All FSPL locations will be closed today due to the winter weather.

Barbara Walker Genealogy and Arkansas History Collection

Interior of library

Location, Contact, and Hours

Address:
3201 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72903

 

Directions:
Google Maps

 

Phone:
(479) 783-0229


Fax:
(479) 783-5129

Hours:
Monday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday CLOSED

Holiday Closings

Staff at the Barbara Jones Walker Genealogy and Arkansas History Department specialize in helping customers research their family history and make the most of their time spent with the library’s genealogy collection.  The genealogy collection contains about 25,000 titles including Fort Smith city directories from 1881 to present, local high school yearbooks, local funeral home records dating back to the early 1900s, Fort Smith birth, death, and cemetery indexes, and a Sebastian County marriage index.  Genealogy resources for Arkansas, Oklahoma, and 43 other states are available.  The Genealogy and Arkansas collections are non-circulating.  The Genealogy collection is in open stacks, while the Arkansas collection, as well as original documents of genealogical value, is in closed stacks. 

Staff can also help researchers use online databases such as Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and the Access Newspaper Archive.  Local newspapers dating to 1848, Dawes Commission rolls and census (enrollment cards) for the Five Civilized Tribes, and census records are available on microfilm.  Some newspapers have been digitized as part of an ongoing multi-year newspaper digitization project.  Microfilm may be viewed during regular library hours even if the Genealogy Department is closed. 

Resources on Fort Smith history including Judge Isaac C. Parker’s court and the U.S. Marshals Service are also available.

Genealogy Databases

African American Heritage

African American Heritage was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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Ancestry (Library Edition)

Covers more than two billion names throughout the various databases collection. This database offers access to Ancestry.com. It is available in the library only, and customers are limited to six emailed documents per email address.

By vendor contract rules, this website is accessible from FSPL’s four locations ONLY (NOT from home).

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Chronicling America

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. 

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FamilySearch

The Fort Smith Library is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, which means it has access to more genealogy resources to help you make more family discoveries. FamilySearch is a world leader in family history. Customers will have access to a wealth of genealogical resources available through FamilySearch and additional records are accessible by visiting the Genealogy Department at the Main Library. 

The additional resources are accessible from FSPL’s four locations ONLY (NOT from home).

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Fort Smith City Birth Records

This index is the official “Record of Report of Births Filed With the City Clerk of Fort Smith Arkansas.”  Births were first recorded with the City of Fort Smith in 1881, and continued to be recorded at the city level until 1965. Many local births were never recorded with the city. The period currently covered by this index is 1881-1921.

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Fort Smith City Death Records

This index is the official “Record of Report of Deaths Filed With the City Clerk of Fort Smith Arkansas.” Deaths were first recorded with the City of Fort Smith in 1881, and continued to be recorded at the city level until 1965. Many local deaths were never recorded with the city. These records are in the process of being indexed, and will be updated periodically. The period currently covered by this index is 1881-1924.

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Fort Smith Digitized Newspapers

We are now digitizing the microfilmed versions of our Fort Smith newspapers. We currently have newspapers from 1848 to December 31, 1944. More dates will be added to our collection as we continue the digitization project.

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Fort Smith Public Library Cemetery Index

This index includes individuals buried in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The information was taken from interment records from the 
following cemeteries: Calvary (Catholic)–to 1991; Forest Park–1910-1988; Rose Lawn & Holy Cross–1930-1991; U.S. National Cemetery–to 1990; Washington Cemetery–1943-1996; Woodlawn Memorial Park–1959-1989.

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HeritageQuest Online

Search census data, family records, local histories, and other artifacts to help you find out more about your family’s past.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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Newspapers.com World Collection (Library Edition)

Historical newspapers archive from the 1700s - 2000s containing thousands of well-known regional, state, and small local newspapers in the United States and other countries.

 

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Sebastian County Marriage Records

This index includes individuals married in Sebastian County (Fort Smith and Greenwood) from years 1847, 1861, 1863-June 14, 2001.  Source Information provided by the Sebastian County Clerk’s marriage records. These records will be updated periodically.

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History Databases

American History

The American History database from ABC-CLIO lets student researchers explore the key events, defining moments, and unique individual contributions that have shaped the nation.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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American History Online

By providing the most comprehensive range of information in one complete resource, American History offers a virtual library of American history for educators, students, and researchers of all ages. Includes articles, images, primary source documents, timelines, videos, and slideshows.

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American Mosaic: The African American Experience

Providing a comprehensive survey of African American history, The African American Experience from ABC-CLIO shows students the challenges and contributions of African Americans across political, social, artistic, and literary contexts.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience

The American Indian Experience from ABC-CLIO gives students entry into an often neglected side of American history, illuminating both the historical and contemporary practices of more than 150 Native American tribes across North America.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience

The Latino American Experience from ABC-CLIO offers students a deep exploration of this growing national identity that includes Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Cubans, Dominicans, Columbians, Ecuadorians, and other Latino peoples in the U.S. 

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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CultureGrams

Primary sources, statistics, and cultural reports covering the countries of the world, states, and Canadian provinces.  Explore the United States and discover state flags, maps, sports teams, recipes, symbols, songs, and more. 

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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World Book Timelines

World Book Timelines allows you to discover and map important events with accurate information.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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World Geography: Understanding a Changing World

World Geography: Understanding a Changing World offers students the ability to research by region, category, and country and make demographic comparisons among each.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras

World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras from ABC-CLIO explores the early cultures, powerful dynasties, and the development of societies across the world, giving students a historical road map of the events and innovations that shaped civilization itself.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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World History: The Modern Era

From ABC-CLIO, World History: The Modern Era is a database of historical reference materials and interactive curricular units. It includes tools for enhancing lectures, creating research lists, developing student activities and addressing different learning styles.

The Traveler Statewide Resource project is made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.”

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