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Digital Initiatives: North Dakota Memories Collection

Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library

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North Dakota Memories Collection

North Dakota Memories is a collection of images, documents, and objects that have been digitized from the collections of North Dakota residents, organizations (such as businesses, churches, etc.), and cultural heritage institutions (such as libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, etc.).

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

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About the Collection

There are currently over 2,000 items (from the collections of 150+ citizens and organizations) that have been digitized and made publicly available online. These 2,000+ items were primarily collected from multiple ScanDay events across the state.

Other items within the collection have come from various partnerships. Browse the "Subcollections" tab above to learn more.

Company K Collection

The "Company K Collection" consists of items relating to Company K of the 164th Infantry from Dickinson, North Dakota. The collection was compiled by the Dickinson Area Public Library.

Dickinson, and the surrounding area, was home to many soldiers who volunteered to fight with the First North Dakota Volunteers, which was a forerunner of the 164th Infantry Regiment. This was during the time of the Spanish American War. The 164th Infantry Regiment, an activated regiment of the North Dakota National Guard, was reorganized from the 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry in 1917. In World War II, it was the first United States Army unit on Guadalcanal.

Egil E. Tangsrud Collection

The “Egil E. Tangsrud Collection” consists of images relating to the Tangsrud, Forthun, and Slagle families. Egil E. Tangsrud, the collection’s namesake, was a farmer, barber, avid outdoorsman, and amateur photographer. Many of the images in this collection were either taken by him or are of him.

Egil E. Tangsrud was born on September 10, 1923 in Divide County, North Dakota, near McGregor. Egil attended Merrifield Consolidated School through the eighth grade. In 1951, Egil graduated from Moler Barber College in Fargo and began his career as a barber, eventually settling in Williston, N.D. On June 8, 1963, Egil married Eula Vaughn Forthun.

Emmons County Historical Society Collection

Images from the collection of the Emmons County Historical Society.

Ira Keeney Collection

The “Ira Keeney Collection" consists of items relating to the Civilian Conservation Corps in North Dakota, and Company I of the 164th Regiment, which served in World War II. Ira Keeney, a native of Wahpeton, North Dakota, was a member of the CCC, and he was also the Mess Sergeant and unofficial historian of Company I, 164 Infantry Regiment.

ND Civil Air Patrol Collection

Flickertale and Wingspan newsletters from the North Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

North Dakota Collection

The "North Dakota Collection" primarily contains digitized books and/or images about North Dakota from the physical collections of the North Dakota State Library. Some items were also submitted by organizations or private citizens.

North Dakota Yearbooks

Yearbooks from across North Dakota.

Pembina County Historical Society Collection

Images, documents, art, and objects from the collection of the Pembina County Historical Society.

ScanDay Collection

The bulk of the North Dakota Memories collection originates from ScanDay events across the state. ScanDay is an event hosted with or in libraries in which Digital Initiatives staff from NDSL bring scanning and photography equipment to a community and digitize photographs, documents, objects, etc. from the collections of local institutions and private citizens. This collection is further divided into many sections based on the physical location of the ScanDay.

Virtual ScanDay Collection

The North Dakota State Library started the Virtual ScanDay program during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for citizens to contribute digital copies of their items to North Dakota Memories since in-person ScanDay events were canceled. Virtual ScanDay was later made into an ongoing program. The "Virtual ScanDay Collection" are the digital items submitted to the North Dakota State Library by organizations and residents.

Workshop Collection

The items in the “Workshop Collection” come from attendees to the photograph preservation workshops, a partnership between the North Dakota State Library and State Archives (State Historical Society of North Dakota).

Collection Guides

Collection Map

Each pin on the map represents a ScanDay location and/or a collection within North Dakota Memories. The pins on the map are organized into three categories/ colors:

  1. ScanDay locations/ collections (red pins).
  2. Memories collections (blue pins). These pins indicate non-ScanDay collections. Each pin primarily indicates a collection that stems from a partnership between the ND State Library and an organization or citizen.
  3. Workshop collections (yellow pins). These pins indicate locations of photograph preservation workshops. These workshops are a partnership between the ND State Library and State Archives (State Historical Society of North Dakota).

Clicking on a pin will open up a small box that links to all of the items associated with that location or collection within North Dakota Memories. 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.


Content Warning

Due to the nature and age of certain historical materials, some items within the "North Dakota Memories" 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.

Examples from the ND Memories collection

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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.