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Researcher Services

Researcher Services 

The SDSU Archives and Special Collections is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30, excluding state holidays. 

We provide a range of research services to on-site and remote researchers. For information about the collections, please call us at 605-688-5094 or email us at Staff will help identify sources of information relevant to your interests but cannot undertake extensive research projects. In most cases, off-site research requests can only be answered if they are sufficiently specific, e.g., an individual book, a particular document, or the contents of a particular folder. When research is required to identify relevant material, it will be conducted as staff time permits.

During Your On-site Visit

Prior to your visit, we ask that you fill out our researcher registration form or call us at 605-688-5094 or email us at to let us know in advance. Staff members will be happy to talk to you about your research needs and procedural questions.

Researcher Registration Form

In addition to following our regular Policies and Guidelines when you visit, we ask that you wash your hands prior to entering the archives and not use hand sanitizers that may cause damage to the archival materials.

Online Consultation

We also provide remote consultations to anyone. Our online consultations are done through Zoom.  If you would like to speak to an archivist, you can contact us at 605-688-5094 or email us at to make the appointment. 

Digitization Services

The Archives offers a variety of duplicating services to its patrons and researchers, including digital copies of documents and photographs and facilitating the digitization of audio-visual materials that may need to be sent to an offsite vendor. Our fees regarding this service can be found on our Reproduction Charges Schedule. In addition to these charges, researchers will also pay for the costs of any offsite vendor services requested, including postage costs.  Please note that the use of duplicated materials from collections is subject to copyright restrictions.

Digital Reproductions

Many items from our collections have already been digitized and are available in the Digital Library of South Dakota. If you would like a digital reproduction of the material you find online, please submit a request, noting either a description of the item or providing a hyperlink to the item(s) in question.

You may also request the reproduction of material found in the Archives.

Charges for digital reproductions are described in our Reproduction Charges Schedule.

Many audio-visual formats in the collections can also be duplicated. Copies of audio-visual material may have to be obtained through off-campus resources; rates for these services would be determined by that resource.

Digital Camera Policy

The Archives permits the use of personal digital cameras in the Reading Room (but no scanners, tripods, or flash photography are permitted). Discuss with the staff in the reading room for more details.

Research Orientation

The Archives and Special Collection staff is pleased to work with instructors to have their classes use primary research materials in their coursework. Orientation sessions introduce students to the Archives and Special Collections procedures and give an overview of our resources. At this time, we will be doing research orientations through Zoom and asynchronous sessions. You can also register for your visit online.

Orientation sessions provide general introductory information and a survey of our holdings including a discussion of major collections. Registration, proper handling of materials, duplication fees, and feasible timelines are highlighted. Basic search strategies and tools, and useful tips to help students find materials and make the most of our rich resources are also included.

Requests for a class session

Contact Michele Christian at 605-688-4906 to schedule a class session. Please provide your contact information, the proposed date and time of your visit, the number of students, and background information about your class.

Reading Room

The Archives and Special Collections Reading Room is on the second floor of the Hilton M. Briggs Library (Room 241). The Senator Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study is located here as well.

Researchers should first visit with staff to discuss research topics and strategies and to request collection materials.  You can also register for your visit online.

Please note that retrieval of some materials not stored in readily accessible areas may take 24-48 hours. Appointments are recommended to ensure that staff can have all relevant materials available. Due to limited staffing, we are unable to identify, locate, and retrieve all requested materials on a walk-in basis. Please contact the archives prior to visiting and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.


Need an official transcript or certification letter?

Transcripts can be requested through Records and Registration at 605-688-6195.

The University Archives DOES NOT have individual student records or transcripts.

Course Catalogs

All SDSU course catalogs and bulletins are available in the Archives reading room.

You can also access them through Open PRAIRIE:

Undergraduate and Graduate Course Catalogs: 1982-Present

Course Catalogs and Bulletins: 1886-1926

Contact the University Archives if you have questions or would like to schedule a research visit.

Family History

Directories (Student/Staff) - These annual volumes include campus address, major course of study, and home towns for registered students (undergraduate, graduate, professional), and campus address and job titles for faculty, administrators, and staff. Directories cover 1921 to 2008 for the campus. [Archives: 379.783 So83.23]

Commencement Programs - University-wide commencement ceremony programs include alphabetical lists of graduates, organized by college, receiving associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees from 1886 to current. [Archives:  S537.S6 S64]

Campus History - Collection encompasses the published and unpublished histories of South Dakota State University and its departments, colleges, and programs.

Alumni Association Publications - Published from 1910 to 1997, the "Alumnus" magazine featured and news briefs about alumni accomplishments, faculty research, campus issues, and Alumni Association events. The Alumni Association continues these traditions by publishing "State" magazine beginning in 1997. [Archives:  378.783 So8.03 / 378.783 So 8.032]

Jackrabbit Yearbooks - from 1907 to 2001 include senior class photos and profiles, other class photos and profiles, athletics, organizations and activities (homecoming, literary societies, academic and other fraternities and sororities, performing arts, etc.), faculty, administrators, senior class index, general index, and table of contents. [Archives: S537.S6 A52]

Athletics media guides and programs provide athlete profiles, team histories, and season highlights for various university intercollegiate men's and women's sports teams