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Archival Research: Home

Listings of digital archives.

Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Librarians are here to help you! Please talk to a librarian about your research needs.
  2. If the library does not have what you need, we may be able to get it to you through Interlibrary Loan. However, archival materials are an exception
  3. Ask a librarian for assistance, we are happy to help.

Getting Started

This guide is meant as a resource to help you find and select archival materials for your research project. Before jumping into the archives you will need to do some preparation.

First, you have to decide on the subject matter of your research. Selecting a topic is one of the most difficult parts of the research process. The "Research 101: Selecting & Developing a Topic" research guide will help you think through this activity. 

Once you know your topic, do some background research into secondary and tertiary sources. These sources will provide you with a basic understanding of your topic and lead you into the archival collections you will use for your research. If you are having difficulty finding secondary sources, you can use the "Research 101" research guide or ask a librarian. Remember that librarians can help guide you through the endless amount of resources available to you.

After you have your topic and knowledge of it, it is time to explore archival collections.

Happy researching!

Subjects Available in the SDSU Archives and Special Collections:

  • History of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station
  • History of South State University Cooperative Extension Service
  • Ethanol research and development at South Dakota State University
  • Dakota language newspaper from 1850s – first Dakota/English newspaper
  • History of the Pride
  • Army Administration Schools, Enlisted Branch No. 3 (World War II training school at South Dakota State)
  • Early student life at South Dakota State University
  • History of intercollegiate athletics at SDSU
  • South Dakota EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)
  • SDSU-USD Men’s Basketball Team’s trip to Cuba during the Cold War
  • SDSU Engineering Controversy
  • Missouri River Basin Project
  • Huron Recharge Project records
  • Water quality and management in South Dakota
  • South Dakota Commission on the Status of Women
  • National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber
  • United States Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • South Dakota Executive Branch Reorganization
  • Judicial elections in South Dakota
  • North American Trade Agreement
  • J. Edgar Hoover era FBI and journalists
  • Big Stone Power Plant
  • SDSU faculty and staff visits to China
  • Plant ecology on South Dakota’s ranges
  • Ghost towns in South Dakota
  • South Dakota Geography Bee
  • Brookings County History
  • Brookings County Democratic Party – 1934-1972
  • Faculty housing in Brookings
  • South Dakota Constitution Revision – 1950s-1980s
  • Rural Healthcare
  • Home Management Houses (practice of teaching college students to manage a home by having them live in a house and see to of all its needs including taking care of children)
  • GIS and EROS
  • Faculty visit to Somalia and East Africa in 1954
  • Brookings Bicentennial Celebration (1976)
  • Dance at SDSU
  • Selenium poisoning
  • Climate of South Dakota
  • Farmer and rural life advocacy
  • South Dakota Farmers Union and South Dakota Farmer’s Alliance
  • South Dakota Cooperative Movement
  • Masons in South Dakota
  • South Dakota Blizzard of 1882
  • Sokota Hybrid – rise and decline of a local seed company
  • South Dakota Crop Improvement Association
  • South Dakota Resources Coalition
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Details of life in eastern South Dakota and western Iowa (diaries of a SDSU alumna and pharmacist, 1945-1910; diaries of a farm family in Baltic, 1924-1995; farm record books from a family farm in Day County, 1941-1979; narrative of a Swedish Immigrant, 1871-1879; memoir of a SDSU alum and farmer in northwest Iowa, 1908-1990s)
  • South Dakota Poets
  • South Dakota Artists
  • Progressive movement in South Dakota (Henry Loucks correspondence with R.F. Pettigrew)
  • Early 20th century South Dakota architect
  • Outdoor sports in South Dakota
  • Farm crisis of the 1980s
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