Featured Collections

Featured Collections

E. Y. Berry Congressional Papers

E. Y. Berry Congressional Papers

Ellis Yarnal "E. Y." Berry (1902-1999) served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1951-1971, representing South Dakota's western district. After his retirement from Congress, Berry donated his papers to Black Hills State College where the new library-learning center was being named in his honor. The Berry Congressional Papers are comprised of more than 500 boxes of manuscript materials, organized into the following categories: Departmental, Indian, Jobs, Legislation, Military Academy Appointments, Miscellaneous, Post Offices, Public Relations, Reference Materials, and Special.
Database ● Finding Aid

Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection

Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection

The Black Hills National Forest Historical Collection contains files from the U. S. Forest Service Forest Supervisor's Office in Custer and the Northern Hills and Mystic Ranger Districts. The collection contains manuscript materials, published reports, books, correspondence, photographs, slides, negatives, maps, audiovisual materials, and artifacts documenting the history of the Black Hills National Forest. The materials are held on deposit from the Forest Service as part of a long-term curatorial agreement.
Database ● Finding Aid ● Selected Images

Troy L. and Watson Parker Collection

Troy L. and Watson Parker Collection

Watson Parker (1924-2013) was a historian, author, and university professor specializing in the history of the Black Hills. Troy LaSalle Parker (1889-1977) was Watson's father and the two shared an interest in history. The family ran the Palmer Gulch Lodge Resort and Dude Ranch from 1927-1962. The Troy L. and Watson Parker Collection consists of a set of 133 notebooks and 35 linear feet of subject files. The "Ghost Town Notebooks" contain information and photographs of a multitude of places in the Black Hills region, not just ghost towns. Subject files contain ephemeral materials such as tourist pamphlets, roadmaps, and newspaper clippings covering to a vast array of topics related to the Black Hills.
Notebooks Database ● Notebooks Finding Aid ● Selected Images from Notebooks
Subject Files Database ● Subject Files Finding Aid

W. R. Cross Collection

W. R. Cross Collection

The William R. Cross Collection contains 542 photographic images in stereoscope card and single print formats. The photos were taken primarily by W. R. Cross (1839-1907), a photographer active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, based in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Most images are of scenes around the Black Hills region and Niobrara, Nebraska, and include photographs of Native Americans.
Finding Aid ● Selected Images

William J. Collins Collection

William J. Collins Collection

William J. Collins (1867-1938) was a frontier photographer who had a studio in Rapid City, South Dakota. The collection of photographs, glass plate negatives, and film negatives documents the history and culture of the Black Hills region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Photographs depict both rural and urban life.
Selected Images

Thomas E. Odell Collection

Thomas E. Odell Collection

Thomas Edward Odell (1876-1970) is the author of "Mato Paha: the Story of Bear Butte." This collection includes Odell's notes while he was writing "Mato Paha" and numerous subject files covering topics related to the Black Hills region.
Database ● Finding Aid

Father Eugene Szaley Collection

Father Eugene Szaley Collection

Father Eugene Szalay (1915-1975) was the parish priest in Spearfish in the 1970s. His interest in history was vast and eclectic. The collection contains subject files of research notes, newspaper clippings, and ephemera related to the Black Hills region and the West. Additionally, there are more than 700 maps, many from the western United States.
Subject Files Database ● Maps Database ● Finding Aid

Bob Lee Collection

Bob Lee Collection

Robert H. "Bob" Lee (1920-2005) was a well-known Black Hills journalist, historian, and author. His historical writings dealt with the Indians of the Northern Plains and the frontier military. The collection consists of approximately 43 linear feet of manuscript material and three linear feet of photographs and negatives. The collection reflects his strong interest in Fort Meade and frontier military history.
Finding Aid


For a complete list of our collections, see the Archival Finding Aids page.