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Federal Depository Library Program

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Archives - Federal Records

Federal Depository Library Program

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was created to make federal government publications available to the public at no cost. The Government Printing Office (GPO) is responsible for printing and distributing government documents and overseeing the FDLP.

There are two types of Depository Libraries, regional and selective. The University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University together are a joint regional depository library.

The State Historical Society has been a selective depository library since 1907. We select about one per cent of all available federal documents, mainly in the areas of archives, libraries, military history, and historic preservation. Historic titles in the collection cover topics such as agriculture, Indians of North America, geology, and various census topics (agriculture, business, housing, population). Agencies whose documents are most often found in the State Historical Society are Census Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution.

We also have a long run of the Congressional Record, plus many volumes of the Serial Set, and the American State Papers, the precursor to the Serial Set beginning in 1789. The Serial Set can be searched through the CIS U.S. serial set index, which is available for use in the Reading Room. Selected serial set titles, plus other cataloged federal documents, are available to search in WorldCat. We also have some federal documents on microfiche.

Other federal agencies or depository libraries have scanned, digitized, or otherwise made freely available United States government items for the public and federal depository libraries.  These items include, but are not limited to technical reports, historical documents, posters, and databases.  To explore a list of these partnerships, click here. 


This record group consists of federal records relating to Dakota Territory and North Dakota. These records were collected and assembled by the State Historical Society beginning in the 1960s. The records include both microforms (federal census records; federal district court records; records of the Department of the Interior, Department of State, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of War, Post Office Department, United States Senate, and the Treasury Department) and original records (General Land Office records for North Dakota; records of the Farm Security Administration, Rural Resettlement Division; and the National Weather Service, Bismarck Weather Bureau records).


Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation
32129 Vessel Documentation Records from the Port of St. Louis, Missouri, 1835-1944 (25r. #15454-15479)
Vessel Documentation Records from the Port of Pembina, North Dakota, 1885-ca. 1959 (9r. #6163-6171)

31103 Seventh Federal Census Schedules for Minnesota Territory – Pembina County, 1850. (28 items)
31104 Eighth Federal Census Schedules for Dakota Territory, 1860. (1r. #6097)
31105 Ninth Federal Census Schedules for Dakota Territory, 1870. (1r. #6098)
31106 Tenth Federal Census Schedules for Dakota Territory, 1880. (9r. #6092-6096, 6901, 11615, 12640)
31107 Index (Soundex) to the Tenth Federal Census Schedules for Dakota Territory, 1880. (6r. #4267-4272)
31108 Federal Census Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans in North Dakota, 1890. (1r. #4235)
31109 Twelfth Federal Census Schedules for North Dakota, 1900. (9r. #6005-6013)
31110 Index (Soundex) to the Twelfth Federal Census for North Dakota, 1900. (36r. #6014-6049)
31111 Thirteenth Federal Census Schedules for North Dakota, 1910. (13r. #6194-6206)
31112 Census Schedules for the Fort Totten Indian Reservation and Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, 1885-1905. (4r. #6050-6053)
31113 Census Schedules for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, 1889-1939. (5r. #6054-6058)
31114 Census Schedules for the Fort Totten Indian Reservation, 1910-1939. (3r. #6059-6061)
31115 Census Schedules for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, 1885-1939. (17r. #6062-6078)
31116 Census Schedules for the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, 1910-1939. (13r. #6079-6091)
32157 Schedules of the Minnesota Territory Census of 1857. (5r. #15673-15677)
Report on Indians Taxed and not Taxed in the United States (except Alaska) at the Eleventh Census, 1890. (1r. #13627)
32257 Fourteenth Federal Census Schedules for North Dakota, 1920. (61r. #12268-12329)
32387 Thirteenth Federal Census Schedules for Campbell-Clay counties and Enumeration Districts, South Dakota, 1910, (2r. #17311-17312)

Civil Air Patrol
32362 North Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol, 1977-1984.l

District Court
31117 District Court for Dakota Territory Records, 1861-1889. (9r. #6100-6108)

Geological Survey
32350 Aerial Photographs, 1940s-1970s

Department of Interior
31100 General Land Office Records
Includes Commissioner’s letters, land claim case files, circulars, financial records, Cancelation Record, Record of Applications to Make Proof, Homestead Contest Docket, Abstract of Declaratory Statements, and Tract Books. The Tract Books document the first sale of public lands in the federal land offices in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Minot, Dickinson, and Williston. Arranged by legal description. Includes description of tract, part of section, section, range and township; contents in acres and 100ths; rate per acre and purchase money in dollars and cents; name of purchaser; date of sale; number of receipt and certificate of purchase; by whom patented; date of patent; volume and page where recorded. No index. Some rolls contain portions of South Dakota lands. (34r. #4278, 6896, 7132-7165)

31119 Office of Indian Affairs Correspondence
Consists of correspondence relating to administration, finances, claims, treaty rights, and affairs at the Devils Lake Agency, Fort Berthold Agency, Standing Rock Agency, Upper Missouri Agency, and the Grand River Agency. (250r. #-4001-4251)

31120 Indian Treaty Negotiation Records
Consists of council proceedings (speeches, minutes, journals), commissioner's reports, instructions to treaty commissioners, copies of treaties, and letters relating to negotiation of ratified and unratified treaties with various Indian tribes. (10r. #4240-4248)

31121 Index to Cartographic Records of North Dakota at the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Consists of maps of Indian reservations, townsites, and railroads in North Dakota. (1r. #4386)

31122 Historic American Building Survey Drawings for North Carolina and North Dakota
Consists of Office of National Parks and Buildings and Reservations drawings of the Roosevelt Cabin; the Congregational Mission, Fort Berthold; the Indian Dance Lodge, Elbowoods; the Regimental Headquarters, Fort Buford; and historic buildings in North Carolina (1r. #6909)

31123 Annual Reports of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company
(1r. #4298)

31159 Abandoned Military Reservation File - Fort Totten
Consists of General Land Office records (maps, letters, orders) relating to boundary delineation and transfer of the Fort Totten military reservation to the Department of the Interior. (1r. #4278)

31863 Devils Lake Indian Agency. Sanitary Records of Sick, Wounded, Births and Deaths, 1883-1901 (1r. #12810)

31864 Fort Totten Indian School. Sanitary Records of Sick, Wounded, Births and Deaths, etc., 1892-1910 (1r #12810)

32155 Interior Department Territorial Papers, Dakota
Consists of the Executive proceedings and official correspondence, 1877-1899 and Letters received, 1863-1889 relating to the U.S. Penitentiary in Dakota and miscellaneous subjects. (3r. #15667-15669)

32336 General Land Office. Survey plats of certain townships in Morton, Grant, Sioux, and Emmons Counties
Consists of copies of original survey plats, in what was at the time Morton County, 1879-1894. One plat date 1917 is a Supplemental Plat of Standing Rock Timber Allotments in a where Morton, Sioux and Emmons Counties meet. (31 plats)

32369 Reports of Inspections of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1939 (3r. #12111-12113)

32370 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1867-1880, 26r. (#06133-06137, 06141-06161)

32371 Register of Traders' Licenses
Consists of a register of licenses that were issued by superintendents and agents and were approved by the Office of Indian Affairs. Entries for individual licenses give name of person licensed, name of tribe for whom licensed, name of field official issuing license, date of issuance of license, date of approval, amount of bond, names of sureties, names of employees, file reference to letter of transmittal, and sometimes other information. This microfilm is from the National Archives and each microfilm roll represents one bound volume. National Archives Identifier: 1994519 HMS Entry Number(s): PI-163 944 and 1995501 HMS Entry Number(s): PI-163 945. 2r. (#12712-12713).

32372 Abandoned Military Reservation File - Fort Buford, 1866-1924, 1r. (#12076).

Justice Department
31124 Index to Names of United States Marshals, 1789-1960. (1r. #04266)
32156 Register of Letters Received, 1871-1884. (3r. #15670-15672)
32390 FBI File on the Posse Comitatus, 1973-1986, 2r. (#14433-14434)

Post Office Department
31125 Record of Appointment of Postmasters in Dakota Territory and North Dakota, 1861-1971. (3r. #06219, 06225, 07000)
31126 Dakota Territory Papers, 1858-1873. (1r. #04237)
32395 Report of Site Locations, 1880s-1950, 10r. (#07175-07183, 7556)

State Department
31127 Dakota Territory Papers, 1861-1873. (1r. #04236)
32154 Territorial Papers, Dakota, 1861-1873. (1r. #15666)

Treasury Department
31128 Papers Relating to Financing the Louisiana Purchase, 1803-1804. (1r. #04252)

War Department
31129 Badlands Cantonment Post Returns, 1879-1883. (1r. #04306)
31130 Camp Hancock and Camp Sykes Post Returns, 1872-1877. (1r. #04310)
31131 Fort Abercrombie Post Returns, 1858-1877. (1r. #04305)
31132 Fort Abercrombie Medical History, 1857-1877. (1r. #04283)
31133 Fort Abraham Lincoln Post Returns, 1872-1891. (4r. #04284, 04311, 04314, 04327)
31134 Fort Abraham Lincoln Medical History, 1872-1891. (1r. #04283)
31135 Quartermaster General Correspondence Relating to Fort Abraham Lincoln, includes building plans, 1873-1901. (2r. #04304, 05838)
31136 Fort Berthold Post Returns, 1865-1867. (1r. #04307)
31137 Fort Buford Post Returns, 1866-1895. (3r. #04308-04309, 04292)
31138 Fort Lincoln Post Returns, 1881-1891, 1902-1913. (2r. #04312-04313)
31139 Fort Pembina Post Returns, 1870-1895. (2r. #04315-04316)
31140 Fort Rice Post Returns, 1864-1878. (2r. #04317-04318)
31141 Fort Rice Medical History, 1864-1878. (1r. #04277)
31142 Fort Seward Post Returns, 1872-1877. (4r. #04319, 04328, 04389-04390)
31143 Adjutant General’s Correspondence Relating to Fort Seward, 1872-1877 (2r. #4389-4390)
31144 Fort Stevenson Post Returns, 1867-1883. (2r. #04320-04321)
31145 Fort Totten Post Returns, 1867-1890. (2r. #04322-04323)
31146 Fort Totten Medical History, 1868-1890. (1r. #04277)
31147 Fort Totten Reservation File, 1875-1891. (3r. #04273-04275)
31148 Fort Totten Historical Sketch and Building Specifications, 1887-1910. (3r. #04273-04275)
31149 Twentieth Infantry Regimental Returns, 1866-1888. (2r. #00641, 06918)
31150 Fort Yates Post Returns, 1875-1903. (3r. #04324-04326)
31151 Fort Yates Medical History, 1878-1903. (1r. #04286)
31152 Service Records Index of the First Battalion of Dakota Cavalry, 1861-1865. (3r. #04265, 6099, 7969)
31153 Indian Scout Enlistment Register, 1866-1877. (1r. #04295)
31154 Index to Indian Wars Veterans Pension Files, ca. 1860-1926. (13r. #04253-04265)
31155 Black Hills Expedition Orders, 1874. (1r. #04294)
31156 Yellowstone Expedition Reports, 1871-1872. (1r. #04238)
31157 Isaac Stevens Survey Records, 1853-1861. (1r. #04288)
31158 Inventories of Records of US Army Commands, n.d. (1r. #04276)
31913 Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1871-1878, (40r. #13373-13412)
32021 Fort Buford General & Special Orders, 1867-1881. (3r. #14463-14464, 04287)
32027 Fort Buford Letters Sent, 1967-1895. (5r. #14586-14590)
32064 Fort Buford Post Records, Quartermaster Letters Received and Sent, 1872-1894. (8r. #14895-14902)
32078 Fort Stevenson Post Returns, 1867-1883. (3r. #15002-15004)
32079 Fort Rice Post Records, 1866-1878. (3r. #15021-15022)
32084 Fort Buford 6th Infantry Muster Roll, 1875-1876. (1r. #15136)
32087 Fort Pembina Medical History, 1870-1895. (1r. #15058)
32158 Historical Information Relating to Military Posts and Other Installations, ca. 1700-1900. (8r. #15678-15685)
32161 Burial Registers for Military Posts, Camps, and Stations, 1768-1921. (1r. #15694)
32162 Reports and Correspondence Relating to the Army Investigations of the Battle of Wounded Knee and to the Sioux Campaign of 1890-1891. (2r. #15695-15696)
32356 Fort Abraham Lincoln, Muster Roll of Indian Scouts, 1874, 1876, 4ff.
32374 Quartermaster General. Correspondence Related to Fort Buford, 1878-1895. (2r. #04290-04291)
32375 Fort Buford Medical History, 1868-1895. (1r# 04293)
32393 7th U.S. Cavalry Muster Rolls, Aug. 31, 1866-Dec. 31, 1884. (3r. #13575-13577)
20194 Fort Buford U.S. Court of Indian Offenses, 1926-1936. (1r. #00314)

Weather Service
31099 Bismarck Weather Bureau Records, 1874-1960. (2r. #05974, 06932)
32160 Climatological Records of the Weather Bureau, North Dakota, 1819-1892. (7r. #15687-15693)

Work Progress Administration
30529 Historical Data Project, 1874-1940, 130ft.


Gray, David P. Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.

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