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Books and map

Archival and Collections Research

The museums Archival Research Wing contains a library of books pertaining to General Historical Information, Arkansas Resources, Civil War, Native Americans, and published Family Histories. Shelves are dedicated to books, transcriptions of public records, and historical journals from each of the twelve counties served by the museum. A public access computer, microfilm reader/printer, and video-viewing station provide important historical information. Research takes place around comfortable tables in a pleasant environment with volunteers to assist visitors.

None of our archival resources can be accessed on line due to the time it takes to place them there. Researchers are invited to come to the museum to gain information directly from our holdings.

We welcome all researchers to our archives. While not required, we strongly recommend the scheduling of research visits. A pre-scheduling of your visit can become vital if you are from out of town and traveling to our museum. The OIRM docent and archival staff are volunteers. While we strive to have volunteer staff available to assist researchers during all operational hours, there are times when we are limited on personnel. Coordinating with us on your planned visit allows us to ensure a volunteer assistant is available to maximize archival resources as well as capitalize on your valuable time. To schedule an archival research visit, please call 870-793-2121 or email us. We look forward to assisting you.

Documents and Records

Independence County Public Tax Records are housed in the museums vault room. Docents will bring out the volume requested to be studied by researchers.

Independence County Probate Packets, boxes 1 through 142, cover the 1830s through 1930s. These packets are invaluable resources for those searching death records. They contain vouchers, letters of administration, descriptions of personal and real property, and names of heirs. A surname index lists all estates probated.

Historical Society Journals from Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff counties are on the archival library shelves. Published city, county, church, and school histories are also available.

Surname and Community History Files are housed in filing cabinets alphabetically for visitors to search through for genealogical or historical information. Researchers are encouraged to add unbound copies of their family history to the files. 
Click for     Surname File      Community History File

Independence County Marriage Record Index 1824-2005 is available to visitors using the research computer in the archival wing.

Maps are placed on an accessible rack in the library and also within a multi-drawer map case that Docents may retrieve for the visiting researcher. Modern county maps in the rack include Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.

Ledgers in Museum Collectionsshelves in archives

Microfilm Holdings in the Archives can be viewed and printed.

Microfilm Reader

Oral History Cassette and Video Tapes can be played in the museum. They cover a wide range of subjects interesting to researchers.

Computer Access is Available to the Researching Visitor, including material on Compact Disks, Internet Sites, and the Museums Collections.

Old Independence Regional Museum Collections are entered into the PastPerfect Collections Management System on networked computers in the museum. A visiting researcher may access information about every item in our collections through the Visitors Computer. The Collections data are Read Only files and cannot be edited through the visitors computer.

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