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Find It in the South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections!: Topics in Archival and Manuscript Collections

A list of topics found in the collections of the SDSU Archives and Special Collections

What is in the SDSU Archives and Special Collections

South Dakota State University Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) contains the university archives, as well as material related to South Dakota history and life. These two general collection areas include manuscript and archival materials, books, serials, audiovisual materials, and photographs. We also house the Senator Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Papers and the Senator Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study. Collections are accessible on the upper level of Hilton M. Briggs Library on the campus of South Dakota State University.

In addition to the histories of various SDSU departments and units, the A&SC includes collections relating to a multitude of topics.



  • 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


People of Interest

  • Sherwood Berg (SDSU graduate, SDSU President, international leader in agriculture)
  • NE Hanson (Plant scientist, focus on agronomy and horticulture, world traveler)
  • ES McFadden (SDSU graduate, plant scientist, expert on wheat)
  • Vivian Volstorff (Dean of Women)
  • Ruth Ann Alexander (Professor and Feminist)
  • Kathleen Norris (Author)
  • David Allen Evans (SDSU graduate and faculty member, author, South Dakota Poet Laureate)
  • Audrae Visser (SDSU graduate, author, South Dakota Poet Laureate)
  • Beryl Stewart (Author)
  • Elizabeth Cook-Lynn (SDSU graduate, American Indian author, academic, and actvitist)
  • Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (SDSU graduate, American Indian author)
  • Reed Hart (government contractor who started running clubs in Saudi Arabia and Kwajalein - part of the Marshall Islands)
  • George Biggar (radio director who traveled to Great Britain during World War II)
  • Frank Denholm (US House of Representatives; responsible for getting the REA refunded in the early 1970s)
  • Gladys Pyle (1st woman from South Dakota to serve as a US Senator)
  • Theodore Schultz (SDSU graduate, renowned economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979)
  • Benjamin Reifel (SDSU graduate, 1st Lakota in the US House of Representatives)
  • Vera Way Marghab (international textile designer and entrepreneur)


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