Wendy Richter, the director of the Arkansas State Archives, will retire at the end of next week, on Friday. She has been battling breast cancer with intense chemotherapy and radiation. In addition, she had a rollover car wreck on Interstate 630 on her way home in Midway (Hot Spring County) in June. Though she was not badly injured, she said today that she’s a little fearful now about driving on the interstate.
Richter took over from Lisa Speer in March 2018 at a time of turmoil at the archives, which had once been a stand-alone commission but was transferred to the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2016. Former commissioners were relegated to an advisory role; Speer resigned abruptly.
Richter also preceded Speer at the archives, when it was the Arkansas History Commission, serving as director from 2005-12. She was the archivist at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia in the years between.