The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas seeks to be a comprehensive reference work on Arkansas. However, limited time and resources force us to be judicious in selecting entries for inclusion. To help us determine which entry suggestions should be pursued for inclusion, we use the following guidelines.

ARKANSAS. The primary criteria for an entry must be its significance to some aspect of the state of Arkansas. After that, levels of significance fall into three categories:

International or National, State, and Regional or Local.

  • Event
    • National or International – Events that have occurred in Arkansas, or that Arkansans have been significant participants in, that have gained national or international recognition. (Central High Desegregation Crisis, Williwaw War)
    • State – Events that have occurred in Arkansas that have impacted the entire state. (Brooks-Baxter War, Rural Electrification)
    • Regional/Local – Events that are limited to a particular region or town that have had a significant and unique impact on that area. (Jonesboro Church Wars, Desegregation of Hoxie Schools)
  • Group
    • National or International – National groups that have had a significant impact on the state are included as well as state groups that have had an impact on the national or international community. (Republican Party, The Browns)
    • State – Groups that have had a significant impact at the state level. (Arkansas Educational Association, State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches)
    • Regional/Local – Regional Groups that have had a significant impact on their area. (Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas)
  • Person
    • For the purpose of the EOA, an “Arkansan” is defined as someone who was born in the state, lived in Arkansas for a considerable period of time, or played a significant role in the state’s history and culture regardless of length of residence. The person must have a unique significance (especially for regional/local entries). We have to ask the question, “what sets this person apart from his peers?” For example, many Arkansas have been notable politicians. To qualify for inclusion in the Encyclopedia, they must done something that had a significant impact on the state or area. Just being elected to an office does not guarantee inclusion.
    • National or International – An Arkansan who has made significant contribution in their field, on the national or international level or someone of national or international significance in whose life Arkansas played a significant role. (Bill Clinton, Charles Lindbergh)
    • State – Arkansans who have made a unique impact on a statewide level. (Harry Ashmore, Harvey Couch)
    • Regional/Local – Arkansas who have made a unique impact upon their region or town. (Pietro Bandini)
  • Place – for a place to be included as a separate entry, it should have historic significance beyond the people who built it or lived there.
    • National or International – Buildings or locations that have national significance. (Clinton Presidential Library, Buffalo National River, Rohwer Relocation Camp)
    • State – Buildings or locations that have statewide significance. (the State Capitol Building, University of Arkansas at Little Rock)
    • Regional – Counties and towns as well as buildings or places with historic significance. (Thorncrown Chapel, Tulip)
  • Thing – Things are broken into two categories tangible items such as razorbacks [hogs] or movies, and intangible items such as business or laws.
    • National or International – Things created by Arkansans that have had a national or international significance. (Wal-Mart, Sling Blade)
    • State – Things created by Arkansans or that occur in Arkansas that have a unique statewide significance. (Diamond Mining)
    • Regional – Things created in or that occur in a particular region of Arkansas that are unique to that area and significant to its development. (Camark Pottery)

Length – Entries are assigned at varying rates based on their level of significance and complexity. A short entry has 251 to 750 words, a medium entry has 751 to 1500 words, and a long entry has 1501 to 3999 words.

For example:

  • Rush, the ghost town, and Julie Adams, the actress who played the lead role in the movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, are short entries.
  • Johnny Cash and The Southern Tenant Farmers Union are medium entries.
  • Bill Clinton and The Desegregation of Central High are long entries.

We realize that this word count may seem very limiting, but the encyclopedia format is designed to give the reader a brief introduction to the subject rather than an in-depth analysis.