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Charles F. "Fritz" Gritzner Papers

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Collection Summary


UA 53.29


Charles F. Gritzner Papers


Gritzner, Charles F.




30.0 linear feet [30 record boxes, audiovisual, photographs, slides, electronic media]




South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item . Charles F. Gritzner Papers. UA 53.29. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M .Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Charles F. Gritzner is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography at South Dakota State University. Topical specializations include Cultural Geography, Educational Geography and Population Geography. Area specializations are Latin America, Japan and the American Southwest. Collection is composed of writings, teaching and research materials, and material related to his non-teaching professional activities.

Biographical Note

Charles F. "Fritz" Gritzner was born June 6, 1936 in Fremont, Michigan. He graduated from Mesa, Arizona, High School in 1954. He received in Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Arizona State University in 1958. He received his graduate degrees in geography and cultural anthropology at Louisiana State University. He began college teaching at East Carolina University in 1960, and has taught at Louisiana State University, the University of Montana, Oregon College of Education, and the University of Houston prior to joining the South Dakota State University faculty in 1980.

Gritzner taught many undergraduate and graduate courses in geography at South Dakota State University. He has served as thesis or research paper advisor to many successful Master's degree recipients. Throughout his career he has pursued many interests in geographic education. He has conducted several hundred workshops, short courses and institute for in-service educators. He also served as coordinator of the South Dakota Geographic Alliance and the State Geographic Bee. Additionally, he has served as the Geography Consultant, author, and editor for the Core Knowledge Foundation and as Consulting Editor and Frequent author for the Chelsea House Publishers book series on Modern World Nations.

Gritzner's research interests include a variety of themes in folk and popular culture and geographic education. He has authored or co-authored several books, and many of his works have appeared as chapters in edited volumes, as well as many refereed publications appearing in numerous professional journals. He also was contributing editor to the "Panorama" feature in the Journal of Geography.

Gritzner has served as both Executive Director (1977-1980) and President (1986) of the National Council for Geographic Education, in 1997, he received their highest honor, the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service. He also is a recipient of the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award and the Council's Distinguished Mentor Award for his work with students at the graduate level. Gritzner also received the 2004 Distinguished Teaching Honors Award from the Association of American Geographers. At South Dakota State University, Gritzner has received both the University and F.O. Butler awards for Excellence in Teaching, and in 1993 he became the South Dakota State University's sixth faculty member to be recognized as a Distinguished Professor by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Contents Note

The Gritzner papers are composed of general files, professional activities, course material, research files, writings, and photographic images.

The general files consist of phone-letter-activity logs from 1979 to 2006, vita information, honors, and awards.

The Professional activities materials consist of the Association of South Dakota Geographers and Planners, Geography Standards, Latin American tour, National Council for Geographic Education, South Dakota Geographic Alliance, South Dakota Geography Bee, South Dakota Social Studies Council, Rocky Mt. Region Japan Project - correspondence, minutes, projects, newsletters.

The course materials consist of syllabi, course notes, exams, and assignments from the many classes Gritzner taught.

The research files relate to both teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, mainly consisting of newspaper clippings, tear sheets, off-prints, and publications, also included are Gritzner's notes, and some writings may be found in these files

Slides are composed of various geographic locations related to Gritzner's research and teaching

The writing materials consist of manuscripts, galleys, essays

Subject Headings


  • Gritzner, Charles F.


  • Cultural geography
  • Geography – Research
  • Geography – Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Population geography

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest that must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

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