Pryor Center Prepares For Move

History Hub Among New Uses Planned For Downtown Square

Posted: May 12, 2013 at 5 a.m.

Their bags aren’t packed yet, but Pryor Center employees are getting ready to set up shop in the mostly vacant building on the east side of the square.

At A Glance

Pryor Center

The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History has recorded or collected hundreds of interviews with people who have lived in and influenced its history. The center was established in 1999 using unspent campaign money donated to the University of Arkansas by former U.S. Sen. David Pryor.

Featured interviews include:

• Jim Blair, former general counsel, Tyson Foods

• Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States

• Alta Faubus, first wife of former Gov. Orval Faubus

• John Paul Hammerschmidt, former U.S. Congressman

• E. Lynn Harris, New York Times best-selling author

• Dale Hawkins, singer/songwriter

• Gordon Morgan, first black professor at the University of Arkansas

• Sonny Payne, host, “King Biscuit Time” blues radio show

• Rodney Slater, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation

• Floyd Thomas, former FBI agent and Ku Klux Klan investigator

The Pryor Center’s collection also includes oral histories of the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Democrat newspapers and former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. The center recently acquired decades worth of video archives from Little Rock ABC affiliate KATV. The archives include footage from the 1939 Hope Watermelon Festival and 1957 standoff between former Gov. Orval Faubus and supporters of racial integration at Central High School in Little Rock.

For more information, or to review interviews, go to

Source: The Pryor Center

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