Center wins grant to process and digitize Arkansas railroad and city maps

The University of Arkansas for Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture has received nearly $6,000 from the Arkansas Humanities Council to assess, digitalize, and catalog early railway line and city maps created from 1917 to 1918.

The $5,874 grant, entitled “Tie-ing Arkansas Together,” will process and digitize 133 oversized railway maps associated with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railroad and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The rail line associated with this project traveled from MoArk, Arkansas, to Texarkana, Arkansas.

These maps show a unique history of Arkansas towns and businesses in the early 20th century, since they document the location of buildings and other constructed elements as well as railway lines.

This project is associated with a larger endeavor to preserve and showcase material on the railroads’ influence on Arkansas settlement patterns and their influence on culture and society. The center’s goal is to provide resources to educate the public on the importance of political decisions related to city development.

“Understanding the development of the railroad provides a deeper understanding of how people lived and interacted through the structures they built,” the grant states.

Once completed, the digitized maps will be available on the center’s online catalog for the general public to view.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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