South Dakota State Archives

Local Government Records

State and local records are administered by the state records management system and the Records Destruction Board. State Archives staff review all records before they are approved for destruction.

Many counties, municipalities, and townships have transferred historical records to the State Archives. The Archives collection also includes copies of federal records such as censuses, land records, and files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Records Retention
Local government officials with questions regarding the retention for county government records should consult the Retention Manual. The State Archivist or State Records Manager can also answer questions.

According to Administrative Rule 24:52:11:04, Destruction of local government records—Archivist must be notified. Governing bodies or agencies of any county,city, town, township, district, authority, public corporation, or political subdivision planning to destroy local records, as defined in subdivision (1) of SDCL 1-27-9, shall notify the archivist 30 days before the date of the proposed destruction. Notification shall include the name or title of the records, inclusive dates, information content of the records, and quantity. If the archivist believes the records should be preserved, the archivist shall arrange for the transfer of the records to the archives or to a suitable public records storage facility. Transfer of the records may be made at the expense of the state archivist. This section applies only to the following types of records: records more than 50 years old: records required by the Records Destruction Board to be kept 50 years or longer; annual reports, maps, minutes, and photographs.

The State Archives operates a microfilming unit that is able to assist with microfilming and digitization of records. Please contact the microfilm unit for information on services.