Monday, January 14, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas Goes Mobile

Get the story of just about any Arkansas experience anywhere with the new mobile version of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (EOA) website.

The EOA is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of Arkansas. Text entries and media galleries offer information about the people, places, events, culture, and lore of Arkansas. The mobile website will allow users to access, for example, an entry on the history of a town or city they might be visiting in a format specifically designed for smart phones. Specifics that a tour guide or a teacher leading a field trip could offer are available at the touch of a screen for any tourist or native Arkansan, and will make a visit to a Civil War site, a bathhouse in Hot Springs, or the Buffalo River more interesting and complete.

David Stricklin, head of the Butler Center, said, "Anyone exploring Arkansas can use a mobile device to read the EOA entry on a specific town, its county, a Civil War skirmish near there, and lots of other items about the area. Suddenly, the picture of the town has become more three-dimensional. We want everyone to have that kind of deep experience and engagement with Arkansas."

The mobile site was made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council (AHC), which was an original supporter of the EOA project. In addition to the mobile website, the AHC grant also funded the development of more locally oriented content for the EOA, especially entries on many of the smaller communities across the state.

Smart phones and other mobile devices will access the mobile version of the site automatically, but readers can also see this version on their regular computers by going to The mobile site also offers a Photo of the Day and a "This Day in Arkansas History."

As of January 2013, the EOA has more than 3,100 entries and 4,200 pieces of media, all of which are accessible through the mobile site. New entries and media are being added every week. The EOA's mission is to collect and disseminate information on all aspects of the state's history and culture and to provide a comprehensive reference work for historians, teachers, students, and individuals for the purpose of promoting the study, understanding, and appreciation of Arkansas's heritage,


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