Monday, September 22, 2014

Researching the Central High Crisis: Manuscript Collections

Butler Center staff is used to getting requests for help researching topics related to the Central High Desegregation Crisis. If you are interested in the Crisis, visit the Arkansas Studies Institute and we can help you access these one-of-a-kind manuscript collections full of primary and secondary sources.

Eight of the Little Rock Nine (Carlotta Walls, Gloria Ray, Ernest Green, Jefferson Thomas, Terrance Roberts, Thelma Mothershed, Minniejean Brown, and Melba Patillo) after filing affidavits on the cases with U.S. District Attorney, Little Rock, Ark., September 1957
International News Photograph

Bobbie Forester Collection

This collection contains the personal records and correspondence of a writer and editor for the Arkansas Democrat who was honored for her coverage of the Little Rock school desegregation crisis.

Elizabeth Paisley Huckaby Collection

This collection contains many materials related to the Central High Crisis including letters to the Little Rock Nine and a series of letters written to her brother Bill Paisley during the turbulent time at Central High School which she compiled and entitled "Letters to Bill." It also contains news clippings about her retirement, her movie and book, the Central High integration crisis, and the related issues of segregation and race relations. Most of these newspaper clippings are from the Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Democrat and a fair amount of them are saved in two scrapbooks along with printed propaganda from the segregationist forces and memos from the Little Rock school board to the teachers.

Elizabeth Jacoway Little Rock Crisis Collection

This collection contains documents and audio-visual materials accumulated by Elizabeth Jacoway during more than 30 years of research for her 2007 book, Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis that Shocked the Nation.

Office of Desegregation Monitoring Records

This collection contains records from the Office of Desegregation Monitoring, including legal documents, correspondence, news clippings, maps, school profiles, monitoring and various other reports concerning school district compliances, operations, and policies.

William T. Shelton Desegregation Materials

The collection includes journalistic material associated with the reportage of desegregation of public schools in the South.

Grif Stockley Papers

Stockley published Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas in 2005. This collection contains primary documents and research notes related to his book, as well as drafts of the manuscript. Topics include the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Arkansas, race relations, and discrimination in the Arkansas court system.

Tom W. Dillard Black Arkansiana Materials

This collection is arranged into fourteen series: Series I contains biographical data on black Arkansans, which is arranged alphabetically. The remaining materials are grouped into series by subject. The final series pertains to general African-American history.

This list is by no means exhaustive and does not include the numerous books and other printed materials available for researchers. For more information about the resources available at the Butler Center, please call 501-320-5700 or email


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