UA 53.5




0.63 linear feet (1 document case, 1 small document case)


A.S. Harding was professor and head of the history and political sciences department at SDSC. He taught courses in history, political science, sociology, and economics. This collection consists mostly of material compiled by Harding while researching the history of South Dakota State University. Includes correspondence, research notes and finished writings.

Historical Note

Albert Spencer Harding was born in Jamesville, Wisconsin on November 30, 1867. In 1883, he moved with his family to Spink County, Dakota Territory. In 1889, he entered Dakota Agricultural College. He earned his B.A. in agriculture in 1892, and went on to receive his M.A. from the University of Nebraska. In 1897, he returned to Brookings as a professor.

From 1897 to 1943, Harding taught courses at South Dakota State University [SDSU] in history, political science, sociology and economics. During his 54 years of teaching, he taught 600 different classes with a total of 11,798 students. In 1931, he was named head of the history and political science department, a position he held until his retirement.

In 1897 or 1898, Harding married Neva Marie Whaley of De Smet, SD. They had one adopted son, Robert. Neva Marie died at the age of 105 at Brookings, SD in 1978.

In addition to his work at the University, Harding was very involved the Brookings Kiwanis Club, the Methodist church and the Forum.

Harding's long association with the university makes him a part of its history in a way not duplicated. In 1952, Harding Hall was built on the SDSU campus to honor him. Another tribute to Harding is the Harding Distinguished Lecture Series, which has brought distinguished lecturers to campus since 1963.

Harding died on December 2, 1952 in Brookings, SD.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of material Harding collected while researching the history of South Dakota State University. Much of the material is from the works of Robert F. Kerr and William H. Powers, and it appears that Harding used their notes while compiling his own. Also included are many notes from newspapers, which may prove helpful to anyone studying the earliest days of the University. Also included in this material are Harding's Master's thesis and some other varied writings.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.