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Archives & Special Collections

This is the home page for Archives & Special Collections, Dean B. Ellis Library, 7th Floor, Arkansas State University

Arkansas Collection

The Arkansas Collection is composed of materials from various donors and purchases on and/or about the people, communities, and heritage of Arkansas. This collection also contains materials pertaining to Arkansas State University which includes yearbooks, sport programs, and students' dissertations and theses.

Arkansas Author Collection

Part of the Arkansas Collection, the Arkansas Author Collection focuses on the published works written by Arkansas authors. Included are works by Faith Yingling Knoop, Lois Snelling, and Charlie May Simon.

Cass Hough Aeronautics Book Collection

Cass Hough (1904-1990) was a colonel in the USAAF during the Second World War, president of the Daisy Manufacturing Company, and an aviation enthusiast. During the Second World War, he obtained the longest vertical dive at the time when he took his P-38 into a 43,000-foot vertical dive, breaking the sound barrier. Hough spent most of career working for the Daisy Manufacturing Company. In 1958, he relocated the company from Plymouth, Michigan to Rogers, Arkansas. He remained president of the company until 1975, where he became president of Victor Recreation Products Group. In 1976, he retired when Victor was acquired by Kidde Inc, but headed an investment group which bought back Daisy from Kidde in 1984. In 1981, Hough donated his aviation library to Arkansas State University.

This collection contains numerous books and materials related to aeronautic history, including the records of the Vivell Aircraft Company. There is also the Cass Hough archival collection though the collection has not been fully processed.

Lois Lenski Collection

Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was a Newberry Medal winning author and illustrator of children’s literature. She spent much of her early career illustrating children’s books of other authors until a publisher suggested she write her own stories. In 1943, Lenski began her “regional series,” a collection of children’s books describing rural settings across America. As part of that series, Lenski visited Blytheville, Arkansas in 1947 which led her to write Cotton in My Sack, a children’s book portraying the life of sharecroppers, tenants, and cotton farmers in the 1940s. She wrote two other books portraying Northeast Arkansas, We Live by the River and Houseboat Girl. She wrote and illustrated over one hundred of her own books along with illustrating over fifty books for other authors.

This collection contains the works written by Lenski along with works illustrated by her. Included in this collection are several portfolios of sketches, illustrations, and proofs she produced over her career, six document boxes of archival material, and recorded interviews with Lenski. The items in this collection were gifted to Arkansas State University by the efforts of Eula McDougal of the Mississippi County Public Library, Osceola, Arkansas, and the generosity of Lois Lenski. 

Mary Gay Shipley Book Collection

In the early 1970s, Mary Gay Shipley opened a paperback bookstore affiliated with Memphis-based The Book Rack. She found a place in downtown Blytheville. While locally known as “that bookstore,” it did not become officially That Bookstore in Blytheville until 1994. The store varied selections of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literacy, specializing in Southern writers and books on Southern culture, with an emphasis on Arkansas authors. That Bookstore hosted reading groups, musical performances, and author signing and readings. Among the hundreds of authors who read or signed at That Bookstore were Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, John Grisham, Jack Butler, and Jennifer Paddock. In 2012 Shipley sold the bookstore to Grant Hill. In 2014, the store was sold again, but was unable to keep the store open. That Bookstore closed in 2017 though it was reopened in 2018 under the name Blytheville Book Company.

The Shipley Collection contains over 2,500 books from That Bookstore in Blytheville. Included in the collection are advance reader copies of books, pre-published, almost-complete versions of new books that circulated to select people to read and review before the publication of a book. There is also an eighty-box archival collection containing records for That Bookstore in Blytheville though it has not been fully processed yet.

Arkansas Map Collection

This collection contains topographic quadrangle maps, various dated state maps, highway maps and some other various maps.

A-State Yearbooks


1955 Yearbook

7th floor - Non-Circulating Materials

Archives & Special Collections materials are non-circulating. They are for use only in the Eugene W. Smtih Reading Room on the 7th floor. This helps to preserve and protect our unique items. Please contact for an appointment and let us know what material(s) you would like to see.