The Archives and Special Collections will be closed May 29 for Memorial Day and May 30-June 2 for re-carpeting.

The third floor of the ID Weeks Library may be inaccessible for periods of time in May.  Please use the east stairwell to access the Archives or stop by the circulation desk for directions.  Please contact the Archives for more information if you are planning on visiting in May or if you have any questions.

On April 26, 1963, The University of South Dakota became the official name of our university here in Vermillion. It was called the State University of South Dakota in some documents and the University of South Dakota in others. The State Board of Regents of Education designated the later.


USD logo, 1960s

From “University of South Dakota Designated Official Name.” The University of South Dakota Bulletin. Series LXIII, Bulletin no. 11, Alumni No. 5, May 1, 1963.

Alumni publications are one of my favorite sources of USD history. The title does change over time (Alumni Quarterly, South Dakota Alumnus, University of South Dakota Bulletin, Dakotan, and South Dakotan, for example), but they are kept in the archives as one collection.


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the I.D. Weeks Library building, the Archives and Special Collections has organized a special exhibit to display the changes of the USD library through the years, from the beginning of the university in 1882 through today.

The first exhibit on the second floor of I.D. Weeks focuses on a specific aspect of the library’s construction – Operation Book Lift, which was held in April 1967. Of particular note is an actual fabric bag that was used by USD students and faculty to help haul books from the original library building from 1912 to the new library building.

The second exhibit, outside of the Archives and Special Collections room, focuses on the role of women throughout the library’s history. Several women were head librarians and some even had the role of dean. Another aspect discusses the large donation by a Sioux Falls woman, including a rare 1817 edition of Homer’s The Iliad, and the final aspect analyzes the discrimination against USD’s female students.

The final and biggest portion of the exhibit is a timeline of the library. Though most of the library’s original books were destroyed in a massive fire in 1893, students, faculty, and community members donated books to help the university’s library to grow. In 1912, Andrew Carnegie donated a library building, allowing the library to be housed in its own place for the first time since the university’s founding. After various expansions and renovations, and a rise in students, President I.D. Weeks (who was president of USD from 1935-1966) reached out to the Board of Regents in hopes to build an entirely new library building to house the library’s almost 300,000 volumes. The new library opened in spring 1967 with an official dedication in fall 1967.

Over the next few months, the exhibit will be on display; for those unable to view the exhibit in person, photos will be attached with this post! For more information regarding the exhibit or any of the materials used, please visit the Archives and Special Collections on third floor for a list of the collections consulted.


“Books remain one of the strongest bulwarks we have against tyranny – but only as long as people are free to read all different kinds of books, and only as long as they actually do so.”

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017, p.257.

National Library Week is April 9 – 15, 2017 .

Mahoney Music Collection has books and journals with beautiful illustrations and photographs of musical instruments.


Buonanni, Filippo. Gabinetto armonico pieno d’instromenti ti sonori, indicati, spiegati, e di nuovo corretti ed accresciuti.


Here are a few:


Buonanni, Filippo. Gabinetto armonico pieno d’instromenti ti sonori, indicati, spiegati, e di nuovo corretti ed accresciuti. Roma: Nella stamperia di G. Placho, 1723. ML460 .B94 1723


Hipkins, Alfred J. Musical instruments, historic, rare and unique. Edinburgh: A. and C. Black, 1888, ML460 .H66 1888.


Lachmann, Erich. Erich Lachmann collection of historical stringed musical instruments. Los Angeles: Allan Hancock Foundation, University of Southern California, 1950, ML462.L8 L3.


Thöne, Jost. Italian & French violin makers. Grottammare, Italy: Jost Thöne, 2003, ML800 .T56 2003.


Yokoyama, Shinichi. The Classic bowed stringed instruments from the Smithsonian Institution. Tokyo: Gakken, c1986, ML462 W33 S64 1986.


The Strad: A monthly journal for professionals and amateurs of all stringed instruments played with the bow, issues from 1929 through 2017.


Happy anniversary Mahoney Music Collection. This collection was opened to researchers ten years ago this month.





Marjorie Eastwood Dudley

Was a professor from the University of South Dakota, Dr. Marjorie Eastwood Dudley (1891-1961), the first woman in America to write a symphony for a major orchestra? (The South Dakotan, November 1977, p. 3) It would be fun to find what symphony she wrote and for which orchestra. Maybe the answer is in her papers, which were at the Archives and Special Collections but now reside at the National Music Museum.


Image from USD Photograph Collection


Alvin Wilson Scrapbook

Archives and Special Collections recently received a scrapbook created by A. L. Wilson. This scrapbook contains approximately 80 programs for voice student recitals, university choir, and other music groups from 1916 to 1965, plus a few news clippings, and it complements another collection we have of music programs.





Alvin Leroy (A. L.) Wilson taught voice at the University of South Dakota 1915 to 1968.






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