Skip to main content

Henry Woods Papers

Identifier: MC 1386

Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of materials documenting Judge Woods' career from the 1940s to the 1990s, and are arranged in three series. Series 1 contains personal and professional correspondence and other papers and photographs. The bulk of the collection is in Series 2, pertaining to Little Rock school desegregation cases, 1950s-1990s. Series 3 contains papers and videocassettes pertaining to other court cases.


  • Creation: ca 1940s to 1990s


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

Henry Woods was born on March 17, 1918 in Abbeville, Mississippi. He attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1938 and a law degree in 1940. Shortly afterwards, he formed a partnership at Texarkana with Philip G. Alston under the name of Alston & Woods. On March 3, 1941, Woods became a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1946, he returned to Texarkana and reestablished the law firm of Alston & Woods. In 1948, Woods managed Sid McMath's successful campaign for Arkansas governor and served as McMath's executive secretary from 1949 to 1953. Woods and McMath joined Leland F. Leatherman in forming a Little Rock law firm in 1953. In 1970, Woods coordinated Dale Bumpers' successful campaign for the Arkansas governorship. He was nominated U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Arkansas, by President Jimmy Carter and sworn in March 14, 1980.

Woods has served in many professional organizations: as president of the Arkansas Bar Association, during 1972-1973; as a member of the National Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers; chairman of the Supreme Court Committee on Model Jury Instructions; chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Law Review; chairman of the Trust Committee of the Arkansas Bar Foundation; chairman and member of the Board of the Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy at Hastings College of the Law, University of California. He is also a member of the International Society of Barristers.

Woods has also served in several civic capacities. From 1974 to1978 he was a member of the executive board of the Institute of Politics and Government; chairman of the Legal Task Force of the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; from 1953-1957 he was a leader of the Ford Foundation Great Books program in Little Rock; and member of Advisory Board of Catholic High School, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Judge Woods has received many professional awards. Among them are the Outstanding Lawyer Award, 1975, and a Senior Member Award, 1990, by the Arkansas Bar Association; the Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Arkansas, 1979; the 1985 Outstanding Lawyer Award, Pulaski County Bar Association; and the American Inns Of Court Foundation awards, 1988 and 1995. At the 1990 Annual meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association, Judge Woods was selected as the Outstanding Trial Judge by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.

He is the author of numerous legal articles, among them a treatise on "Comparative Fault" published in 1978.

Woods is married to former Kathleen Mary Mc Caffrey. They have four children: Mary Sue, Thomas Henry, Eileen Anne, and James Michael.


11.2 Linear Feet (12 containers)

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is organized into series:

  1. Correspondence, personal and professional papers, and photographs, ca 1940s-1990s
  2. Central High Integration,, 1950s-1990s
  3. Other Court Cases and Videocassettes, 1980s-1990s

Acquisition Information

Judge Henry Woods, Little Rock, Arkansas, donated his papers to the Special Collections Division on August 7, 1998.

Processing Information

Processed by Vera Ekechukwu, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, August 1999.

Henry Woods Papers
Vera Ekechukwu
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