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Archives - Land Records - Maps & Other Resources

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps show location and type of buildings found in major towns across the state. They were originally used by insurance companies as a guide in their business. An inventory is available.

Fire Underwriters Insurance Maps

Fire Underwriters Insurance Maps show location and type of buildings found in villages and cities across the state. They were originally used by insurance companies as a guide in their business. An inventory is available.

Coal Mine Maps

Coal mine maps document the location of some of the old as well as recent coal mines in the State. An inventory is available.

Homestead Files

Homestead files can be found at the National Archives and Records Administration. To request homestead file information, ask for NATF-Form 84, National Archives Order for Copies of Land Entry Files. The address to write to is: Textual Reference Branch -- Land (NWDT1), National Archives and Records Administration, 7th and Pennsylvania AV NW, Washington DC 20408. The telephone number is 202-501-5395. For additional information on genealogical research materials available through the National Archives, visit the National Archives genealogy web page.

Other archival materials relating to land development include:

  • Records of several land companies doing business in North Dakota, including M. Sigbert Awes Company, Sidney Ballou, William H. Brown Land Company, and H. J. Johnson Land and Cattle Company.
  • Records of the Board of University and School Lands.
    Selected county assessment records. Records are available from only a few counties.
  • Land survey maps, 1870-1905.
  • Promotional pamphlets produced by various land companies, speculators and the railroads.
  • Photographs, including early bird's-eye views of certain cities.
    Aerial photographs.

Resources found in the Museum collection

The permanent exhibits in the Heritage Center feature early survey equipment (Dike Collection) and help shed light on the dispersal of public lands in North Dakota. All collections are available for research use. Please contact the Museum Division staff for information concerning museum artifacts.

  • Artifacts in the collection which help document homesteading include:
  • Surveyor's transit used in the first survey of North Dakota, Pembina region, 1858 (SHSND 86.128.1)
  • Surveyor's transit, chains, etc. used by George K. Dike, early Dakota Territory (SHSND 12608)
  • Compass used by Pierre Bottineau, guide on Steven's expedition (SHSND 13342)
  • Boundary post, U.S. and Canada, from Pembina (SHSND 2)
  • Boundary marker, Fort Buford Military Reservation (SHSND 87.38)
  • Survey peg, Indian allotment, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, from Like-A-Fishhook Village (SHSND 12638)

Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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Hours:
Museum 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