Where & When to Find Us

The Archives Reading Room is located in Room 124 in the Williams Library on the Northern State University campus in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

We are open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and by appointment. To make an appointment, call 605-626-7770 or email robert.russell@northern.edu.

Access Policy

The NSU Archives & Special Collections department is committed to equal, consistent access to manuscript material. While allowing research is our priority, the privacy of individuals and NSU employees and students must be respected. NSU archival material is open to interested researchers, with restrictions dictated by the State of South Dakota’s records retention schedule. Other restrictions may be placed on archives material in order to preserve the document itself or to protect the privacy of NSU employees or students. These restrictions are at the discretion of the University Archivist. Access to Special Collections manuscript material is negotiated with the donor. These restrictions vary by collection. Any questions about Special Collections access should be addressed to the University Archivist.

NSU Archives & Special Collections invite interested researchers to use our manuscript collections, but with these caveats:

  • All items must be used in the Williams Library reading room.
  • All researchers will be asked to complete the use application and review and sign the conditions of use document. All researchers will be required to present a photo ID as part of this application process.
  • All researchers must also review the NSU guidelines for handling of manuscript material before access to collections will be granted.
  • No material may be removed from the reading room without permission from the University Archivist.
  • Photocopies of manuscript material are available, and may be made at the researcher’s expense. Researchers may submit requests from off campus by completing the photocopy request form. The University Archivist reserves the right to refuse any photocopy request deemed unclear or broad enough to require extensive staff research.

Make the Most of Your Visit

To ensure the most efficient use of your time while you are with us, we encourage you to take the following steps in advance of your visit:

  1. Contact the University Archivist to explain the nature of your research and include any particular collections or boxes you are interested in viewing.
  2. Complete a usage application, conditions of use, and review NSU guidelines for handling of manuscript material.
  3. Bring your photo ID.
  4. Bring pencil, paper, and/or laptops only. Bags and coats can be brought in due to inclimate weather but will be kept next to the Archives Assistant's desk.
  5. Bring cash or check to make and pay for any requested copies. Each copy is $0.10.

Borrowing Items for Exhibit and Other Uses

If you wish to borrow items from the archives, contact the University Archivist and explain the nature of the proposed loan.

  • Non-University loans should be submitted with at least a month's notice and it requires the borrower to review and sign our loan policy as well as a filled out loan agreement in person when possible.
  • On-campus loans require a campus loan agreement to be filled out and signed in person. For on-campus loans, when possible, please give at least a week's notice.

Content within the Northern State University Archives and Special Collections may contain outdated concepts, values, and language that do not reflect those of Williams Library, Northern State University, or its affiliates. Although some may regard certain materials as offensive, the items within the collections are historical in nature and are accessible for education and research purposes.