Even his wife Eleanor did not know what was in it. In her cookbook, she described the dressing as having a tangy flavor all its own.

George McGovern was an US senator from South Dakota and the Democratic Party presidential nominee 50 years ago in the 1972 presidential election.

This cookbook is in the Chilson Collection in the Archives and Special Collections at the University of South Dakota.

Darrow, A. N., et al. Map of the Missouri River : from Its Mouth to Three Forks, Montana. Missouri River Commission, 1892-1895.

Archives and Special Collections doesn’t have all the maps in this set, but we do have the indexes and maps for South Dakota under call number 1472 M5 1895 U545. This map shows Vermillion, South Dakota and area after the flood of 1881 moved the Missouri River away from the town.

Mr. On Spe Sni

This vintage photograph postcard is in the Works Progress Administration Records in the Archives and Special Collections. It was copyrighted in 1912 by L. E. Stair of Mitchell, SD.

The WPA Records also contain a short story about this photograph as told by Mr. L. E. Stair.

The mound appears on this 1856 map as Little Spirits Hill.

Warren, Gouverneur Kemble. Reconnoissances in the Dacota Country. Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, Senate Printer, 1856.  Call number CHILSON COLLECTION F593 .U39 map.

Spirit Mound was described by local Indigenous people to the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Twenty years ago in 2001, it was replanted with native grasses and joined the South Dakota state park system as Spirit Mound Historic Prairie. In 2010, a geologic survey determined the mound to be a rock-cored drumlin created by a glacier. Check out the websites for Spirit Mound Trust or the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie for more information.

U.S. Geological Survey. Elk Point, S.D. – Neb. – Iowa. 1:125,000. 1908. Call number RICHARDSON COLLECTION G1201.C5 U5 v.156

Both maps can be viewed in the Archives and Special Collections.

Information about the addition of Spirit Mound Historic Prairie to the South Dakota state park system can be found in the William J. Janklow papers at the Archives and Special Collections.

Geologic survey by Cody Miller, Origin and Erosion of Spirit Mound, http://www.spiritmound.com/PDF/Miller_spirit_mound.pdf (accessed November 8, 2021).

The WPA papers at the University of South Dakota Archives and Special Collections have recipe cards for 50 different ways you can prepare a pheasant. The South Dakota WPA Writers Project selected 12 of the 50 for their booklet “Fifty Million Pheasants.” Below is not one of the twelve, but it sounds tasty.

A list of the group’s projects in South Dakota:

Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of South Dakota. A Catalog of South Dakota Writers’ Project Publications : Fall and Winter, 1941-42. Vermillion: U of South Dakota, 1942. Z1335 .W75x or GOV DOCS  ED 1200:W 939.

Eastern part of SD was in Iowa Territory 1838–1846.

Morse, Sidney Edwards. Iowa and Wisconsin : Chiefly from the Map of J.N. Nicollet. S.l.: S.n., 1844. RICHARDSON COLLECTION Map 4150 M83 1844

Eastern part of SD was in Minnesota Territory 1849–1858.

Rogers, Henry D., A. Keith Johnston, and John Murray. Territory of Minnesota. Boston: H.D. Rogers, 1857. RICHARDSON COLLECTION Map 4140 H632 1857

Western part of SD was in Nebraska Territory 1854–1861.

Colton, Joseph Hutchins. Nebraska and Kanzas [sic]. New York: J.H. Colton &, 1855. RICHARDSON COLLECTION Map 4130 C722 1855

SD was entirely in Dakota Territory 1861-1889. The original boundaries of Dakota Territory are shown in the first map below. The final boundaries are shown in the second map below.

Johnson, Alvin Jewett. Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, & Kansas. New York]: Johnson & Ward, 1862. CHILSON COLLECTION G4130 .J6 1862
Mitchell, Samuel Augustus. Territory of Dakota. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1879. CHILSON COLLECTION G4184 .M66 1879

All of these maps can be viewed at the Archives and Special Collections.

Prior to Iowa Territory, the area that would become South Dakota was in Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory, Michigan Territory and Wisconsin Territory.

This comprehensive music-related collection is mainly books, largely centered around stringed instruments, was created by John Mahoney, and is housed in the Archives and Special Collection at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month. November’s topic is #ArchivesBookLove.

D’Alembert Diderot: Encyclopedie Raisonne Metiers, 1767

The following summary is from the guide to his papers at the Archives and Special Collections:

Frank L. Farrar was born April 2, 1929 in Britton, South Dakota. Farrar was the only Governor of South Dakota who was also elected governor at South Dakota Boys State. He attended and graduated the University of South Dakota with a business degree and a law degree. He served in the Korean War. In 1953, he married Patricia Henley and had five children.

After leaving the army, Farrar opened a law practice in Britton, served as Marshall County Judge and State’s Attorney for Marshall County. He was also elected president of the South Dakota State’s Attorneys Association. Then, Farrar was elected as the youngest South Dakota Attorney General for three two-year terms in 1962.

In 1968, Farrar was elected governor. One of his major accomplishments was signing the Narcotics Drug Act to fight against drug users and dealers. In 1970 he was defeated for reelection and returned to practice law.

The Frank L. Farrar papers consist primarily of materials from his time as South Dakota governor.

Collection size 3.5 linear ft.

While doing research in an archival collection, have you ever come across intriguing, but completely off-topic items that have nothing to do with your research? Working with the George Prescott Scott papers in the Archives and Special Collections, I found a presentation he gave in 1982 on “Split Brains and Spooky Vibes.” Title aside, the presentation is a surprisingly serious essay on biophysical chemistry. While in the archival box, check out the folder on the Spooky Vibes Emblem, which is based on shapes found in nature.

This presentation can be found in the Presentations/Plays/Poems series, box 6, folder 25, George Prescott Scott papers.

While doing research in an archival collection, have you ever come across intriguing, but completely off-topic items that have nothing to do with your research? For example, while working with the Edward Perry Churchill collection I found a research paper he wrote in 1916 on “The Learning of a Maze by Goldfish.” What do you think? Did the goldfish figure out the maze?


This research paper can be found in the Printed Material series, Box 2, Edward Perry Churchill papers.

Happy Archives Month

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