North Dakota Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Beth H. Bauman and Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the North Dakota Family History Research series.
History of North Dakota
North Dakota Vital Records
Census Records for North Dakota
Background Sources for North Dakota
North Dakota Maps
North Dakota Land Records
North Dakota Probate Records
North Dakota Court Records
North Dakota Tax Records
North Dakota Cemetery Records
North Dakota Church Records
North Dakota Military Records
North Dakota Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
North Dakota Archives, Libraries, and Societies
North Dakota Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of North Dakota
North Dakota County Resources
Map of North Dakota


North Dakota History (formerly North Dakota Historical Quarterly) is published by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. This is the major statewide periodical for historical material, publishing helpful background for research.


Newspapers from across the state have been collected at the State Archives and Historical Research Library since the turn of the century. All have been microfilmed and are available on interlibrary loan. An index of newspapers, arranged by county name and city name, is available.

Between 5 April 1931 and 28 October 1934, the Fargo Forum printed 173 profiles of pioneer women of North Dakota under the title 'Quarter Sections and Wide Horizons.' With few exceptions, all were living in Dakota Territory prior to statehood in 1889. The stories were written by Angela Boyelin, editor of the North Dakota Clubwoman.

A list of North Dakota newspapers available can be found on the State Historical Society of North Dakota website


Three major manuscript collections exist in North Dakota. The first of these is located in the State Archives and Historical Research Library. David P. Gray's Guide to Manuscripts [of North Dakota] serves as a directory to the state historical society's manuscript collections and is available at Of note are the following groups of materials at the library:

Historical Data Project Biography (WPA) contains biographical information and consists of over 5,000 files gathered in the 1930s and organized by individual name and county. These files are microfilmed and available on interlibrary loan from the library.

The Necrology of North Dakota consists of six scrapbooks and Obituaries from the years 1920 to 1926, and is held in the manuscript division of the state archives.

Photo Archives has over 60,000 black and white images from 1865 to present. Reprints can be made for a nominal fee.

Pioneer Mothers Project, indexed by individual name, was created by the North Dakota Federation of Women's Clubs in the 1930s and contains family histories, biographical entries, obituaries, and some lineage charts.

Chester Fritz Library's Guide to Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection consists of three volumes, providing access to this second large group of materials on North Dakota. Volume one was compiled by John B. Davenport in 1975, volume two by Colleen A. Oihus in 1983, and volume three by Sandra J. Beidler in 1985.

The third collection includes a statewide biographical index of over 500 volumes and is located at the North Dakota Institute of Regional Studies.