Beulah Williams Library Archives
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Collection Development Policy:   

The Northern State University Archives and Special Collections serve a dual record keeping purpose: 

The primary function of Northern State University Archives & Special Collections is as repository for non-current University records.  Included in these materials is documentation of the university’s financial, administrative, academic, and athletic activities.  These records are preserved in order to document the history of the university and to provide a scholarly research collection to students, faculty, and the NSU community at large.  In the absence of formal records management procedures, these documents are obtained as available from University departments. 

The secondary function of the NSU Archives & Special Collections is to document the multifaceted history of Aberdeen and the surrounding region.  This is achieved, generally, through unsolicited donations of manuscript material and additions to existing collections.  In special cases, archives staff will pursue collections that are closely tied to regional history or are in danger of becoming permanently unavailable due to deterioration.

 Here are some examples of materials that tend to encompass these values:

  • Committee, task force, and departmental meeting minutes and reports
  • Correspondence and memoranda
  • Personal papers of alumni, faculty, administrators, and family histories in Aberdeen
  • Scrapbooks
  • Annual reports
  • Architectural drawings of campus buildings
  • Departmental histories
  • Policies, guidelines, reports, and procedures
  • Employee (faculty, staff, and administrator) handbooks, manuals, and policies
  • Accreditation reports
  • Student guidelines and policies
  • Subject files
  • Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, lists of officers of the college’s corporate bodies
  • General administrative records, especially those from the offices of the President, Vice Presidents, and Registrar. These records include correspondence, meeting minutes (especially for committees no longer in existence or for projects that have been completed), written reports, self-studies/accreditation visits, transcripts of deceased students, and subject files at least five years old and no longer needed for reference.
  • Publications, meeting minutes, correspondence, photographs, etc. of the student body, its government, various student organizations, societies and clubs, and alumni groups
  • Publications by and about Northern State University (e. g., programs, brochures, clippings from local newspapers, newsletters, etc.) and Aberdeen
  • Biographical information on administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni of the college.
  • Oral history interviews with their transcriptions
  • Photographs, slides, films, audio and video recordings, and emerging electronic media that are identified, dated, and produced by or related to the school and the community
  • Artifacts and memorabilia related to the school’s history and that of Aberdeen which are of a manageable physical size and condition
  • Northern’s athletic teams’ records, photographs, uniforms, equipment, statistics, video, and memorabilia


Examples of previous collections donated can be found in our finding aids section.

If you are interested in donating materials to the archives, please fill out a Donor Agreement (Deed of Gift) form and include when possible a description of the item (previous ownership, dates, and any additional information). Donations can be mailed or delivered to the Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections Department:

Beulah Williams Library
ATTN: Archives
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, SD 57401

For larger donations please contact either Robert Russell (605-626-7770) or Sarah Jones (605-626-7771)