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Archives - Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I donate items to the State Historical Society?

To avoid duplication of items in the collection we ask that you contact us and provide a listing with a brief description of each item.

How do I obtain a copy of a newspaper page for a birthday or anniversary gift?

Contact the Reference Staff: archives@nd.gov
Scans of a newspaper page may vary in quality based on the condition of the original. Check fees involved with scans.

Is there a register for historical farms in North Dakota?

In 2009, the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation took over the Centennial Farms program from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. The North Dakota Centennial Farms Program celebrates our state's agricultural heritage by recognizing families that have lived on and/or owned their farms or ranches for more than a century. The program was started in 1988 as part of North Dakota's centennial observance the following year. The application form can be found here: http://www.fortmandan.com/centennial-farms/

How do I search for books in your collections?

All books are cataloged on ODIN (Online Dakota Information Network).

What is Digital Horizons?

Digital Horizons is an online collection of images from the collections of North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Prairie Public, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota powered by the software, CONTENTdm. The images can include photographs, letters, diaries, maps, newspapers, moving images, and audio files. The project got underway in 2007 and collections appearing online increase daily. Image searches can be refined by institution through the advanced search feature. Inquiries about items should be directed to the contributing institution.

How do I obtain birth, death and marriage certificates?

Birth and death certificates can be obtained through the Division of Vital Records.

The online Public Death Index is linked from our web site.

The State Archives does have some early marriage license records or certificates for Barnes, Bottineau, McHenry, McIntosh, Morton, Mountrail, Steele, Stutsman, Walsh, and Ward counties. All other marriage records pre-1925, must be obtained through the county of marriage.

What newspapers are available?

The North Dakota Newspaper Law of 1905 required copies of legal newspapers be sent to the State Historical Society and these have been placed on microfilm. Additional pre-1905 newspapers are also available on microfilm which can be used in the Reading Room or can be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan.

Does the State Historical Society conduct oral history interviews?

Due to the limited number of staff, the State Historical Society is unable to schedule regular interviews for oral history. Tape recorders are available for loan in the Archives. Tips on how to conduct an interview and sample questions are available.

How do I obtain a verification of my birth or correct my birth certificate?

Contact the Division of Vital Records to find out what documents are required. We may be able to provide census information or a newspaper birth announcement. There is a fee for this service.

Do you have the land information concerning mineral rights and land ownership?

The official land ownership and deed registers are located at the individual county courthouses. We do have a collection of atlases for various counties and also the Land Office Tract Books, which recorded the transfer of land from the public domain to private ownership.

How do I contact the County Courthouses?

Contact information for the North Dakota County Courthouses is available on the North Dakota Association of Counties website.

Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

Hours:
State Museum and Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710
email: histsoc@nd.gov