THE GREAT DIVIDE: What is now Interstate 630 and its impact on housing patterns in Little Rock was chronicled in an earlier UA Little Rock project.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has made a $325,000 grant to a University of Arkansas Little Rock project to map development patterns in Little Rock following the Central High School desegregation crisis.


Deborah Baldwin, director of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture at UA Little Rock, will lead the project, titled “Mapping Urban Fracture: Charting the Context and Consequence of the Little Rock Central High Crisis Project.”

The work will digitize and geolocate maps, architectural drawings, reports and photographs that bear on desegregation, urban renewal and racial makeup of housing and schools. It will include 700 new reports and maps created after 1989.


The segregation of Little Rock neighborhoods, the erasure of a black business district and the economic and racial divide created by freeway construction and population movement related to school desegregation are, of course, familiar topics in Little Rock. They remain relevant today.

Baldwin’s previous work includes a project that digitized materials related to segregation and integration of Arkansas schools.


The new grant builds on earlier mapping work by UA Little Rock on slum clearance, urban renewal and the impact of I-630.