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William A. Gilbert Papers

Identifier: MC 190

Scope and Content Note

The William Gilbert papers consist of correspondence, business records, newspapers, pamphlets, tracts, brochures, amd microfilm reflecting his wide range of interests including socialism, mysticism, pacifism, and the American Legion. The bulk of the papers are printed materials, and those which form an integral part of the collection have been retained.


  • 1923-1969


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

William A. Gilbert (1892-1976) was a socialist activist and community leader who settled in Ink, Arkansas, in 1924. Originally a member of the Newllano cooperative colony in Louisiana, Gilbert joined with a group of secessionists who wished to establish Commonwealth Community near Mena, Arkansas. Gilbert and his wife, Viola, started a small machine shop business at Ink and continued their interest in socialist causes throughout the decades following 1924. William wrote a number of articles for socialist periodicals and ran for state representative of Polk County in 1934.


1.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

The collection has been divided into 17 series:

  1. Correspondence, 1923-1969
  2. Manuscript essays and articles, 1923-1969
  3. Autobiographical materials, 1949-1976
  4. Business papers, 1928-1943
  5. Photographs, ca. 1920-1950s
  6. Materials pertaining to the Newllano Cooperative Colony and the Commonwealth Cooperative Colony, n.d.
  7. Materials pertaining to Commonwealth College, Newllano, Louisiana and Mena, Arkansas, n.d.
  8. Socialist Party materials, n.d.
  9. Communist Party materials, 1939-1940
  10. Southern Tenant Farmer's Union materials, n.d.
  11. War resistance materials, 1939-1940
  12. Utopian movement materials, ca. 1930s
  13. Religious and health materials, n.d.
  14. Miscellaneous labor movement materials, n.d.
  15. Miscellaneous advertising materials, ca. 1930s
  16. Political campaign materials, ca. 1930s
  17. Microfilm, undated

Series 8 is divided into two subseries:

  1. National Socialist Party
  2. Arkansas Socialist Party

Acquisition Information

The William A. Gilbert papers were donated to Special Collections on December 7, 1973, by William and Viola Gilbert of Ink, Arkansas.

Materials Cataloged Separately

Newllano, Louisiana, and Arkansas newspapers, along with certain pamphlets and broadsides published in Arkansas, have been removed from the collection to be cataloged elsewhere and these removals have been documented within the finding aid or by means of separation records within the collection itself.

Processing Information

Processed by Kim Allen Scott, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in September 1987.

William A. Gilbert Papers
Kim Allen Scott
September 1987
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444