The Division of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) was created by Act 101 in 1975 to preserve and promote Arkansas’s natural and cultural heritage. Originally known as the "Department of Arkansas Natural and Cultural Heritage," the legislation grouped together several culturally oriented divisions under one department. The agency name change to the Division of Arkansas Heritage occurred in 1985.
Today, DAH consists of eight divisions and a director’s office which manages general administrative and marketing operations. The divisions are:
Arkansas Arts Council (AAC)
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP)
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC)
Arkansas State Archives (ASA)
Delta Cultural Center (DCC)
Historic Arkansas Museum (HAM)
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC)
Old State House Museum (OSH)
Originally, DAH – or the Department of Arkansas Natural and Cultural Heritage as it was known then – included AAC, AHPP, ANHC and HAM. In 1990, DCC opened its doors and was added to DAH. In 2003, legislation created MTCC and placed it under the direction of DAH. Then, in 2016, the Arkansas History Commission – which had been under the Department of Parks and Tourism – was moved to DAH and was renamed the Arkansas State Archives (ASA).
In 1975, Gov. David Pryor chose Anne Bartley to be DAH’s first director. The longest-serving director was Cathie Matthews who held the position from 1997 until 2012. Martha Miller was appointed in 2012 and served until 2015 when Stacy Hurst was appointed director of DAH. Hurst served until 2019 when she became the secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. At that time, she named DAH’s current director Jimmy Bryant.