Rotating Historical Exhibits at CWS

Lutheran Normal School campus, ca. 1905-1918

The campus of Lutheran Normal School in Sioux Falls, ca. 1905-1918. Less than a year after the merger with Augustana College in 1918, construction began on the Administration Building still in use today.

The Center has several display cases throughout the galleries that exhibit materials on a variety of changing themes. The current exhibits are:

Augustana University: Celebrating 100 Years in Sioux Falls, 1918-2018

This fall, Augustana University celebrates 100 years in Sioux Falls! Originally founded in Chicago, IL, in 1860, Augustana moved west with the people. The “college on wheels” stopped at several points along the way — Paxton, IL; Marshall, WI; Beloit, IA; Canton, SD — before merging with Lutheran Normal School in Sioux Falls in August 1918 and reaching its permanent home. Much has changed in the ensuing 100 years. This exhibit explores what Augustana was like during its first year in the city in comparison with the experiences of today’s students, including such facets as enrollment, coursework, student regulations, extracurricular activities, campus facilities, faculty, and leadership. 

The Mother of All Pandemics: 1918 Spanish Influenza

In commemoration of the centennial of the 1918 Spanish Influenza, this exhibit by CWS intern Hope Clark discusses the origin of the disease, the cause of its high mortality rate, the effects it had on the war effort during World War I, and how the war affected efforts to minimize its spread. Through photographs and letters, the epidemic experiences of three personalities from the CWS archives are highlighted: James Jordan and David Cropp, representing the American armed forces, and Ann Haugan Berdahl who was working as a nurse at the time.

"Christians get AIDS—Augie students aren't exceptions": Augustana's Response to the AIDS Crisis

HIV and AIDS first caught the public’s attention in 1981. By the end of that year, 270 gay men had been diagnosed with a mysterious illness, and 121 of them had died. The disease continued to spread rapidly throughout the next 15 years, becoming the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25-44 in 1993. Though still considered a global pandemic, much is known today about how HIV is transmitted. Research has led to education programs that have reduced the rate of transmission and treatments that slow the progression of the infection. This was not the case in the 1980s and 1990s, when fear, misinformation, and a lack of education caused great public concern, including on college campuses. Using archived issues of the student newspaper, this exhibit by CWS intern Mason Breitling examines Augustana’s early response to the AIDS crisis.

Carnegie Libraries in South Dakota

Steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie is well-known for his legacy of establishing libraries across the world. In accordance with his philosophy of assisting the “deserving poor,” Carnegie funded the construction of 2,500 new libraries in English-speaking countries, 25 of which were in South Dakota. CWS intern Madelyn Braun has created an exhibit detailing these libraries and showcasing information surrounding their creation, architecture, and legacy. Although many standing “Carnegies” are now utilized for different purposes, the libraries were vital for communities all across the state and reflected Carnegie’s belief in the importance of education.

There are exhibits on permanent themes in addition to those listed above.