The collection is comprised of three series: Buildings, Other Structures, and Utilities. The division between Buildings and Other Structures is somewhat arbitrary. Buildings include, but are not restricted to, the campus grounds, residential areas, classrooms, offices, libraries, museums. etc. Other Structures are structures that are not in the Buildings series. Utilities are the public services, such as coal, water, heating, and electricity. The sub-series (each individual building, structure, or utility) are arranged alphabetically by name of the building, structure, or utility. Each sub-series may include correspondence and documentation; however, not all buildings have all types of documentation. Buildings with more information than others have further been divided into significant subjects. Other names by which a building was or is known are noted next the sub-series name in bold print and parentheses. This acts as a cross-reference system, but is primarily for historical purposes, as there are not entries for all alternate names. Within the folder, documents are arranged predominantly in chronological order.
Exceptions to the alphabetical order are found in the oversize material and the blueprints. The listings for these are found toward the end of the finding aid.
The correspondence generally includes letters written by USD presidents to contractors, businessmen, financial institutions and Alumni asking for their support in various projects. The documentation generally includes materials such as plans for new buildings, evaluations and appraisals of existing buildings, and renovations or additions.
Because the “Old Main: Project ‘93’: Save Old Main” sub-series had been processed as a separate part of the collection and was integrated into the existing collection at a later date, it is comprised of subject files. These are arranged alphabetically and mostly contain a mixture of correspondence and documentation, and generally proceed chronologically.
Oversize Materials, located in boxes at the end of the collection and in the black map case, generally includes campus maps and architectural records, such as renovation plans for Old Main and ID Weeks Library; and extensive sets of blueprints for various buildings, including some buildings that are no longer standing.
Of particular interest is a book that was saved from the Fire of 1893, during which University Hall, now known as Old Main, burned down. Similarly, the correspondences of President Mauck regarding the burning of University Hall (Old Main) and the purchase of South Dakota World’s Fair Building may be of interest. The campus maps, which are located in both regular and oversize materials, range in date from 1911 to the present, and show how the campus has grown and changed. Additionally, the blueprints of various buildings that are no longer standing, such as the Observatory, Science Hall, and North Residential Hall, may be of interest.