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South Dakota state historical society archaeological research center


The Archaeological Research Center is open to reseachers. To schedule a research visit, contact the front desk: 605-394-1936. Center staff are in the office and available to assist with your research, permitting, survey, and record search requests. Please view the Contacts page to reach the staff member you need.

The Archaeological Research Center, a program of the South Dakota State Historical Society under the direction of the state archaeologist, fulfills its mission, in part, by maintaining the state's cultural resource archives, including site files, reports, field documentation, maps, photographic media, and project data. It also is a repository for the artifacts and comparative collections. Besides housing records related to cultural resources on state and private lands, it has agreements with several Federal agencies to store their records and artifacts from South Dakota.

Crews from the Center work across the state on archaeological surveys for a variety of agencies, assisting them in meeting their obligations under federal and state cultural resource protection laws. In addition, the Center does outreach programs and partners with The Journey Museum and Learning Center in Rapid City. The museum exhibits artifacts from the Center's collections representing all time periods of prehistory and early history in South Dakota.

The stored records represent over 26,000 cultural sites.



The purpose of the Archaeological Research Center is to advance, preserve, and disseminate information on South Dakota's early cultures. It fulfills this purpose by:

  • Conducting a survey of archaeological sites in the state.
  • Protecting South Dakota's archaeological resources
  • Maintaining accurate records of the archaeological sites in South Dakota
  • Permanently curating archaeological collections
  • Promoting awareness of South Dakota's prehistoric and historic heritage

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