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Department of History of the State of South Dakota is established in 1901

Historical Society
South Dakota Digital Archives
/
South Dakota State Historical Society
Historical Society Office inside First Capitol Building

January 30th, 1901, the Journal of the State Legislature reports that the House has approved House Bill 10. Having passed in both legislative bodies, it was sent to Governor Charles Herreid. He signed the bill a week later. It established the Department of History of the State of South Dakota and defined the duties and powers of the State Historical Society.

The South Dakota State Historical Society was actually first organized as the Old Settlers Association of Dakota Territory in 1862. An official relationship with state government came with the legislation in 1901. The historical society moved from its original home in the state capitol to the newly completed Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Building in 1932. During the state centennial in 1989, the new Cultural Heritage Center was built as headquarters for the Society.

The Historical Society manages five programs - Archaeology, Archives, Historic Preservation, Museum, and Research and Publishing.

The Department of History Legislation of 1901 also called for the department to “conduct a library of historical reference”. The library was also first housed in the State Capitol. Over the years since, the state library has been housed in several different buildings. It was even proposed to be moved to Madison at one time. The "state librarian" has also gone by many different titles over the years. Since 1976, the library has been housed in the MacKay Building at 800 Governors Drive in Pierre. The State Library now shares the building with the South Dakota Department of Education. Like the Historical Society, the Library is also a division of the Department of Education. And both the State Library and State Historical Society were established by the legislature as the Department of History on January 30, 1901.

Production help is provided by Doctor Brad Tennant, Professor of History at Presentation College.