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Start Your Research

Some, but not all, of the collections at the OLC Archives, have collections guides in ReDiscovery which will tell you more about what they contain, and some materials have been digitized and are freely available online. However, most of the collections have not been digitized. Please contact us at or or (605) 455-6065 or (605) 455- 6063 with questions. We can help you get started with your research by email or phone and set up an appointment for you to use materials onsite. If you are unable to visit the archives in person, we may be able to locate and scan a limited number of materials for you. 

Archive Hours Available by Appointment

Contact us at or or (605) 455-6065 or (605) 455-6063 to set up an appointment. Appointments are scheduled Monday - Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Primary Sources are often used as the foundation of research for secondary sources. They include photographs, oral histories, raw data, interviews, letters, journals, and other unpublished works. They could also include the study of original artwork and music as well as natural history materials like geological samples and the accompanying data from the Badlands. Tribal codes and laws (as are county, state, and federal) are also primary sources.

Secondary Sources are books, articles, and films, both journalistic and academic, that authors/creators used primary sources to interpret/create the content. Examples include articles about art/music, textbooks, biographies, and film or political commentaries.

Tertiary Sources are indexes, directories, and bibliographies. Wikipedia is considered a tertiary source because while most of it has excellent sources in the reference section, it can still be edited and changed by anyone and it can be hard to verify the information if there are no references cited. It is best to check those references yourself and cite them directly.

Primary Source Examples:

  • A photograph might be used in a documentary to support the story being told.
  • An example of beadwork might be researched to support research about the shift from the use of sinew to thread.
  • An interview about leadership might support a graduate student's research for their thesis or dissertation.
  • Survey data from a community completed in the 1960s might be compared to similar data collected in the 2010s
  • Government data about boarding schools in South Dakota held at the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) could support a podcast series about boarding schools.

Where do I find primary sources online?

We have many links to online primary sources located in the Lakota Studies LibGuide. Check out the Lakota Studies Database recommendations on the landing page as well as the Oceti Sakowin Research tab and the Art & Culture tab for some online examples of primary sources.

Oglala Lakota College Woksape Tipi Library Physical Address: 3 Mile Creek Rd Kyle, SD 57752 Mailing Address: PO Box 310 Kyle, SD 57752 Phone: 1-(605)-455-6069