PIERRE - The South Dakota State Historical Society Archives has gone digital.
The State Archives, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, collects, preserves and makes available manuscript collections; state, county and local government records; photographs; maps and other archival materials that have permanent historical and research value.
Now, the South Dakota Digital Archives, an online resource that went live in January, makes these collections more accessible to the public, as well as protecting the originals. The website is sddigitalarchives.
This is an exciting online resource that we only anticipate getting more robust, said state archivist Chelle Somsen in a press release. This resource has been in the works for a number of years and the staff is thrilled to release it to the public.
The government and manuscript collections are being digitized and cataloged by staff archivists and include items such as publications, brochures and audio files. More items are added regularly.
While the resource contains documents from government and manuscript collections, the largest collection consists of photographs, which are made available through the Preserving South Dakota in Photos initiative. The archives photo digitization staff are digitizing photographs from the collections and have scanned and cataloged more than 16,050 images, which are now available online.
Photographs available online include statewide historic buildings and structures and photographs from the Black Hills collections, including scenery, towns, railroads and people.
Currently, we are working with a collection of slides, Somsen said, but we've digitized prints and negatives and we hope to start working on glass plate negatives next.
The photograph digitization project is funded by private donations and grants. To sponsor a photograph collection, contact the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation at 605-773-6001.
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism.