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New Agreement Increases Access to Digital Collections at South Dakota Universities

PIERRE – The Digital Library of South Dakota has partnered with the Digital Public Library of America to bring more than 50,000 items held by South Dakota universities to national audiences. As a result, specialized collections, including the papers of political leaders Tom Daschle, Karl Mundt and George McGovern and oral histories of National Guard soldiers dating back to the 1800s, will be more accessible to the general public.
A collaboration of the libraries at the six South Dakota Board of Regents’ universities and other partner institutions in the state, the Digital Library of South Dakota provides digital access to unique resources on regional history and the lives and experiences of generations of South Dakotans. The Digital Public Library of America is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the discovery of library, archive, and museum collections from across the nation. It has a growing network of contributing institutions bringing diverse materials through digital and digitized formats to a large public audience.
“This collaborative agreement means that more people will be aware of and have digital access to many South Dakota-specific collections,” said Paul Turman, the regents’ system vice president for academics affairs. “I’m extremely pleased with how our libraries have continued to be innovative by exploring how advances in technology could be used to expand the audiences for these valuable collections.”
Highlights of South Dakota State's collections being shared between the DLSD and DPLA include:

  • The Hobo Day Homecoming Collection celebrating the largest one-day event in the Dakotas; and
  • Sen. Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Papers.

The South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, housed in the Hilton M. Briggs Library, carries a wide range of materials about the university and state of South Dakota. The collection hosts unique Native American resources that include the rare 1850s Dakota Friend newspapers and the papers of Ben Reifel, a Lakota Sioux who served as a U.S. congressman. Researchers can dig into materials of local interest, such as the George and Evelyn Norby Collection with images dating to 1886, or study international connections, including a glimpse into Cuba, provided by items from a 1977 SDSU men’s basketball trip. Other digitized manuscript collections, such as the N.E. Hansen Papers and the Loucks-Pettigrew Correspondence, showcase the impact South Dakota leaders and scholars have had on the region and the world.
More can be learned about the Digital Library of South Dakota and the Digital Public Library of America at their respective websites, and