About Us

The Arkansas History Commission

One of the oldest existing state agencies, the Arkansas History Commission was created by the General Assembly in 1905, to be the official archives of the state, responsible for collecting and preserving the source materials of the history of Arkansas.
For the first few decades, under director Dallas T. Herndon, the state archives were located in the present State Capitol. In 1951, when the Old State House was restored, the History Commission was moved into a part of the west wing of that building. After becoming a part of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism in 1971, the History Commission moved to its current location, at One Capitol Mall, in 1979. It remains there today, continuing its tradition of organizing and maintaining the state and local history of Arkansas by collecting manuscript materials, census records, military records, family histories, and various county, state and federal records, and serving over 14,000 patrons each year.
In 2005, the AHC acquired the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington, Hempstead County, Arkansas, as its first branch archives location. The AHC's second regional branch archives, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, was built in 2011 in Powhatan, Lawrence County, Arkansas.  Dr. Lisa Speer became the director of the History Commission in June, 2013.
Contact the Arkansas History Commission at 501.682.6900 or state.archives@arkansas.gov

Our mission is to keep and care for the official archives of the State of Arkansas, collect material bearing on the history of Arkansas from the earliest times, copy and edit official records and other historical material and to encourage historical work and research by the public.