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Standard Atlas of Clay County, South Dakota (1912) by George. A. Ogle & Co. can now be viewed on the Digital Library of South Dakota.

… Ogle’s atlas maps. … emphasize clarity of cadastral delineation, a concern for the graphical accuracy of a civil engineer, a minimal approach to property depiction (boundaries, roads, water courses, hand-inscribed owner’s names – and little else), and professional trim, such as a colour tint for the map area and a page border composed of a chain of miniature globes.


Conzen, Michael P. “The County Landownership Map in America Its Commercial Development and Social Transformation 1814-1939.” Imago Mundi 36 (1984): 9-31. P. 24. Accessed on JSTOR March 17, 2021.

If you are interested in the history of cadastral maps in the United States and atlases and how their styles have changed through time, I recommend the articles and books by Michael Conzen, a geographer at the University of Chicago.

Cadastral maps are helpful to historians, genealogists, and those tracing landowners for legal reasons. Though cadastral maps (particularly Ogel’s atlases) are often reliable, the ultimate source of past and present ownership information is the county courthouse.

At 33 inches by 25 inches and weighing more than 50 pounds, this lunar atlas is the largest book in the Archives and Special Collection at USD. The moon was photographed through the Observatory of Paris’ telescope in the late 1890s, and the photographs used to produce photogravure plates for the atlas.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month, and March’s topic is #ArchivesYouAreHere. LOC invited groups to share their maps, astrolabes, star charts, tidal maps, compasses, globes, visitor guides, treasure maps, city plans, or even architectural drawings.

The atlases contained information on routes, hotels, gas stations, car repair shops, road conditions (including which roads to avoid when it is muddy and which roads had sharp turns). The ads in the book are beautiful and informative about car culture.

Volume Ten is in the Archives and Special Collections.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month, and March’s topic is #ArchivesYouAreHere. LOC invites groups to share their maps, astrolabes, star charts, tidal maps, compasses, globes, visitor guides, treasure maps, city plans, or even architectural drawings.

Nearby Racist Place Name?

Missouri River Commission maps, 1892-1895, showing Vermillion and Burbank, SD area.

Though the name never appeared on a map, the bend of the Missouri River south of Burbank, SD was called Negro Bend. The French named it after a local settlement of Black woodcutters who sold fuel wood to steamboats. On many maps, the region is called Kate Sweeney Bend, after a steamboat that sunk in the area in 1855.

Source: Carlberg, Janet Joyce. “A study of place-names in Clay County, South Dakota.” Master’s Thesis, University of South Dakota, 1962. Call number LD 5071.3x .C1918. This thesis and the Missouri River Commission maps are located in the Archives and Special Collections.

Check out the food enjoyed by Ruth Egge and her family while on an cruise ship in 1910.

From the Ruth March Egge Papers. Richardson Collections. Archives and Special Collections. University of South Dakota.

The following treatises from the Mahoney Music Collection can now be found in the Digital Library of South Dakota.

L’art du violon: nouvelle méthode by Pierre Marie François de Sales Baillot
Ueber Paganini’s kunst die violine zu spiele: ein anhang zu jeder bis jetzt erschienenen violinschule, nebst einer abhandlung über das flageoletspiel in einfachen und doppeltönen: den heroen der violine, Rode, Kreutzer, Baillot, Spoher, zugeeignet by Carl Guhr
Die ersten etuden: für violine in der ersten position by Richard Hofmann
Praktische violin-schule: ein methodisch geordneter, mit bezeichnung des bogenstriches und fingersatzes versehener uebungsstoff zur gründlichen erlernung des violinspiels / 1 uebungen in der ersten position by Christian Heinrich Hohmann
Praktische violinschule / Heft II by Christian Heinrich Hohmann and Ernst Ludwig Heim
Solfège du violoniste en 2 parties…toute la partie spéciale du violon est de Ch. Dancla by August-Mathieu Panseron and Charles Dancla

Recently added to the Archives and Special Collections website are instructions for navigating and searching through finding aids on ArchivesSpace:

The Archives and Special Collections department is moving our Richardson Collection finding aids to ArchivesSpace. Though the physical location and the format of the finding aids are changing, you can continue to access the finding aids through the Archives and Special Collections website.

We also added to our website instructions for navigating and searching in ArchivesSpace. The instructions can be found by clicking on the line “Finding Aids (collection guides)” on our website.

What are cadastral maps?

 They are land ownership maps.

The Archives and Special Collections has many cadastral maps, both as sheet maps and in atlases. Library records for most of these maps and atlases are in the library catalog and can be found using such subject terms and key words such as cadastral, real property maps, landowner maps, land use, and General Land Office.

Here is a sample list of local cadastral atlases in the Archives and Special Collections:

Clay County Atlas, 1901

Standard Atlas of Clay County, 1912

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1924

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1960

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1980

Atlas of Clay County, 1990, Centennial Series

Farm and Home Directories: Clay, Lincoln, Turner, Union, and Yankton Counties, 1984-present.

Cadastral maps are helpful to historians, genealogists, archaeologists, and those tracing landowners for legal reasons. Though cadastral maps are often reliable, the ultimate source of past and present ownership information is still the county courthouse.

Keep in mind, ownership is only one type of land / human relationship. The others are harder to map.

– about past United States epidemics are in the Archives and Special Collections in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection:

Carey, Mathew. A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia: With a Statement of the Proceedings That Took Place on the Subject in Different Parts of the United States. 3d Ed., Improved. ed. Philadelphia: Printed by the Author, 1793. Call number WC 530 C275 1793.

Philadelphia’s yellow fever epidemic of 1793 claimed the lives of nearly 4000 people. Carrey’s book and other related histories revel a little-known episode in Black history. Due to a mistaken belief that African-Americans could not get yellow fever, many Blacks volunteered or were volunteered to care for the sick and dying. They served in all capacities, including as nurses, cart drivers, and grave diggers. At the time, Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States and one of the largest U.S. cities.

Other books in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection are:

United States. Public Health Service. Preliminary Report on the Yellow-fever Epidemic of 1882, in the State of Texas. Washington, D.C., 1882. WCK U58p 1882

Fenner, Erasmus Darwin. History of the Epidemic Yellow Fever, at New Orleans, La., in 1853. New York: Hall, Clayton, 1854. WCK F336h 1854

Miner, Thomas, and William Tully. Essays on Fevers, and Other Medical Subjects. Middletown, Conn.: E. & H. Clark, 1823. WC M664e 1823

Herman P. Chilson, Hot Off the Press books, youth books, DVDs, videos, government documents, and oral history collections in the Archives and Special Collections and in the I.D. Weeks Library also have items on pandemics and epidemics.

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