LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Volunteers are coming together to help record history from Hempstead County.

The Arkansas State Archives is trying to preserve historic material throughout the state, so volunteers are helping by sorting Arkansas Territory documents from 1815 and later in Hempstead County.

“It’s amazing just to get to hold something that’s almost 200 years old,” says Dr. Wendy Richter, State Historian at the Archives. “We are finding all sorts of treasures.”

“It can often paint a nice picture of what life was like,” she adds.

Volunteers with the Friends of the Archives are helping out.

“These documents were kind of abandoned and there are thousands and thousands and thousands of names in them,” says Susan Boyle. 

The goal is to find names and catalog those names to be put online. So page by page, these volunteers work and read, they find information on road history, comical stories, and even accounts of slavery in the South.

“We’ve found a lot of slave documents which are very important because they are very hard to come by,” Boyle adds.

Right now the project is only for Hempstead County but the hope is to continue this to other counties in the Natural State.