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The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) is part of a nationwide effort to connect federal, state, and local repositories in order to preserve the nation’s documentary heritage. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), encourages each state and territory to have a historical records advisory board to lead and coordinate records preservation activities in its area.

The South Dakota State Historical Records Advisory Board advocates for the preservation of historical records, educates records-caretakers and the public about the importance of the historical record, and leads the historical community in preserving, promoting, and providing access to the state's culturally diverse documentary heritage.


The South Dakota SHRAB was created in 1997 under statutory authority of the Board of Trustees of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The State Archivist serves as a permanent member and chairman of the SHRAB. The board must include at least six other members, half of which must be professional archivists. The board currently consists of the following members:

Chelle Somsen, State Archivist, Chair

Dana Hoffer, State Records Manager

David Patterson, South Dakota State Historical Society Board of Trustees Member

Mike Runge, Archivist, City of Deadwood

Tamara St. John, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Archivist

Maren Williams, Librarian, Northern State University

SHRAB Activities

In 2023, the SHRAB received a grant from the NHPRC of $3,677 to support a multi-stage strategic planning process. Strategic planning meetings were held throughout the summer of 2023. The board approved the new strategic plan and mission statement on September 27, 2023.

Strategic Plan, 2024-2026 (PDF)
SHRAB Publications
Strategic Plan, 2024-2026 (PDF)

So You Have a Box of Papers? (PDF)

A Beginner's Guide to Oral History (PDF)

SHRAB Brochure (PDF)
Guide to SD Historical Repositories
Introduction (PDF)

Listing by Cities (PDF)

Repository Index (PDF)

In 2000-2001 the South Dakota SHRAB received a $20,462 grant from NHPRC to hold a series of public meetings, to prepare a strategic plan for historical records in South Dakota, and to create a statewide guide to repositories and records in the state.

The South Dakota Heritage Fund, a not-for-profit corporation, administered the grant funds, and staff support was provided by the State Archives program of the South Dakota State Historical Society and South Dakota State University.

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