Tip: If this is your first visit to SARA, please bring a picture ID with you. You will be asked to register at the front desk, and will be issued a research number and card.
Tip: There is no wi-fi currently available in our research room. Public computers have internet access and provide free access to Ancestry.com records.
Tip: There is limited cell reception in Washington. You may not be able to use cell phones or other wireless devices at our facility.
Tip: Copy cards for use at Arkansas State Archives printers, copiers, and microfilm reader/printers cannot be purchased at SARA, but previously-purchased State Archives copy cards can be reloaded if low on money. Printing and copying are both $0.25 per page (cash only).
Tip: A member of the State Archives staff is available to help patrons, fetch microfilm rolls, bring collections from our vault, and offer research guidance, but due to the low number of staff at our regional archives, research services are limited.
Tip: Not all SARA's archival collections are in the online searches yet. If you need something specific to our region that isn't online, ask our staff for assistance.
The Arkansas State Archives houses a vast array of historical records in our holdings, the majority of which are searchable here on our site. We have compiled some search tips here to help you find the records you are looking for:
Tip: All records in the Arkansas State Archives' online record search are searched either by Title, or by Name.
Tip: A record's call number can indicate its location at the Arkansas State Archives or either of the regional archives.
Tip: When choosing a State, County, and/or City Limiter in the search, always select a state first. Using the State Limiter first will automatically narrow down the County and City Limiter lists to counties and cities within that state.
Tip: When entering a date range into the search's Date Limiter, keep in mind that the date range will require a Month/Day/Year value for beginning and end date, and that not all records have a date range assigned to them.
Tip: When starting a new search, make sure to click the Reset button to clear all previous search results.
Records Searched by Title:
Tip: Record types searched by Title include: Maps, Printed Ephemera, Ozark Photographs, Vertical Files, General Microfilm, County Microfilm, Military Microfilm, and Newspapers. These record types are not searchable by First or Last Name.
Tip: Some record types do not necessarily have a recorded City or County or State for every entry within them. If the results you are looking for are not showing up, consider removing limiters that may be excluding the results you want.
Tip: When searching County Records, title search by the kind of record you are looking for, e.g. "marriage," "tax," "probate," "real estate."
Tip: Limit your search by state and county to narrow the returned result to records from the Arkansas county you are looking for.
Tip: To search for all of the newspapers we have for a specific area, simply leave the Title field blank and limit your search to Newspapers from a specific County or City.
Tip: You can limit your search by date to see what newspapers are available for specific time periods. For example, searching for Record Type: Newspapers, State: Arkansas, County: Hot Spring, Dates: 01/01/1945 - 12/31/1945 will give you all the newspaper titles we have for Hot Spring County in 1945.
Tip: Using fewer search terms can prevent the exclusion of titles that may also be of use to you, e.g. searching “Times” instead of “Weekly Times” will return more results.
Military Microfilm Records
Tip: Search using keywords for the name of the conflict or the kind of records you are searching for, e.g. “revolutionary,” “civil,” “draft,” “service records,” “correspondence.”
Tip: The General Microfilm database contains manuscript collections, state agency records, church and funeral home records, school and educational records, and organizational records. Try searching by the name of the agency, church, funeral home, school, or organization you wish to find.
Tip: Map titles describe the focus and purpose of the map, which can give you an idea of what information the map will show.
Tip: If you can't find a map of the exact town you are looking for, try broadening your search to include maps of the county where the town is located.
Records Searched by Name
Tip: Record types searched by Name include Shrader Negatives, Thomas Harding Photographs, the In Remembrance Death Index, State Land Records, Confederate Pension Records, 1911 Confederate Veterans Reunion Registration Cards, 1911 Confederate Veterans Reunion Questionnaires, Confederate Veterans Home Records, and WWI Discharge Records.
Tip: Names on records are not always the person’s full name. Military records in particular often use a person’s first and middle initials plus their last name. If unsure how the name was recorded, try searching only for the last name.
Tip: Name search results will be alphabetical, within each record type.
Tip: Pension Records are searchable by the name of the veteran and the veteran's widow, if she applied. The pension applications completed by the veteran and the widow are filed together.
Tip: The In Remembrance Death Index reports the date recorded in the source, not necessarily the exact date of a person's death.
The Arkansas State Archives houses approximately 13,000 cubic feet of state records and manuscript collections pertaining to the history of Arkansas and its people. These materials have been described and inventoried for ease of access, and can be searched and/or browsed on our website, here.
Tip: Inventories are full-text searchable, so entering a specific word into the Archival Collections search will bring up any collection whose inventory has that word in it. Search results are ordered by relevance.
Tip: You can limit your Archival Collections search by repository, to limit search results to archival collections held at the State Archives in Little Rock, at the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) in Powhatan, or at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) in Washington.
Tip: Clicking on any of the letters arrayed across the Browse Archival Collections page will bring up all of the Archival Collections whose titles begin with that letter. Clicking on B will bring up a list and short description for each of the collections whose titles begin with the letter B.
Tip: Clicking on the title of a collection will take you to a page with more complete information on that collection, including background information, collection #, location, and a description or inventory of contents.