The South Dakota State Archives is now digital. In January thousands of images and documents stored in the archives went live, but thousands more remain un-digitized in hard copy only.
Among the items not yet on the web are the photos of the Alpha Mortenson Collection. The large collection from the female South Dakota photographer includes three-thousand glass plate negatives and numerous photographs taken by Mortenson between the turn of the last century and around the 1930's in the area of Charles Mix County.
One of the more curious aspects of the collection are photographs of deceased children and children's funerals. The collection includes photos of coffins in living rooms, and photos of children being pallbearers for their friends funerals.
SDPB's Charles Michael Ray stopped by the state archives and spoke with the archivist about the practice of taking photographs of children's funerals.
An effort to digitize more of the images in the state archives is underway as funding is acquired. The archives accepts monetary donations and historic photographic collections of South Dakotan's who want to see their own family history preserved.
SD State Archives Facebook (with Alpha Mortenson images):https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Dakota-State-Archives/225001697528348
SD Digital Archives: http://sddigitalarchives.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm
South Dakota State Historical Society Foundation: http://www.sdhsf.org/society/index.html
South Dakota State Archives: http://history.sd.gov/Archives/
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Persons with disabilities seeking assistance in accessing the public file may call Bob Bosse at 800-456-0766 during regular business hours.
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