UA 5




17.29 linear feet [15 record boxes, 1 oversize flat box]


The College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences has a three-fold mission to teach, conduct research, and use extension programs to serve people in South Dakota, the nation, and the world. The collection is composed of general office records and financial records generated by the Office of the Dean for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

Historical Note

The Morrill Act of 1862, the act that allowed for the 1881 establishment of South Dakota State University, required instruction in agriculture. Courses in all areas of agriculture were taught, and many courses in other disciplines had an agricultural focus. In 1897, when the first official departments were established at South Dakota State University, four specifically agricultural departments were formed: Agriculture, Architecture and Agricultural Engineering, Dairy Science, and Geology and Agronomy. Other related departments, specifically Horticulture/Forestry and Botany/Zoology, were also established at this time. In 1908, the School of Agriculture joined these departments as a secondary school program devoted to "preparing rural students for life on the farm."

By 1924, the Division of Agriculture established many of the departments that are found in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences today. The division included not only the various academic departments, but also the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, which had been founded by the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. The School of Agriculture was included until it was dissolved in 1960. In 1964, the Division of Agriculture became the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences when South Dakota State College became South Dakota State University.

The academic program in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences is twofold: one deals with the traditional field of agriculture and the other deals with the biological sciences.

Agricultural work is divided into four areas: academic programs, research, extension, and statewide services. Experiments and investigations for the benefits of agriculture are done in connection with problems of livestock, natural resources, field crops, veterinary science, horticultural crops, agricultural economics, dairy, landscape design, and mechanized agriculture. The results of research form the basis for classroom instruction, extension work, and for a means of answering inquiries coming into the university. The Extension Service takes the work of instruction statewide by bringing results of research to every home.

Work in biological sciences is mainly in the departments of biology/microbiology and wildlife/fisheries sciences. Biological science is an integral part of all departments that deal with plant and animal sciences.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of general office records and publications generated by the Office of the Dean for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. Folders consist of correspondence, course changes/additions, fact sheets, short course and conference materials, college promotional material, newsletters, brochures, posters and other publications. Also included are budgets and financial reports for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. Included are salary budget, budget reports for the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and financial reports for the Cooperative State Research Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The salary budgets, also called salary lists, are comprised of position listings for each department within the college, the contract pay for the previous year and the recommended pay for the upcoming fiscal year. Correspondence and research on the contract pay for faculty and staff in other institutions can also be found in this collection.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

Follow this link for more information:




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.