The Herman P. Chilson Collection of Western Americana, located in the Archives and Special Collections, includes books, journals, maps, pamphlets, and other print materials relating to local histories, South Dakota history, Native American cultures, and United States western expansion. The Chilson Collection is cataloged and information about items in the collection can be found using the library catalog.
Learning about birds and watching birds was one of Mr. Chilson’s many interests, and he included ornithology books in his 1979 donation to the University of South Dakota. One of the ornithology books is The Passenger Pigeon, written by W.B. Mershon and published in 1907. This book includes many contemporary accounts of the passenger pigeon and its decline.
September 1, 2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon (Discover September 2014, p. 70).