Education Matters: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas history is within reach of your own fingertips... and there are many resources you can take advantage of in order to take your knowledge of the Natural State to a whole new level...
 
When you walk inside the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, there's much more to it than at first glance.
 
"What people are doing here is getting connected in their own lives or in some cases getting connected to the broader world," David Stricklin, the Director of the Butler Center, said.
 
You can come face-to-face with artifacts, diaries, records, newspaper clippings... Stricklin says the center is home to 10 million documents and photographs.
 
Now, in a digital age, the Butler Center provides access to research services and online databases.
 
"People think, oh your library, you have great things stock-piled, you've got all the books, the documents, photographs here... but all that is meaningless if people don't interact with it," Stricklin said.
 
So the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is helping with different ways to pull people in.
 
One way is Legacies and Lunch, a monthly lecture series.
 
"You got things about the training camps were built here, the young men who went into the service from Arkansas," Stricklin said.
 
The series focuses on World War I and where you can find resources at the center to learn more.
 
The Butler Center is filled with so much history, including your own -- it gives you the opportunity to dive into your own genealogy.
 
"People are here from all over the country working on genealogy," Stricklin said.
 
Stars like Ginnifer Goodwin found about their heritage at the Butler Center. There are materials that show family trees in the U.S. and other countries.
 
With so many tools to grasp, this is why David believes it's important for you to know why these educational tools matter.
 
"Understanding Arkansas' past can help make the state stronger and better," Stricklin said.
 
If you'd like to learn more, you can stop by the Butler Center downtown or go to www.butlercenter.org.

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