UA 53.12




4.88 linear feet (5 boxes) photographs, sound recordings


Vivian Volstorff was Dean of Women, Director of Student Activities and professor of history. This collection consists of material from Volstorff’s time as Dean of Women, records from her work with campus organizations, planning documents, and personal information and correspondence. Also included are Volstorff’s many speeches and writings, including research and drafts for her book, Winds of Change.

Historical Note

Dr. Vivian Virginia Volstorff, Dean of Women, Director of Student Activities, and professor of history, joined the South Dakota State University [SDSU] faculty in 1932. She was graduated from Elgin, Illinois high school and received an associate degree from Elgin Junior College before attending Northwestern University where she received three degrees—Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy.

Vivian V. Volstorff is responsible for establishing several organizations for women at South Dakota State University; including Mortar Board and two national social sororities. She was the originator of Women's Day at the university, a day when women were honored and scholarships awarded. The event became a tradition soon after she established it in 1934, and was continued until 1970.

Volstorff held membership in several organizations, including the American Historical Association, National Association of Deans of Women and Counselors, Phi Kappa Phi, and an honorary membership in Mortar Board. She was also a very active member in the Brookings Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW). She thought AAUW was so important that she worked to get the university accredited in order the make the Brookings Branch official.

Dean Volstorff was well known throughout South Dakota as a speaker in the field of international affairs and contemporary university students.

Vivian V. Volstorff has been mentioned in Who's Who, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in American College and University Administration, Leaders in Education, Dictionary of International Biography, and Directory of American Scholars.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of material from Volstorff's personal and professional life. Folders includes personal records retained during her tenure as Dean of Women, records from her work with campus organizations, planning documents, and personal information and correspondence. Also included are Volstorff's many speeches and writings, including research and drafts for her book, Winds of Change.

Series 1. Dean of Women records.

The Dean of Women records is composed of material collected by Vivian V. Volstorff during her career as Dean of Women at South Dakota State University. The bulk of the material consists of minutes and notes from committee meetings, which dealt mainly with women's housing and dormitories. Also included is an annual report from the late 1960's, drafts of the publication Collegiate Wise (a guide for women students), lists of responsibilities of the Dean of Women (with a brief mention of the Dean of Men), and material dealing with student organizations.

Series 2. Personal papers.

The personal papers are composed of items collected by Volstorff. Included are articles, biographical information, family information, correspondence, and photographs. Also included are audio tapes of an interview of Volstorff in 1998.

Series 3.Organizations.

The organizations series is composed of material from many organizations in which Volstorff was involved. Included is material for honor societies, fraternities and sororities, and women's organizations.

Series 4. Writings.

The writings series is composed of writings by Volstorff. Included are her theses and dissertation. Also included are drafts of some chapters of her book, Winds of Change.

Series 5. Speeches.

The speeches series is composed of speeches written and presented by Volstorff during and after her career at South Dakota State University. Also included is information collected by Volstorff for use in her speeches.

Series 6. Collected material.

The collected material is composed of materials collected by Volstorff, including newspaper clippings, magazine and journal articles, and several publications.

Series 7. SDSU research.

The SDSU research is composed of materials collected by Volstorff which pertain to South Dakota State University. Included are several published histories of the SDSU, as well as numerous articles on programs, people, and events.

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.