South Dakota First Poet Laureate, Badger Clark, standing on top of Harney Peak Fire Lookout Tower with woman probably Mrs. Culver, wife to first Lookout, 1937.  Photograph from the Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection.
The Black Hills State University’s Case Library contains one of the most thorough western history collections in the area with more than 15,000 volumes covering all aspects of western history. Locals, historians and anyone interested in western history will now have access to these collections at the touch of their mouse as more of the historical resources are being made available online.

BHSU is a member of the Digital Library South Dakota (DLSD) project, a collaboration of the Board of Regents University Libraries. The members of this consortium are focusing on making a variety of unique collections more readily available in digitally searchable and accessible versions. The collections are widely varied, continually growing, and include audio, visual, and textual resources. In addition to providing an exciting glimpse into South Dakota History, DLSD is a valuable online research tool for all who are interested in our South Dakota heritage.  For more information go to: http://dlsd.sdln.net/ and choose Black Hills State University

Portrait of Rain in Face  Photograph from the W.R. Cross Photograph Collection.
BHSU currently has four photograph collections in the database:

  •  Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection
  • University Archives
  • 1972 Flood Collection – Keystone
  •  W. R. Cross Photograph Collection

The Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection contains a vast number of images covering many aspects of managing the Black Hills National Forest.

The University Archives covers the history of the institution from the beginning to present. The 1972 Flood collection consists of 21 snapshots of the effects of the 1972 Black Hills flood on Keystone.

The W.R. Cross Collection consists of 542 images primarily dated between 1867-1905.  Most of the images are from the Hot Springs, and Niobrara, Neb. areas.  More than300 images are in this database, and Case Library staff members will continue to add the remaining images to digital collection.

The physical Black Hills National Forest Collection and the University Archives Collection (which are housed at the upper level of the BHSU Library Learning Center in the Archives) contain hundreds of images each.  Bobbi Sago, Special Collections Librarian/Archivist, notes that adding digital images to these collections is a long term ongoing task.

In addition to these digital collections, the Case Library & University Archives has an extensive research collection containing books, maps, manuscripts, and more historic photographs on the history of the Black Hills and the Northern Great Plains Region.  The Case Library is open to anyone. Library hours are generally 9-12 and 1-5.  No appointment is necessary.  But, if you plan to make a special trip to campus, please contact Bobbi Sago at (605) 642-6361 or Roberta.Sago@bhsu.edu. Visitors can also go to  www.bhsu.edu/caselibrary for more information on the Special Collections.