The Volante volumes one through fourteen, from November 1887 through June 1901, have been digitized and placed online. All volumes are full text searchable and can be browsed as well through the Digital Library of South Dakota.



Share what you discover with hashtag #volantehistory.

Before the online catalog and the advent of computers, searching for books and library items happened via little drawers full of magical cards, diligently typed by library staff, and sorted by author or title.

Archiving is not about history looking backward, but about storing and securing for the future. Archiving – all the activities from creation and management to the use of records and archives – has always been directed towards transmitting human activity and experience through time and, secondly, through space. It has the quality of the archive as a time machine.

Eric Ketelaar, “Archival Temples, Archival Prisons”

Quoted in Kristen Weld, Paper cadavers: the dictatorship in Guatemala. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2014, p.236.

On Thursday October 1, 2015, archivists around the country will join you on Twitter to answer all questions archival. Sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, you can learn more about how archivists are working every day to preserve historical materials like photographs, documents, audio and video and digital materials. If you have always wondered what archivists do all day or how you should preserve all your computer files, #AskAnArchivist Day is the perfect opportunity to get your questions answered. You can get to know more about your local archives or pose a question for archivists everywhere.

USD Archives and Special Collections is home to the rare books, manuscripts and archives department of the University Libraries with our manuscript strengths in South Dakota political, cultural and economic history and USD history. Our book collections focus on South Dakota history, Native American culture and the Western expansion of the United States as well as the history of the violin family of instruments.

The South Dakota Oral History Center collects and preserves the voices of the people of the Northern Plains. Included are over 5,500 interviews preserving the historical, social and cultural history of the state with the two largest collections pertaining to preserving indigenous memories and experiences from 1890s to present as well as interviews with South Dakotans from every county in the state.

How does it work?
To participate, tweet your questions and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. You can ask your question directly to USD Archives and Special Collections by including @USD_AandSC or to the South Dakota Oral History Center @SDOHC.

SchellSo get your questions ready and join us on Twitter on October 1 at #AskAnArchivist.



This collection of letters between Gordon Aadland and Al Neuharth is now open for research. Aadland and Neuharth met at the University of South Dakota, where they both worked on the student newspaper the Volante. Aadland graduated in 1949 and Neuharth in 1950. After college, both worked on SoDak Sports, a statewide weekly newspaper on South Dakota sports co-founded by Neuharth. Afterwards, both left the state to lead successful lives on their chosen paths.

These letters span from the early 1970s through 2013, their pages consisting of joy, jokes, and pranks, the words revealing a friendship that spanned decades. Although most of the letters were received from Neuharth, Aadland’s side of the correspondence also appears occasionally, allowing for the reader to witness both Neuharth and Aadland’s sense of humor, wit and repartee.

Contact the Archives and Special Collections for a copy of the guide to the collection.

Aadland Senior PicNeuharth Senior Pic

Pictured above are Gordon Aadland and Al Neuharth respectively. The photos are taken from their senior pictures in the Coyote yearbook (Aadland: 1949 and Neuharth 1950).



The Mahoney Music Collection in the Archives and Special Collections contains wonderful books related to violin construction, which include but are not restricted to books about varnishes and woods. Below is just a sample.

Hammerl, Josef, Reiner Hammerl and Jess Nierenberg. Violin varnishes: interesting information on resins and basic materials for violin varnish and advice on varnishing. W. Germany: Josef u. Reiner Hammerl, [1988?]. ML845 .G3413 1988

Brough, J. C. S. Staining and polishing, including varnishing & other methods of finishing wood: with a complete index of fifteen hundred references. Philadelphia: Lippincott, [1918]. TT325 .B76 1918

Robinson, John Stuart. The Guarneri mold and modern violin making. Oklahoma City, OK: J.S. Robinson, c1982. ML802 .R62 1982

Vettori, Carlo. I quartetti della liuteria italiana: the quartets of Italian violin making. Firenze, Italy: 2006. ML750. V47 2006

Hough, Romeyn Beck. Hough’s encyclopaedia of American woods. 8 volumes and 3 sample books. New York: R. Speller, 1957-1979. SD536 .H832


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