Digital Special Collections

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Special Collections
The Gordon B. Olson Library’s Special Collections is comprised of materials about North Dakota, its cities, towns, and counties, Minot State University, and Native American 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.
  • Native Americans of the Northern Plains included in Special Collections include the Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, Sioux, Sisseton, Wahpeton and Plains Ojibway peoples.
  • 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.

Digitized Yearbooks
Scanned volumes are available as pdf files. Although compressed, the files are large and may take time to load. Additional volumes will be added as time permits.

A complete set of MSU Yearbooks is available in print at the MSU Gordon B. Olson Library in the Special Collection room under the call number: LD3375.M425 B4

Collection Notes:

  • Volumes are scanned at 350dpi and resized to 150dpi only after OCR has been processed.
  • * Volume 76 is used twice. It was mistakenly printed in both the 1998-99 and 1997-98 volumes.

Elected to 26 terms (52 years) as a Representative in the North Dakota Legislature 1938-1990

About The Native American Collection
Housing extensive print collections devoted to Native Americans of North Dakota and the Plains, Minot State University's Gordon B. Olson Library has recently undertaken a digital scanning project designed to make these collections accessible to a wider research community.

The Native American On-line Museum will provide background information on all of the tribes represented in the library's collections. In addition, a searchable museum catalog will provide photo and print data for each object.

The "Native Americans of North Dakota" segment of the Digital Special Collections will provide full print access to selected works reflecting the culture and history of North Dakota's native population. Particular attention will be given to ethnographic works, now out of print or out of general circulation, and primary source documents.

Dr. Joseph Jastrzembski
History Department
Minot State University