Library Services During COVID-19

The Main Library is open for brief visits Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  No appointment is required.  The neighborhood branch libraries remain closed.  For more information on library services impacted by COVID, click here.

Barbara Walker Genealogy and Arkansas History Collection

Location, Contact, and Hours

3201 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72903


Google Maps


(479) 783-0229

(479) 783-5129

Monday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Holiday Closings

Staff at the Barbara Jones Walker Genealogy and Arkansas History Department specialize in helping customers research their family history and make the most of their time spent with the library’s genealogy collection.  The genealogy collection contains about 25,000 titles including Fort Smith city directories from 1881 to present, local high school yearbooks, local funeral home records dating back to the early 1900s, Fort Smith birth, death, and cemetery indexes, and a Sebastian County marriage index.  Genealogy resources for Arkansas, Oklahoma, and 43 other states are available.  The Genealogy and Arkansas collections are non-circulating.  The Genealogy collection is in open stacks, while the Arkansas collection, as well as original documents of genealogical value, is in closed stacks. 

Staff can also help researchers use online databases such as Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and the Access Newspaper Archive.  Local newspapers dating to 1848, Dawes Commission rolls and census (enrollment cards) for the Five Civilized Tribes, and census records are available on microfilm.  Some newspapers have been digitized as part of an ongoing multi-year newspaper digitization project.  Microfilm may be viewed during regular library hours even if the Genealogy Department is closed. 

Resources on Fort Smith history including Judge Isaac C. Parker’s court and the U.S. Marshals Service are also available.

Genealogy Databases

African American Heritage

African American Heritage was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.

Visit Website

Ancestry (Library Edition)

Covers more than two billion names throughout the various databases collection. This database offers access to It is available in the library only, and customers are limited to six emailed documents per email address.

By vendor contract rules, this website is accessible from FSPL’s four locations ONLY (NOT from home).

Visit Website

Chronicling America

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. 

Visit Website

Fort Smith City Birth Records

This index is the official “Record of Report of Births Filed With the City Clerk of Fort Smith Arkansas.”  Births were first recorded with the City of Fort Smith in 1881, and continued to be recorded at the city level until 1965. Many local births were never recorded with the city. The period currently covered by this index is 1881-1921.

Visit Website

Fort Smith City Death Records

This index is the official “Record of Report of Deaths Filed With the City Clerk of Fort Smith Arkansas.” Deaths were first recorded with the City of Fort Smith in 1881, and continued to be recorded at the city level until 1965. Many local deaths were never recorded with the city. These records are in the process of being indexed, and will be updated periodically. The period currently covered by this index is 1881-1924.

Visit Website

Fort Smith Public Library Cemetery Index

This index includes individuals buried in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The information was taken from interment records from the 
following cemeteries: Calvary (Catholic)–to 1991; Forest Park–1910-1988; Rose Lawn & Holy Cross–1930-1991; U.S. National Cemetery–to 1990; Washington Cemetery–1943-1996; Woodlawn Memorial Park–1959-1989.

Visit Website

HeritageQuest Online

Search census data, family records, local histories, and other artifacts to help you find out more about your family’s past.

Visit Website World Collection (Library Edition)

Historical newspapers archive from the 1700s - 2000s containing thousands of well-known regional, state, and small local newspapers in the United States and other countries.


Visit Website (in-library use) Visit Website

Sebastian County Marriage Records

This index includes individuals married in Sebastian County (Fort Smith and Greenwood) from years 1847, 1861, 1863-June 14, 2001.  Source Information provided by the Sebastian County Clerk’s marriage records. These records will be updated periodically.

Visit Website