South Dakota State Historical Society

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About Us

The South Dakota State Historical Society, first organized as the Old Settlers Association of Dakota Territory in 1862, established its official relationship with state government in 1901 through the former Department of History. Originally housed in the state capitol, the Society moved in 1932 to the newly completed Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Building across the street. In 1989 South Dakota celebrated its centennial and to mark the anniversary and showcase the state's history, the Cultural Heritage Center was built as the new headquarters for the Society. Through the years, state government reorganizations have shaped and reshaped the Society into the vigorous organization of today. Explore South Dakota’s history—list your home on the National Register of Historic Places, read our publications, study in our research room, and visit our museum.

An office within the Department of Tourism, the Society manages five programs--Archaeology, Archives, Historic preservation, Museum, and Research and Publishing. All the programs are located at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, with the exception of the State Archaeological Research Center, which is located in Rapid City and the Archival Microfilm Unit at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield.

Mission Statement
History provides tools for defining our diverse cultural identities and understanding our past. The Office of History/South Dakota State Historical Society shall promote, nurture and sustain the historical and cultural heritage of South Dakota by collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting evidence of the state's irreplaceable past and making it available for the life-long education and enrichment of present and future generations.