South Dakota Archives and Libraries

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The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful to genealogical researchers.

Books from an Archive

South Dakota State Archives
900 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501
Telephone: 605-773-3804
Fax: 605-773-6041

South Dakota State Historical Society
900 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2294
Telephone: 605-773-3458
Fax: 605-773-6041

Three divisions of the South Dakota Historical Society include materials of interest to genealogists. The Historical Society Library houses printed materials, while the Archives Division maintains original records of South Dakota government jurisdictions and other historical documents. The Manuscript Division preserves unpublished materials.

National Archives—Rocky Mountain Region (Denver)
Denver Federal Center Building 48
P.O. Box 25307
Denver, CO 80225-0307
Telephone: 303-407-5700
Fax: 303-407-5707

National Archives—Central Plains Region (Kansas City)
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
Telephone: 816-268-8000

South Dakota Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1101
Pierre, SD 57501
Telephone: 605-224-3670

'I.D. Weeks Library
University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Telephone: 605-677-5371
Fax: 605-677-5488

Center for Western Studies
P.O. Box 727
Augustana College
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
Telephone: 605-336-4921
Fax: 605-336-5447

To learn more about the history and record-keeping systems of South Dakota counties, use the nine inventories of county archives produced by the Historical Records Survey around 1940. The Family History Library has copies of most of these inventories.

Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards

Computers with modems can be useful tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In a way, computer networks themselves serve as a library. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial on-line services help family history researchers:

  • Locate other researchers
  • Post queries
  • Send and receive e-mail
  • Search large databases
  • Search computer libraries
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from South Dakota in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. As of April 1997, the following sites are important gateways linking you to many more network and bulletin board sites:


A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.


A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly-updated research coordination list.


The Family History Library and some Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.