkinsville, KY: Historical Record Association, 1947.
Cody Lynn Berry
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Last Updated 12/2/2016
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