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Archivists work to preserve old South Dakota county records

April 28, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Archivists are moving some old county tax records from the courthouse to a South Dakota State Historical Society facility.

The roughly 700 bound volumes of Stanley County tax records are moving from the county courthouse to the historical society’s climate-controlled facility in Pierre, the Pierre Capital Journal reported .

The Verendrye Museum was providing storage for the tax records until recently. But volunteers with the museum have been working to clean up the collection and clear out items that won’t be a part of artifacts housed permanently at the institution.

The records from 1940 and earlier were selected out for transport to the state’s archives to be added to the database of items there. Then if someone wants to look at the physical books, it will be easy for historical society staff to retrieve them, said Chelle Somsen, an archivist with the society.

Somsen said old tax records can be useful for people doing genealogical research. They can also be helpful for historians trying to determine someone’s whereabouts at a given time, she said.

The historical society will eventually decide if and when to microfilm or digitize the material, she said.

The volumes after 1940 will go back to the museum. Museum board member Deb Schiefelbein plans to have some old tax records available for viewing by visitors to the Fort Pierre farmers market starting June 12.

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Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com

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