Tracker Pixel for Entry

​A wealth of information: NDSU Archives to host open house

Writer's Block | February 7th, 2018

Figure drawing at NDSU - photograph courtesy of NDSU ArchivesThe NDSU archives look unassuming enough, located in a large warehouse near the interstate in the warehouse district in Fargo, but once inside one will discover a treasure trove of information. “We have over 20,000 books on the history of North Dakota, covering every topic you can think of. We do specialize in town and county histories, biographies, histories of various businesses... We cover a really wide array of subjects from North Dakota.” Says Trista Raezer-Stursa, head of the NDSU Archives.

Along with the extensive collection of books there are two digital microfilm readers with which patrons can save information via PDF and save to a jump drive for further reading. But the real treasures are housed in the vault, Stursa said. “Basically what we specialize in is collecting unique historical materials that pertain to the history of North Dakota -- and NDSU, of course. We collect things like correspondence diaries, business records and photographs. We really specialize in photographs.”

She went on to say, “What makes us unique is libraries might have a book that would be at hundreds of other libraries around the country, what we have is totally unique and one of a kind. Nobody has what we have.”

“We have some civil war diaries, obviously we weren’t a state yet, but veterans came out here to homestead and brought their things with them.” Stursa said. One veteran even brought back a collection of confederate money which is also housed in the archives.

One of the most recent acquisitions was a box from the Fargo Parks District, full of WPA (Works Progress Administration) materials from the Depression era. The box contained photos and documentation, and maps of projects that the parks department was involved in.

The archives house over half a million photographs -- 20,000 of which are posted online via Flickr and Digital Horizons. Digital Horizons combines the photo collections of not only NDSU but the State Historical Society, Concordia, and Prairie Public. The archives also possess meeting minutes from Fargo’s first city council meetings in the 1870s-2002, and even one of the first diplomas issued from NDSU in 1895. The materials are primarily donated and researchers from across the globe have used them in their study. In fact, the German car manufacturer Audi recently reached out to the archives to use a photo from their collection to be used in a staff newsletter.

The NDSU archives recently acquired high-density mobile compact shelving. It’s an attractive unit embellished with a photograph of Old Main from the 1920s--complete with a Model T. 

“You push a button and choose what row you want to move," Stursa said. "This storage unit has nearly doubled the capacity of this room. We were like... 99% full.” 

As a safety precaution, laser sensors are placed at the bottom of the unit to ensure that no researchers or administration will be crushed in the course of their work.

Who uses the archives? Anyone can access the archives, but lots of history classes and architecture students do, if they are studying the historic buildings downtown.

Stursa gestured toward a few flat files that contained architectural drawings, oversized photographs, maps, and posters. The archives contribute to rotating exhibits at the NDSU library as well as throughout the campus. There was also a small exhibit of trinkets donated by former U.S. Senator Milton R. Young, celebrated for his longevity serving in the senate (1945-1981).

Stursa also mentioned that many researchers come in to work on their own history books.  

“It’s always kind of fun to see the output of people’s research when they come here,” Stursa said. 

IF YOU GO

NDSU Archives Open House

Thursday, February 15, 3:30-5pm

NDSU Archives, West Building: 3551 7th Ave N

Recently in:

By Maddie Robinsonmaddierobi.mr@gmail.com This article discusses topics related to mental health and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org. …

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

June 2211 a.m - 3 p.m. and 3- 6 p.m.Words To Live By Bookstore819 Center Avenue, MoorheadThe Moorhead Friends Writing Group (MFWG) is a group of 40 writers in 13 states and Canada. They have recently published their third…

The WFF Unified School District?By John Strandjas@hpr1.com Both the Fargo and West Fargo School Districts are strategizing their futures. This is necessary, because of immensely challenging financial and geopolitical changes facing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comShould ‘The Chosen One’ be Sentenced to Spend Months at each Level?It’s not unusual on this planet, we have had hundreds of men and a couple of women who have used religion to become…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

HPR chats with Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt BandBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When asked if it was fair to consider the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as “the godfathers of contemporary Americana” during our interview,…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

New Minnesota sculptures include artist’s largest trollBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com According to Danish artist and environmental activist Thomas Dambo, “All trash is treasure.” So far, he and his team have built 138…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.com I am an old man. I have been a politics junkie most of my life. I have been involved in many campaigns, but have not run for office myself. Each time someone has suggested I do that, I tell them…