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Digital Horizons

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Chronicling America

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:
Scans of a newspaper page may vary in quality based on the condition of the original. Check fees involved with scans.

How do I search for books in your collections?

All books are cataloged on WorldCat.

What is Digital Horizons?

Digital Horizons is an online collection of images from the collections of North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Prairie Public, the State Library, 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 has pre-1925 marriage records on microfilm from the following counties: Adams, Barnes, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Grand Forks, Grant, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Pembina, Ransom, Renville, Richland, Sargent, Sheridan, Sioux, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Wells. Williams County marriage records are digital only. 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 small number of staff, the State Historical Society is able to schedule regular interviews for oral history on a limited basis. 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.

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State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

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