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Introduction to Archival Research

Resources at the Library

One place to start your research is at Ancestry to find basic biographical data and military information.  You must be on campus to use the Library's subscription to Ancestry.

Find more information about genealogical research here:



Fallen Sons and Daughter of South Dakota in World War II

State Summary of War Casualties

South Dakota in World War II


Find copies of Clay County newspapers, Dakota Republican, Tri-county News, Vermillion Plain Talk, Volante, Wakonda Monitor in the Archives or on microform.

USD Grads:

Find information about soldiers who were enrolled or graduated from USD in USD directories, catalogs, Coyote Yearbooks and the Volante.  The USD Alumni Association (Box 5) has a file on soldiers of WWII with photos, press releases and correspondence. 

Local resources

Clay County Historical Society [CCHS]
At CCHS, you might find information about the fallen hero’s cemetery information and obituary.
Hours: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Contact person: Wess Pravecek
Office: (605) 624-8266
Appointment is required.

Vermillion Public Library
In the Reference Room (behind the circulation desk), you will find yearbooks, and a series of books entitled Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota (This is a good reference series, but you DO need to double check the information in it, as I found errors.). You can only use the references inside the reference room. The digital version of this series is also available through the university’s I. D. Weeks library.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, closed.
Address: 18 Church St, Vermillion, SD
Phone: (605) 677-7060


Clay County Veterans Service Office
The Clay County Veterans Service Office is located on the 2nd floor of the courthouse. You may find your fallen hero’s photo there. Check the link to make sure your fallen hero’s photo is in the office before you go:
Address: 211 W. Main St, Suite 203, Vermillion, SD
Contact person: Cynthia Aden
Office: (605) 677-7145

Appointment is required. 

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