Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Historical Photos & Documents

Online collections of pictures tell the history of our area and allow the viewer to experience the past. These collections are from many sources, including the Digital Library of South Dakota and the Library of Congress among others.

Black Hills Knowledge Network Digital Archives

The Black Hills Knowledge Network partners with 13 local libraries and communities to aggregate historical documents and photos. They are hosted on a site called BiblioBoard which is a system used worldwide to store local library resources. On this site, we house historical photos, documents, and books about the region's history, including items on the 1972 Rapid City flood, Native Americans, pioneers, the construction of Mount Rushmore, and more. 

Included are photos, documents, and books about the area's history, encompassing the communities of Deadwood and Whitewood. Rapid City archives, Rapid City Public Library history, and Flood of 1972 items are also available. To see a comprehesive list of all BHKN digital collections, visit our BHKN Digital Archives page. 

We also aggregate local news stories on an indexing site called Diigo, which allows you to search by subject and receive results in a timeline fashion.

Regional & National Collections

Tour downtown Rapid City to learn about the history of several historic buildings,such as the Duhamel building and Alex Johnson Hotel. Tour Deadwood online or take a walking tour and learn the history of the Deadwood buildings and architecture as you go.


Pretty Group at an Indian Tent. Taken near Pine Ridge by John C.H. Grabill, 1891.

Collections of photos, manuscripts and government documents. Search from the home page to find all items by subject.

Digital Library of South Dakota

This is a collaboration of the libraries of six Board of Regents colleges and universities in the state of South Dakota.  Access images from the participating colleges' collections here.

 Oglala Lakota College Library Archives
This collection contains documents and photographs relating to the Oglala Lakota College, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. The OLC Archives also collects, preserves and makes accessible historical and cultural records of the Oglala Lakota people, the Lakota Nation, and other Native Americans. 

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Collections
This collection contains documents, photographs and realia pertaining to collections on local history, mining and mineral resources and local history. 

Library of Congress Memory Project
This project is a "gateway to the Library of Congress’s vast resources of digitized American historical materials. Comprising more than 9 million items that document U.S. history and culture, American Memory is organized into more than 100 thematic collections based on their original format, their subject matter, or who first created, assembled, or donated them to the Library."  Type any search term you are interested in such as 'Black Hills' or 'South Dakota' into the search box in the top left area of the screen. The Library of Congress Flickr page also contains thousands of images. Click here to access their Flickr page.

John Grabill Collection at the Library of Congress
Largest surviving collection of western photographer John Grabill, this Library of Congress collection documents the South Dakota gold rush, the Oglalla Lakota people, and the settlement of western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. Photographs in collection were taken between 1887 and 1892.

Rapid City Community Archives Survey
Many of the best photographs and most important documents that tell the history of our community are in boxes, file drawers and basements in businesses, churches, service clubs and organizations in Rapid City. The Rapid City Community Archives Survey offers you a glimpse into these fascinating collections.

Photo Collections--Cities of the Black Hills Region
From the Library of Congress, view pictures from the past relating to Hot Springs. 

Photo Collections - Contructions and Grand Opening of the City-County-Public Library-East at Western Dakota Technical Institute.This library served the community from November 2012-May 2015.


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