CWS Archives & Research


The CWS archives and manuscript collections comprise 4,500 linear feet of institutional records and personal papers.


Digital Collections

In 2015, the Center for Western Studies embarked on a new partnership with Augustana University’s Mikkelsen Library to create Northern Plains Peoples and Places (np3), a continually growing online database of digital resources related to the Northern Plains and its inhabitants. The database includes primary source material from the CWS archives, university publications and scholarly research and creative endeavors by university students and faculty.

The database represents a small fraction of what is available in the CWS archives, and most projects would benefit from an additional visit to the Fantle Building.

The project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Expansion of the content on np3 is intended as funding and staffing conditions allow. If you would like to help fund this important endeavor, contact Executive Director Dr. Harry F. Thompson. For additional information about the digitization efforts at CWS, call 605.274.4007 or email

Np3 Archives

Krause Library

The Krause Library at the CWS houses more than 37,000 books and bound periodicals from the personal collections of Dr. Herbert Krause, Richard Cropp, Frederick Manfred, C. J. McDonald, Alan Woolworth and Miles Browne among other donors. These books and periodicals focus on the American West, American literature, and American Indian ethnology.

Records for the cCenter's research library and a portion of its manuscript collections are included in the online catalog of Mikkelsen Library. Researchers can access the catalog through the WorldCat database.

Krause Library

Art & Artifacts

As part of our educational programming, the center also preserves art and artifact collections reflecting the history and diverse cultures of the Northern Plains. The region is rich in both Scandinavian and Plains Indian cultures, and the center's collections and exhibits strongly reflect these connections. Highlights from these collections are regularly exhibited on the main floor of the Fantle Building.


Faculty-Student Research Award

The Center for Western Studies annually invites applications for a $4,000 research award made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The award provides $3,250 for an Augustana faculty researcher and, as an option, $750 for a student assistant. The proposed research must be based, in part, on the use of primary-source documents in the archives of the CWS and address a topic related to the northern or upper Great Plains (defined as including, but not limited to, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming).

CWS Building


The Center for Western Studies sponsors four academic year internships and 1-3 summer internships annually. 

Working in a professional setting at the CWS, interns develop sensitivity to the history and cultural diversity of the plains region and learn about the practical aspects of managing a research agency. The principal area of internship activity is the research collections, but students may also participate in book editing and publishing, conference and special event administration, and fundraising and marketing.

All recurring internships, including the Mildred White Internship, Julius and Dorothy Jacobsen Internship, and Anson and Ada May Yeager Internship, are paid positions available to Augustana students. The Jacobsen Internship is restricted to graduates of West Central, Tri-Valley or Montrose High Schools. The center also offers paid internships to graduate students, contingent upon funding availability. The hiring process for all CWS internships takes place during the spring semester of the preceding year.