Arkansas Historical Marker Program

GUIDELINES

The Arkansas Historical Marker Program, established in 2017 by the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is another way the department is fulfilling its mission to preserve and promote our state’s valuable cultural and historic resources. The markers commemorate the past by acknowledging the historically significant people, places and events that have shaped our state and confirm the importance of educating the public about these Arkansas treasures. Even though national and state events are sure to be recognized in the marker program, local history is just as important and having communities come together in this endeavor is rewarding and beneficial for our state as a whole. The Historical Marker Program creates a visible and lasting tribute to our history, heritage, and shared identity as Arkansans.


Please read below before starting the application process.


GENERAL MARKER CRITERIA

  • In order for a historic person, place and event to be eligible for marker commemoration, the significance must have been attained at least 50 years ago. There are exceptions if the person, place or event is of extraordinary historical significance.
  • No living person shall be commemorated.
  • Markers must be sponsored by civic groups and organizations (Chamber of Commerce, historical societies, etc.) partnering with individuals. Individuals, including private property owners who wish to apply for a marker to commemorate an event or person pertaining to their land, cannot solely sponsor a marker.
  • The application must go through the proper approval process as stated below with the Historical Marker Program Review Committee having the final approval on marker eligibility and text.
  • The marker’s proposed location must be identified with a photograph and a map including cross streets, a north arrow, visitor parking and GPS coordinates if applicable.
  • Markers are the property of the State of Arkansas.
  • All markers are manufactured by a vendor selected by the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The markers have the approximate dimensions of 42”wide x 30” high with a 7’ post and 1“ lettering and a uniform design preselected by the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
  • Cost of the marker is split 50/50 between the sponsor and the Department of Arkansas Heritage. See the application for current pricing details and a photo example. Additionally, a maintenance fee will be added to the total cost in order to supplement future repairs or replacement if the marker is damaged or destroyed. Regular maintenance of the marker, such as cutting the grass around marker, is the responsibility of the sponsor.
  • Installation of the marker is the responsibility of the sponsor. The sponsor must have the location approved by the landowner and/or local or county public works and gain the proper permits if necessary. If the marker is to be installed by the Arkansas Department of Transportation, then see which district engineer to contact provided through the link on the application.
  • Please notify the Historical Marker Program Coordinator when planning your dedication ceremony. The Department of Arkansas Heritage will promote the celebration and assist with unveiling the marker.

INFORMATION ON DOCUMENTING MARKER FACTS

Each application must be supported by primary sources such as letters and diaries, deeds, census records, tax records, court records, contemporary newspaper accounts, photographs.

Primary sources may be supplemented with secondary sources including National Register of Historic Places or Arkansas Register of Historic Places nomination forms, county histories, biographies, and reports of cultural resource investigations and archaeological investigations. The Program Review Committee determines if the secondary sources submitted are acceptable.

Please upload these documents to the application site or mail only copies of your primary and secondary documents, as these submitted materials will not be returned. Label each copy with the number of the fact documented and the complete citation (see citation requirements below). If copies are made from microfilm, include the roll number in the citation. If you have any questions regarding documentation or how to cite a source, contact the Historical Marker Program Coordinator.

Citations

Book—author, title, publisher, publisher city and state, date published, page number.
Newspaper—name of newspaper, name of article, author (if given), date, page number.
Journal article—name of journal, name of article, author, volume and number, month, year, page number.
Letter—name of writer and who the letter was written to, date the letter was written, the name of the collection, the name of the college, library, museum, etc. where the collection is located.
Manuscript—name of the writer/creator, date, the name of the collection, the name of the college, library, museum, etc. where the collection is located.
Government record—name and type of record (tax, deed, census, etc.), date, book and page number (if applicable), the name of the courthouse, college, library, museum, etc. where the documents are located.

APPLICATION APPROVAL PROCESS

  • Marker application and all supporting documents (copies of primary sources and location map) should be sent preferably through the Department of Arkansas Heritage online application to the Historical Marker Program Coordinator, who verifies that all required documentation with citations is complete. If the application is incomplete, then the Coordinator will return materials to the sponsor detailing needed information. If the application is complete, then the Coordinator gives the materials to the Program Review Committee for thorough examination.
  • The Program Review Committee consists of the Program Coordinator, an Arkansas Historic Preservation Program representative, the State Historian, and two additional Arkansas history academics appointed by the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Once it is determined that the proposed marker is eligible, then the marker text will be drafted. The sponsor will be sent a copy for review of text accuracy only.
  • Once the sponsor receives the proposed text, any comments or changes must be returned within 30 days or the application will be considered void. If the Program Review Committee declines to make the changes submitted by the sponsor, the sponsor can accept the initial text or withdraw the marker application. Final approval of marker text rests with the Program Review Committee.
  • Once final marker approval notification has been given by the Program Review Committee, then the sponsor’s half of marker payment and the additional maintenance fee will be requested. Marker price includes prepaid delivery to anywhere in Arkansas. This amount must be sent within 30 days of receipt of final approval. Marker will be ordered after payment is received with delivery time depending on the marker vendor.
  • Marker will be shipped by vendor to sponsor group/organization address (no private residences). Once the marker is delivered, the sponsor can then make the necessary arrangements for installation and begin planning the dedication ceremony.
  • Dedication ceremonies offer a wonderful way to present the history that the marker commemorates to the community, both to those present at the unveiling and to the larger community through press coverage. These ceremonies are a chance to honor the sponsor, have the participation of local officials and media, and celebrate the uniqueness and importance of our state. The Department of Arkansas Heritage will promote the event, and, schedule permitting, a representative of the Department of Arkansas Heritage will attend the dedication and deliver a short address.