NEARA Open House

NEARA Celebrates One Year of Service in NE Arkansas

NorthEast Arkansas Regional Archives, a branch of the Arkansas History Commission, opened the doors of its newly constructed facility on March 3, 2011, marking the return of Lawrence County records to Powhatan Historic State Park after being housed for several years at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Since opening the new facility, NEARA has experienced significant growth and has been a draw for the local economy.

The facility opened with holdings of approximately 500 cubic feet of records from the old courthouse. The Arkansas History Commission transferred 1,400 rolls of microfilm and 3,000 books from their holdings in Little Rock to NEARA’s state of the art storage vault. Most of the courthouse records were unprocessed and unavailable for public research. Thousands of these records, including marriage, probate, pension, and court cases, have been processed, indexed, and are available for research. Acquisitions during 2011 doubled the number of records and nearly doubled the number of books available for research. New acquisitions include government records from Crittenden and Sharp counties, aerial photographs of Lawrence County in the 1930s and 1950s, family Bibles, photographs, Jonesboro Civitan Club scrapbooks, and additional Lawrence County tax and court records, and microfilm.

In its first year, NEARA’s contributions to northeast Arkansas have been numerous. Serving as a stimulus for the local economy, NEARA draws hundreds of visitors from across Arkansas and the United States. Volunteers from the local community have provided approximately 1000 man-hours of service and two interns have trained at the facility. Many staff hours of assistance have been offered to regional groups, along with NEARA becoming an active partner in local history organizations.

As NEARA moves into its second year, expanding outreach efforts to more counties and communities in the region and continuing to make important historical and genealogical records accessible to the public are the primary goals of the Archives.

For more information about the celebration, contact Lisa Perry, NEARA Archival Manager at, or by phone at 870.878.6521. NEARA is open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, except state holidays.

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is a branch of the Arkansas History Commission, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. For more information about the Arkansas History Commission, please contact Dr. Wendy Richter, Director at

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