Welcome back students

I have been waiting.


Image from Catalogue of the University of South Dakota for the year 1892-3.

You can see photographs from the early days of the Casa Grande National Monument and Frank Pinkley in the Mabel Townsley Papers at the Archives and Special Collections.




“The General Land Office took over management of the ruins and hired a young man named Frank Pinkley in 1901 to be the first on-site custodian. In 1903 a shelter roof of corrugated iron supported by redwood timbers was built over the Casa Grande, and between 1906 and 1908 major excavations and repairs of the ruins were conducted under the direction of Jesse Fewkes of the Bureau of Ethnology. Most of the lower walls visible today were uncovered at that time. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Casa Grande Ruins to be a National Monument on August 3, 1918 and management of the Ruins was transferred to the National Park Service.” from Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Arizona, https://www.nps.gov/cagr/learn/historyculture/index.htm (accessed August 12, 2016).

National Park Service turns 100 on August 25th, 2016.

The Allan H. Schell Collection of Campaign Buttons, Pins, And Political Ephemera was created by Allan H. Schell, and chiefly contains political pins, buttons, posters, pennants, and ephemera related to United States and South Dakota political positions in the 20th century.


Pins from US Presidential and SD Gubernatorial campaigns are on display in the Archives and Special Collections in ID Weeks.


Black Friday

Freshmen Initiation

Friday, September 19, 1913, otherwise known as Black Friday, the newly acquired graduating class of 1917, gathered outside of Main Hall (today one could assume they meant Old Main) promptly at 7:30 pm to begin their journey through the time honored tradition of hazing the incoming freshmen. Though this practice has gone by the way side in recent decades, the memory of the events live on in the stories that remain and a poster found while cleaning in the Archives.

The poster details the rules of decorum which the freshmen class were required to follow. As well as a large paragraph of colorful descriptions (for the time period, mind you) the upper classmen threw at the freshmen. As the poster states, any rumors that certain freshmen were exempt from the activities of freshmen initiation were utter lies and all freshmen were required to participate in any events demanded by the upper classes. In accordance with the poster laying out the rules of the initiation, the Volante followed up with tales of the event in the first issue of the Volante published that school year.  In an article titled “Initiation—Black Friday” the article’s author briefly lays out what went down and encourages the freshmen to pick up their caps at the end of the article.

The jocularity of the event didn’t last long, as two weeks later another article was published in the Volante that described a certain student who was blatantly ignoring the rules. The student body called for the punishment of the student, which led to an article that detailed the suspension of five students who brutishly and publicly tried to bring the student to heel in accordance with the rules set up for the freshmen class. A week after the first article detailing the suspensions was released, a follow up of the proceedings were published and detailed further what had caused the suspensions. As well as they would enforce the student’s suspensions until January 6, 1914, when they would be able to return to classes at the university.

The poster and volante are now on display in the archives for a limited time so stop in and read about the events that freshmen today no longer have to fear.


Black Friday Poster. USD Archive Oversize Material: Photographs—USD Panoramas.

The Volante. Vol. 27-30. May 1913 – July 1916.

1915 Coyote. Pg. 229

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.


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