The Pebley Center has been collecting historical materials significant to the history of Sebastian, Franklin, Polk, Crawford, Logan and Scott counties in Arkansas and of LeFlore County and Sequoyah County in Oklahoma. The collection consists of manuscripts, books, family collections, dissertations, microfilm, government documents, journals of local historical societies, and photographs. It is non-circulating and may be used by the public as well as the University community. The Pebley Center is located in Room 137 of the Boreham Library. It offers a comfortable environment in which to conduct research. A microfilm/microfiche reader and computers are available for patron use.
Students can get research help at the Pebley Center by either calling, emailing, or visiting in person to fill out a requesition form. Students will be notified when their materials are ready. For any questions or concerns contact archivist Shelley Blanton.
Dr. Angie Evans Benham made a contribution to progress in Van Buren education with her efforts as a 15-year-old high school student in support of the integration of Van Buren High School in 1958. Her digital collection consists of items she received from public response. "Someone had to speak up," Angie later told reporters and was quoted in Time magazine. “I just don’t think segregation is a Christian thing.”
Olive, Kathleen, and Rosa Belle A. Pebley
Olive Gertrude Hanna Pebley and her daughters, Rosa Belle A. and Kathleen Ellen, made a bequest to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith to further education about Arkansas and its social and cultural history. The bequest resulted in the establishment of the Pebley Center in 2003.
An archives is a place where people go to find information. But rather than gathering information from books as you would in a library, people who do research in archives often gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other primary sources.
Archives – and the professional archivists who work in them – make sure that all important records will be available for research by generations to come. To help preserve material, archivists in all types of repositories store archived records in acid-free folders within acid-free boxes that are placed in dark spaces with consistent temperature and humidity.
"What is an archives?" Society of American Archivist, 2007
Apple Hat Company (above), Wade Family Collection
Progressive Club (below), Wade Family Collection