Archive for the ‘USD Archives’ Category

south-dakota001In January 1920, the University of South Dakota’s winter term began one week later than scheduled because of a coal shortage and the uncertainty of future coal supply. The shortage and uncertainty were due to a coal miners’ strike.



Information from The Alumni Quarterly, January 1920, page 134.

Image from the leather cover of USD’s 1921 commencement.

Read Full Post »

The national woman suffrage story ultimately became a success because of the success of suffragists at the state and local levels. Next year, as we celebrate a century since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, it is important to remember the significance of the state and local stories as well.

Simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating part of designing this display was choosing which items to include. The Jane Breeden, Mamie Pyle and Gladys Pyle papers contained a wealth of fascinating items. These collections worked well together to provide different perspectives of the suffrage movement. As a leading suffragist in South Dakota, Mamie Pyle’s papers provided an insight into the “business” end of the movement, while Jane Breeden’s papers gave a non-leadership perspective. Although active in the suffrage movement herself, Gladys Pyle’s papers were important to show that women were not just capable of using the vote, but they were more than capable of pursuing political office all the way to Washington D.C.

Organizing the display by theme seemed a much better way to put the items in conversation with one another. Highlighting the reoccuring elements of democracy, wartime, anti-suffragist and citizenship, it was clear that the history of the suffrage movement was not exclusively a women’s story. There were so many interesting and sometimes absurd pieces; I hope at the very least, those who are interested in the woman suffrage movement will take the time to visit the Archives and Special Collections at USD.

Although many of the items on display can be accessed through the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD), a trip to USD’s Archives and Special Collections is unparalleled. Sure, you can peruse these collections from the comfort of your own armchair, but the reading room has comfortable seating, a welcoming atmosphere and a superb staff waiting for you to bring in your research questions.

Interning at A&SC has been a rewarding experience. Honestly, it was a little like going on a treasure hunt, and every time I entered the stacks, I found something new. There were a few projects that I worked on through the semester, but the opportunity to put together a display on woman suffrage was by far my favorite.

My hope with this display is that it will encourage visitors to further explore these manuscript collections for the items that had to reluctantly be returned to the stacks and to contemplate how some of the issues presented in the display remain relevant today.

Information and items from:

Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, the University of South Dakota

  • the Mamie Shields Pyle Papers
  • the Gladys Pyle Papers
  • the Jane Rooker Breeden papers

Chilson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, the University of South Dakota

  • Lahlum, Lori Ann and Molly P. Rozum. Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains. Pierre, SD: South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2019.

Read Full Post »

dillon001Did you feel like a penguin this last week?

Penguins are in my favorite research project logo.  USD zoology professor Raymond Dillon and two grad students participated in an United States Antarctica research program for 10 weeks in 1969, collecting fresh water and soil protozoa samples.

For more information on the research project, please see The University of South Dakota Alumni Dakotan, volume 1, number 1, January 1969. This alumni publication is available in the Archives and Special Collections.

Read Full Post »

List from Knutson, Wayne S. “A story of faith and endurance: The University of South Dakota.” In From idea to institution: higher education in South Dakota, edited by Herbert T. Hoover et al, page 32. Vermillion, SD: University of South Dakota Press, 1989, call number LA364.5 .F76 1989.
name date of initial appointment academic areas
Lewis E. Akeley 1887 Dean, School of Engineering, Physics
Marshall McKusick 1902 Dean, School of Law
Arthur L. Haines 1906 Chemistry
Mabel K. Richardson 1907 Librarian
Winfred R. Colton 1908 Dean, College of Fine Arts, Music
Grace E. Burgess 1909 English
Carl Christol 1909 History
Clarence E. Lyon 1911 Speech
Ella Lokken 1912 Music
William H. Over 1913 Geology, Director, Natural History Museum
Alvin Wilson 1917 Music
William H. Batson 1919 Dean, School of Education
Edward P. Churchill 1920 Zoology
Arthur M. Pardee 1920 Chemistry, Director, Graduate School, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
M. Genevieve Truran 1920 Music
Harold  E. Brookman 1921 Engineering, Applied Sciences
Gladys E. Leonard 1921 Physical Education
Edgar P. Rothrock 1921 State Geologist, Geology
Claude J. Whitlow 1921 Business
Vincent E. Montgomery 1923 Coach
Earle S. Sparks 1924 Economics, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean of School of Business
Charlotte Noteboom 1925 Education
Herbert S. Schell 1925 Dean of Graduate School, History
Elmer G. Trotzig 1925 Journalism
Chester S. Ball 1926 Financial Officer
Herman W. Frankenfeld 1926 Registrar
J. Herndon  Julian 1926 Vice-president, Administration
Carl. B. Hoy 1927 Coach
Thomas M. Risk 1927 Education
Edwin H. Shaw 1927 Biochemistry
Grace L. Beede 1928 Classics
Claude Schutter 1928 Law
Marjorie Dudley 1920 Music
Harry Olson 1930 Business
Marjorie Beaty 1931 Mathematics
Edward Ehrensperger 1931 English
Harry Gamage 1934 Coach
Clark Y. Gunderson 1934 Law
J. P. Jones 1936 Business
William O. Farber 1937 Government, Founder of Bureau of Government Research
Thomas Geary 1937 Government
Warren M. Lee 1938 Theatre, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Found of the Black Hills Playhouse
William E. Ekman 1939 Mathematics
Alexander Hartman 1939 Modern Foreign Languages
Wilber M. Stilwell 1941 Art
R. F. Patterson 1942 Dean of School of Business, History

Read Full Post »

Kent Scribner Collection (MS 270) is now open to researchers.

This newly processed collection consists of the campus events from Scribner’s time as a University of South Dakota undergraduate student from 1956-1960. The other part of the collection consists of Scribner’s work at the USD Foundation mostly with the capital campaign named Campaign South Dakota.

This collection is organized into seven series: Diaries, Fraternity Materials, USD Event Programs, USD Foundation, USD Publications, Photographs, and Video Tapes.

Scribner’s collection includes his correspondence with Mary Jean (Hynes) Fine, and his role in the translation and obtainment for the Archives and Special Collections of her Native American family diaries. There are in the Fine, Mary Jean Collection of Thomas Hunter Diaries, likewise in the Richardson Collection.

Scribner also kept copies of Blast, a student magazine that includes what campus life was like in 1959 and in 1967.

This collection also includes information for the USD building dedications programs, history and videos that relate to the Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities Collection in the University Archives.

Contact the Archives and Special Collections for a copy of the guide to the collection.

Blast Magazine

Blast, 1967 in Kent Scribner Papers (MS 270), Richardson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, The University of South Dakota

Read Full Post »

Veritas” was a college newspaper created to jointly feature the University of South Dakota and the city of Vermillion. “Veritas” was published by T. H. Ayres of the “Vermillion Plain Talk,” and only six issues were published.

May 25, 1889

June 1, 1889

June 8, 1889

June 10, 1889

June 11, 1889

June 12, 1889


Read Full Post »

In September 1952, fans at an USD football game and some residents of southeast South Dakota saw an amazing light show in the sky. It was described in the Vermillion Plain Talk:

FIREBALL IN SKY FLOODS AREA WITH LIGHT ON SATURDAY NIGHT. Alert residents in the Vermillion area got an opportunity to see one of Nature’s more unusual displays – a spectacular ‘fireball’ – Saturday about 10 p.m. The flaming mass shot across the dark sky north of Vermillion, apparently headed northwest, exploded with such a burst of flame that even the spectators at the University football game noticed the light.”

William E. Ekman

William E. Ekman

William E. Ekman from the University of South Dakota Mathematics and Astronomy Department participated in the fireball investigation lead by C.C. Wiley from the University of Iowa. Ekman collected witnesses’ testimonies and searched for meteorites (pieces of the meteor that reach the ground) from an army helicopter.

One report written by C.C. Wiley after the investigation described the path of the meteor, but it does not mention meteorites. Does that mean none were found during their hunt?



C.C. Wylie and George E. Collins. ”The path and orbit of the South Dakota detonating meteor of September 27, 1952.” In Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science volume 60, article 63, 1953. https://scholarworks.uni.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3182&context=pias, accessed 7-19-2019.

“Fireball In Sky Floods Area With Light On Saturday Night,” Vermillion Plain Talk, volume LXVIII, number 12, October 2, 1952. Located in the Archives and Special Collections.

“Meteorite May Have Landed in Volin Area,” Vermillion Plain Talk, volume LXVIII, number 44, October 16, 1952. Located in the Archives and Special Collections.

“Scientists Study This Area for More Meteorite Evidence,” Vermillion Plain Talk, volume LXVIII, number 45, October 23, 1952. Located in the Archives and Special Collections.

“U Professor Joins Party of Searchers for Fallen Meteors,” The University of South Dakota Bulletin, Series LII, bulletin number 1, Alumni number 11, December 1952. Located in the Archives and Special Collections.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: