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Digital Initiatives: North Dakota Histories Collection

Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library

County and Town Histories header image

North Dakota Histories Collection

North Dakota Histories is a collection consisting of hundreds of North Dakota history books, primarily county and town histories (most of which include family biographies). North Dakota church, school, township, organization, and state histories are also included.

Access this collection (click on the logo to be redirected):

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About the Collection

Out of all of the ND State Library's digital collections, this is one that is used the most. In fact, this collection is the most visited collection out of all the collections available on Digital Horizons. There are currently over 500 books (containing over 65,000 pages) that have been digitized and made publicly available online. Every book has full-text search capabilities, so keywords, names, locations, etc. can be easily found. These 500+ books are from counties and communities all across the state.

Most books are also available for checkout from the North Dakota State Library or through interlibrary loan.

Most of the books were digitized from the collections of the ND State Library. However, there are others who have made contributors to the collection, including:

Collection Map

Each pin on the map below represents a location that has a book digitized and available online via Digital Horizons. The pins on the map are organized into two categories/ colors:

  1. County histories (red pins)
  2. Town histories (blue pins).

Clicking on a pin will open up a small box that links to all of the books associated with that location in the collection. Click on the Google Map icon  icon below to open and explore the map's key. Alternatively, if you would like to open the map in a new window and explore from there, please click here.


Collection Guides

Content Warning

Due to the nature and age of certain historical materials, some items within the "North Dakota Histories" collection may include language and/or imagery that depict prejudices, or content that is considered offensive and harmful.

The North Dakota State Library (NDSL) and its partners do not condone any prejudices or harmful content found within this digital collection. They do not reflect the view, mission, values, and policies of NDSL or its partners.

In the interest of historical integrity, understanding, study, and to inspire discussion, NDSL does not intend to permanently block or exclude any text or images in this digital collection. NDSL supports the open access and use of its digital collections and strives to allow users to access and search high-quality representations of the original items. It is NDSL’s responsibility to make its digital collections user-friendly while serving as conscientious stewards of an ever-complicated history.

This content statement is provided to warn users of potentially harmful or offensive material, and to give users the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to view the material or not. The intent of a content statement or warning is not to deter users from collections.

For further information, consult the document below.


If you are interested in contributing items to the ND State Library's digital collections, please visit our Donations page for more information.

Contact Us: Scanning Request

If you did not see a certain North Dakota history book about a county, town, church, etc. in the digital collection and would like to submit a digitization request, contact Digital Initiatives by phone or email to begin the process. At the very least, include the following in your request:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Title and author of the book you would like to have scanned and made available online
  • Year of publication

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.