In November of 1962, the National Museum of Natural History displayed an exhibit on early big game hunters of the Black Hills. The display was a part of the larger North American Archaeology Exhibit. Exhibit cases contained tools and photographs from the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, which were a favorite camping and wintering ground for the mounted bison-hunting Indians.
South Dakota has helped train some of our staff. Smithsonian entomologist John Merton Aldrich graduated from South Dakota State University. Aldrich increased his skills by working for the South Dakota State Agricultural Experiment Station before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1919. Once in Washington, Aldrich was hired as the Custodian of Diptera (commonly known as flies) and an Associate Curator of Insects at the Smithsonian’s United States National Museum, now known as the National Museum of Natural History.
Some other collectors of the South Dakota region include Paul and Esther Aplin, geologist with the U.S. Geological Association who contributed a large collection of well samples, oriented thin sections, and microslides of Mesozoic and Cenozoic larger foraminifera, to the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Paleobiology.
Finally, for some Smithsonian staff South Dakota is home. Robert P. Multhauf, historian of science, at the Smithsonian’s United States National Museum was born in Sioux City, South Dakota. Multhauf began his career in 1954 in the Division of Engineering and Industries. He was appointed Head Curator of the Department in 1957 and later became Director of the National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History.
Whether it is collections, expeditions, publications or staff, there are a myriad of ways that South Dakota has enhanced the Smithsonian Museums, to find out more ways South Dakota contributes to the Institution check out the Collections Search Center.