Visit the SD State Historical Society

South Dakota State Historical Society
Archaeological Research Center

SD State Historical Society Links: Home |  Archaeology |  Archives |  Historic Preservation |  Museum |  Publications |  SDHS Foundation

What's New
About Our Past...
About Archaeology
Site Database
Archaeology links
Resources and Fees
Laws and Regulations
Record Searches and Data

Resources at the Archaeological Research Center

The Archaeological Research Center has many resources available to researchers. This page serves as a general guide to what we have available online. Several documents are available in pdf format. Acrobat Reader, a pdf viewer, can be obtained free from Adobe.


Special Publications in Archaeology is an online series of general-interest reports about South Dakota Archaeology.

Research Reports is a series of technical reports highlighting aspects of archaeological research in South Dakota.

Educational Series in Archaeology is a series of brief documents about South Dakota archaeology developed by the University of South Dakota anthropology department back in the 1970s. They are out of print, but we have scanned them and made them available.

Repository Guidelines and Requirements

The State Historic Preservation Office requires that copies of all archaeological reports done in South Dakota under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act be submitted to the Archaeological Research Center. This insures that the state has a complete set of base data for researchers and cultural resource managers. We have compiled a guideline, Submitting Report Copies to the Archaeological Research Center, as an aid in preparing reports for submission.

Many researchers and institutions make use of the Center's repository to store collections and records. The Center staff has prepared Requirements for Submitting a Collection to the State Archaeological Research Center. It contains useful information on artifact conservation, cataloging, storage, and recordation methods.

Fees for Data Access and Services

The 2009 SD legislature directed that new fees be implemented for some of the Center's services and that existing fees be brought into line with costs. To that end, new regulation were adopted to implement those changes. They took effect January 1, 2010. These include:

Details on the fee structure are available from regulations posted by the legislature


State law (SDCL 1-20) requires that archaeological work on state land must be done under a permit from the state archaeologist. The application form is available for download in either pdf or MS Word format.


Cataloging Software

Artifact collections at the Archaeological Research Center are cataloged using the HACS (Hierarchical Artifact Catalog System) utility. The catalog software is available in several formats (download by right clicking and selecting 'save as...' or its equivalent, then unzip the file if necessary):
MS Office 2010 and Windows 7 or later

Before you use it, be sure to clear the 'read only' box in the file properties. Read the instructions.

If the cataloging is being done for submission to the ARC repository, each set of data created by the utility should be named for the accession number (e.g. '99-0133.mdb', '03-0023.mdb'). Needless to say, only one accession should be used per file. The HACS program stores each catalog as a seperate database. It is able to open any older HACS catalog file or create new ones as needed.

Photos may be cataloged using the Photo utility, a database in MS Access 2000 format. Just right click and select 'save as...' or its equivalent. Unzip the downloaded file.

Site Form Software

The Archaeological Research Center Field Site Form is the manual used to record or update archaeological site information. It is available for download as a pdf file. The site form is available in two formats (right click and select 'save as...' or its equivalent, then unzip the downloaded file if necessary):
MS Access 2000
MS Access 2010
A pdf version is available for those who don't have MS Access. An additional form page form for a map form and a continuation form are also available.

Site data can be entered, printed, modified, and exported. Note that there have been problems with the Access versions of the site form software with the recent release of Windows 7 and MS Access 2010. Most notably, attempting to save a site form print preview as a Word document will terminate MS Access 2010 without warning (saving as a pdf file will work, though). Until these issues are resolved, be aware that you download and use these files at your own risk.

Notes on Downloading the Software

As noted above, the zipped MS Access applications can be downloaded by right-clicking on the link and selecting "save target as..." or "save link as..." or whatever your browser presents you with. Doing so will present you with a window where you choose where to save the file. Usually the default download directory is fine—just be sure you know where it is. After the zip file is saved, open the folder where you put it. Right-click on it and see if you have an "Extract All..." option. If so, select that. It will create a folder with the same name as the zip file; inside that you'll find the unzipped version of the MS Access application. The other method is simply to double-click the zipped file, which will open a window showing the unzipped file. Just drag that to wherever you want to place the file.

As a final step, right-click on the MS Access application and select "properties." Make sure that the little box labeled "Read-only" is not checked.

Historic Preservation Office Guidelines

South Dakota Guidelines for Compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and South Dakota Codified Law 1-19A-11.1, a publication of the South Dakota State Historical Society's State Historic Preservation Office, is available here.

regions thumbnailThe Archaeological Regions map for the State Plan is now available for download as an ArcView shapefile. Get it here. It is also available as a 1024x768 jpeg image, suitable for framing.

217 Kansas City St., Rapid City, SD 57701  Map  or PO Box 1257, Rapid City, SD 57709-1257
Ph. 1-605-394-1936 Fax 1-605-394-1941

If you would like to comment on this web page, send an email to

© 1996-2014 S.D. State Historical Society Archaeological Research Center

Search South Dakota web pages

Department of Education | State of South Dakota | Help | Feedback | Accessibilty Policy | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy