The Gordon B. Olson Library’s Special Collections is comprised of materials about North Dakota, its cities, towns, and counties, Minot State University, and American Indians from the region. The collection is intended to bring together materials about the history, culture, science and people of the state, enabling library patrons to utilize this area of knowledge in one location.
The following guidelines are used when selecting materials for Special Collections:
- The content of the material must be at least one half of the above aforementioned.
- Publications of Minot State University include theses, catalogs, materials of administrative nature, and yearbooks.
- Local histories of North Dakota cities, towns, and counties are housed in Special Collections but the library will not attempt to locate and purchase every local history that is published. Emphasis will be placed on materials about north central and northwestern North Dakota.
- Indians of the Northern Plains included in Special Collections include the Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, Sioux, Sisseton, Wahpeton and Plains Ojibway.
- One copy of all North Dakota Geological Survey publications is included in Special Collections.
- Generally, North Dakota state documents will not be included in Special Collections but are housed in the government documents areas of the Library. Exceptions are made if they meet the content guidelines mentioned above and they are important and substantial publications of lasting value. Possible candidates for the inclusion in Special Collections are selected by the Government Documents Librarian and approved by the Special Collections Selector.
- The latest edition of reference materials about North Dakota are placed in the reference collection with earlier editions located in Special Collections.
- North Dakota journals are located in the periodicals collection, including The Red and Green. North Dakota journals that cease publication and are no longer of use in active research, are bound, cataloged, and placed in Special Collections.
- All non-print materials about North Dakota are housed in the collection appropriate to its format. The exception is non-print materials about Minot State University.
- Maps, other than those issued by the North Dakota Geological Survey, are not housed in Special Collections.
- Materials by North Dakota authors that do not generally fit the Special content criteria are not placed in Special Collections.
Digital Special Collections
As we believe that it is important to preserve some of the more rare material that the Collection houses and allow digital access to it to the university community and beyond, the library undertook a project to digitize selected items from its special collections.
All materials were scanned using either an HP Scanjet or a Microtek Scanmaker III scanner hardware and Photoshop 5.5 or Adobe Acrobat Capture software. The documents were scanned into TIFF files using Photoshop 5.5. After manual editing of the document image, the TIFF files are converted to an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. In order to keep the PDF files reasonably managable for viewing with Adobe Acrobat Reader, the document is divided into smaller PDF files following the logical format of the document.