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Correspondence of Doane Robinson added to South Dakota Digital Archives

Correspondence of Doane Robinson added to South Dakota Digital Archives

Historical correspondence of Doane Robinson, first secretary of the South Dakota State Historical Society, is now available on the South Dakota Digital Archives.

Jonah Leroy (Doane) Robinson (1856-1946) was secretary of the South Dakota State Historical Society and superintendent of the State Department of History from 1901-1926. The Doane Robinson Collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, poetry, genealogical data, census and related statistics, and miscellaneous papers.

“Doane Robinson is the patriarch of South Dakota history,” said State Archivist Chelle Somsen, with the State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “His correspondence provides insight into a wide range of historical topics and individuals throughout South Dakota.”

Some of the subjects form the Robinson collection added to the South Dakota Digital Archives include correspondence relating to Mount Rushmore, Peter Norbeck, La Verendrye, Arthur Mellette, Sacagawea, South Dakota State Capitol artwork, Martin Charger, Royal C. Johnson, William Henry Harrison Beadle, Valentine T. McGillycuddy and state census materials.

Volunteers scanned 3,304 documents comprising 44 folders of correspondence creating 4.12 gigabytes of digital information. This amounts to only 5 percent of the total folders in the Robinson collection.

To access the digital collections, visit the State Archives website at history.sd.gov/archives and find the link to “Doane Robinson” under “In The News.”

The South Dakota Digital Archives, an online resource, was launched in January 2012 by the South Dakota State Historical Society to provide researchers digital access to unique historical records. There are currently more than 46,000 images (including photographs, manuscripts, government collection finding aids and land survey field notes) available for viewing.

The State Archives is a program of the South Dakota Historical Society. State Archives staff are available to help assist with research and can be reached at (605) 773-3804 or archref@state.sd.us. For more information, visit www.history.sd.gov/Archives.

Editor’s Note:
Photo of-- Doane Robinson, secretary of the South Dakota State Historical Society and superintendent of the State Department of History from 1901 to 1926.

Photo of-- A letter dated August 20, 1924 sent from Doane Robinson to Gutzon Borglum explaining, “… in the Black Hills of South Dakota are opportunities for heroic sculptures of unusual character.” and “Would it be possible for you to design and supervise a massive sculpture there.”