The first week of May everyone on campus was cramming for finals and preparing for summer. I was in the same boat as everyone else, cramming for finals and preparing to head home for a week. It was within that week that I was informed that a position in the archives was open and I quickly put in an application. It wasn’t until the next week, while I was at home that I heard anything on the job, and through email correspondence I set up an interview time for the following week. As the interview came and went I felt very positive about the prospect and possibility of receiving a job within the archives, and before the week was up I had a new job in the archives.

The following week after accepting the job offer, my struggle was real and the twister of life sucked me up and dropped me into the land of archives (once all my paper work was in order). From that first week up to now it has been an adventure, somethings such as phase boxes and photo copying take longer than others and aren’t to entirely glamorous. The staff in the archives are some of the friendliest and nicest people I have had the experience to work with. Doris is always ready to help answer my question and direct me in the right direction.

As time continues I feel that much like the scavenger hunt I completed at the beginning of my time here in the archives, some tasks will be easier while others I will struggle my way through. Yet at the end of the day I know that this is only the beginning of my adventures here in the archives.

Automobile Blue Book

Archives and Special Collections recently received the 1920 edition of the Official Automobile Blue Book. This is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of roads because it gives a description of the automobile routes in our area before the Good Roads Movement.


The book includes a general index map of routes described in the book and a detail description of these routes. Some of the details are:

Which route description to read if you are doing the route in reverse.

What principle towns you travel through on this route.

What are the condition of the roads, including if the road is dirt or gravel and whether to avoid the route in wet weather.

Gives you total mileage and mileages between points.

Warns you of danger points, such as bad hills, sharp turns, and railroad grade crossings.

Tells you where good, reliable hotels and garages can be found along the route.

What are the points of interest?

Some city maps are included.


In the 1920s and before, many roads in the United States received names. Some of the major names mentioned in the book are the Custer Battlefield Hiway, the Yellowstone Trail, and the Black and Yellow Trail. After the 1920’s, the United States and many of the states developed a numbering system for roads.


Full title of the book is Official Automobile Blue Book, volume 10, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with extension routes into Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, Idaho and Washington, 1920 edition.



USS South Dakota



The Archives and Special Collections has a small collection on the USS South Dakota. These images are from that collection.

There have been 2 naval ships named after South Dakota and a new one will be joining the fleet in 2017. The middle one of these three was a battleship that served during WWII. The 75th anniversary commemoration of its launching will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Battleship South Dakota Memorial in Sioux Falls.



Information from http://www.usssouthdakota.com/, accessed June 8, 2016.

You’ll want to read Civil Defense In-Shelter Guide for University of South Dakota (November 18, 1963) to find out what learning to love crackers has to do with bomb shelters. It is in the USD Archives collection General Publications.

Do you know what movie title I am misquoting for my title? Hint, it came out in 1964, and it is about the nuclear bomb.


It is a fun day in the Archives and Special Collections when we get a batch of Mahoney Music Collection books back from the catalogers.

The library at the University of South Dakota is in the process of creating catalog records for all the books in the Mahoney Music Collection. Having catalog records in the library catalog and in OCLC will make the books in this collection more findable for readers. Most of the oversize books and the regular-size books are done, and the catalogers have begun on the thinner, floppier books that we store in file folders. This is such a great project, and we send a big thank you to the catalogers for doing this.

Don’t forget that select items have been digitized and placed on the Digital Library of South Dakota.

ML 155 .W5 G469 1926

ML 155 .W5 G469 1926


Archives and Special Collections will be closed Monday May 16.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

glo006-croppedNineteenth century General Land Office surveyors wrote descriptions of landforms, soil, water, vegetation and wildlife in their field note books while they were surveying in the midwest and western United States. These note books are used by researchers reconstructing the ecology of an area during a particular slice of time.

Surveyors vary in how much detail they included and how easy it is to read their handwriting.

The Archives and Special Collections has a copy of one field note book for Yankton County, Dakota Territory, dated 1860 through 1866. Part one is the field notes for the exterior boundaries of township no. 92 north of range no. 54 west, and townships no. 93, 94, 95 and 96 north of ranges no. 54, 55, 56 and 57. Part two is the field notes for the subdivisionsal and meander lines of township no. 92 north of range 54 west, and townships no. 93, 94, 95 and 96 north of ranges no. 54, 55, 56 and 57.

Other GLO survey field notes can be seen at the State Archives of the South Dakota State Historical Society or online at the South Dakota Digital Archives.














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