Case Library at BHSU serves as a treasure trove of history for visitors

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, June 20, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University special collections librarian/archivist Bobbi Sago, far right, introduces students to the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies housed at BHSU. The Case Library and University Archives are open to the general public and include many historic photographs, maps, and manuscripts.

Visitors to the Black Hills and local residents who visit the Leland D. Case Library for Western Historical Studies and the University Archives at Black Hills State University might be surprised at the historical photographs and maps in the research that preserve and strengthen the collective memory of the Black Hills.

The Case Library was established in 1974 by noted Western historian Leland D. Case, a Black Hills native.  He donated his library to BH to be the foundation for a prominent research collection. The Case Library actively collects materials about the Black Hills, South Dakota, and the Northern Great Plains. In addition to more than 20,000 volumes of books, other materials include maps, photographs, and manuscript materials.

Among the unique materials only found at the Case Library are 186 manuscript collections including Watson Parker's Ghost Towns Notebooks, Bob Lee Papers, David B. Miller Papers, Frank Thomson Papers, and the Thomas Odell Papers.

The E. Y. Berry Congressional Papers are a particularly important collection housed at the Case Library. Berry was the South Dakota 2nd District representative to the U. S. Congress from 1951-1971. This collection contains information on a vast array of topics important to both South Dakota and the Nation during Berry's 20 years in office. Finding aids to these collections and the more than 186 other collections can be found at:

The University Archives documents the history of the University from its beginning as a Normal School in 1883. Records include ledgers, course catalogs, yearbooks, student newspapers, architectural drawings, photographs, and artifacts. The collection provides a broad and detailed picture of the University's past.

Photographs and other materials from the Case Library & University Archives, are available through DLSD (Digital Library of South Dakota). DLSD is a joint project of the Regental institutions to make unique archival materials available online. Digital Collections can be searched at:  

These collections are available for use by any patron including: students, faculty, staff, visitors and the general public. Visit the Case Library reading room located in Library room 201 open Monday through Friday. Appointments are recommended. Contact the Special Collections Librarian/Archivist Bobbi Sago at or 605-642-6361.

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