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About Us

Our Mission: To identify, preserve, interpret, and promote the heritage of North Dakota and its people.

The Society is under the supervision of the 12-member State Historical Board. The board appoints the Director of the State Historical Society of North Dakota to administer the agency and carry out policies and directives. The agency is organized into six divisions:

  • Administration is headed by the Assistant Director and is responsible for overall agency support, budgeting and fiscal matters, personnel management, and security.
     
  • The Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division protects and manages cultural resources by identifying and recording sites related to North Dakota's prehistory; surveying, identifying and recording structures and sites eligible for listing on the North Dakota Historic Sites Registry; and nominating structures and sites for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Director of the State Historical Society of North Dakota serves as the state historic preservation officer. The Director of the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division is Deputy Historic Preservation Officer. The Division preserves and manages 55 state-owned historic sites ranging in size from nearly 200 acres (Fort Clark State Historic Site) to markers occupying less than a tenth of an acre.
     
  • The Museum Division collects and manages artifact collections representative of North Dakota history and culture; designs and mounts interpretive exhibits at the North Dakota Heritage Center and ten branch museums, and oversees a traveling exhibit program. The museum (and agency) is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums.
     
  • The Communications and Education Division: produces public and educational programs and events for adults and children at the North Dakota Heritage Center and other locations; provides liaison services to North Dakota's 140 county and local historical societies; produces publications including a quarterly journal, North Dakota History, and a quarterly newsletter, Plains Talk; coordinates visitor services for the Heritage Center.
     
  • Historic sites: preserves and manages 56 state-owned historic sites representative of North Dakota history and culture. These sites range in size from nearly 200 acres (Fort Clark State Historic Site) to markers occupying less than one-tenth acre.
     
  • The State Archives Division collects, manages and references documentary resources relating to state history and culture. The Division is the official state archives, preserving North Dakota government records of enduring value. Its extensive collections also include the state’s official newspapers, books, photographs, maps, manuscript collections and audiovisual materials. The Director of the Division serves as North Dakota State Archivist.
     
  • State Historical Society of North Dakota activities are headquartered in the North Dakota Heritage Center on the Capitol grounds.

North Dakota State Historical Board

President: Calvin Grinnell
Vice President: Art Todd
Secretary: Margaret Puetz

Appointed Members
Terms Expiring June 30, 2016
Albert Berger, Grand Forks
Art Todd, III, Jamestown
Chester Nelson, Bismarck

Terms Expiring June 30, 2014
Diane Larson, Bismarck
Margaret L. Puetz, Bismarck

Terms Expiring June 30, 2015
Gereld Gerntholz, Valley City
Calvin Grinnell, New Town

Statutory Members
Sara Otte Coleman, Director, Tourism Division, Department of Commerce
Alvin A. Jaeger, Secretary of State
Mark A. Zimmerman, Director, Parks and Recreation Department
Kelly Schmidt, State Treasurer
Grant Levi, Director, Department of Transportation

Senior Staff
Director: Merlan E. Paaverud, Jr. mpaaverud@nd.gov
Assistant Director: David C. Skalsky dcskalsky@nd.gov
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer: Fern Swenson fswenson@nd.gov
Expansion Coordinator: Claudia Berg cberg@nd.gov
State Archivist: Ann B. Jenks ajenks@nd.gov
Director, Communications, Marketing and Education: Kimberly H. Jondahl kjondahl@nd.gov
Director, Museum Division: Chris Johnson cjohnson@nd.gov

Full Staff Listing

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

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