University of South Dakota

Funding from a Doris Duke grant in the late 1960s led to the formation of The South Dakota Oral History Center (SDOHC), now a part of the University of South Dakota Libraries. The SDOHC was founded by several USD scholars, including Bea Medicine, Herbert T. Hoover, and Joseph Cash. The first 1,000 (approx.) interviews in this collection were completed between the late 1960s and 1975, and interviews and recordings were added through 2007. Officially, the SDOHC’s Doris Duke interviews – known locally as the American Indian Research Project -  achieved a total call number listing of 2,367, although the actual number of recorded interviews stands at about 1,600. The number of tribes represented in the collection is estimated to be at least fifty, with most of the interviews coming from the Northern Plains and especially those nations who live on the nine reservations of South Dakota. It is estimated that there are at least 230 recordings from a dozen separate nations that feature Native American languages, with about 75 percent being Lakota. Although digitization and remastering efforts continue, the majority of the collection was digitized into MP3 audio files and PDF transcripts by 2014. The SDOHC and the original transcripts of USD’s Duke interviews now reside in I.D. Weeks Library.


South Dakota Oral History Center

University of South Dakota Libraries
I.D. Weeks Library
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion SD 57069

Phone: 605-658-3382