Daschle collection to be housed in Briggs Library

Hanna Parent

Hanna Parent

The basement of Hilton M. Briggs Library is getting an overhaul, as the more than 2,000-square-foot area will be renovated to hold the extensive Daschle collection.

“This center will be open to SDSU students as well as the Brookings public,” said Bob Burns, coordinator of the collection efforts. “The center is a great opportunity for students and the public.”

In December of 2004, a large collection of former Sen. Daschle memorabilia was donated to SDSU. Burns said that since the accumulation of over 20,000 photographs and over 600 boxes of numerous journals and congressional documents were donated, they have been stored in the Lincoln Music Hall.

“After 18 years as a South Dakota senator, [Daschle] has acquired quite a collection,” Burns said.

Although the Lincoln Music Hall had sufficient storage due to its earlier years as the SDSU library, the structure was not the best fit for the Daschle Center.

“It does not provide ready access for researchers and access to frequently used materials,” said Dean Kattelmann, assistant vice president of facilities and services.

According to the Facility Program Plan, the plans include shelving most materials in the basement and some on the second floor. The plan also includes new moveable shelving to increase the accessibility of the material and calls for the existing archival preparation area, storage area and reading areas to be expanded.

The floor plan shows separate collection and reading rooms, which will provide adequate space for individual or group work.

“The collection will be available for research in these new rooms,” said Burns.

A federal grant will pay for the Daschle Center renovations, Kattelmann said. This grant was approved by the Board of Regents at the April 2 meeting.

The expected $900,000 renovation is scheduled to start this summer and will probably be done by fall 2009. Just over half the budget will go to the second-floor remodel due to storage needs and construction damage. A little less than one-third of the budget will go to the new shelving and design costs. The rest will go towards the remaining construction of the basement level.

Burns and Kattelmann both agree these renovations will be an excellent addition to the campus.

“[The center for the Daschle collection] is good to allow research to be done,” Kattelmann said.

“It’s going to be interesting; I’m excited,” said Paula Schmidt, a freshman pre-nursing major. “I know of his health care position and voting record on the subject. That’s about it, but I’d love to learn more.”

As a pre-nursing major, Schmidt said that Daschle’s views on health care were and still are important for her to know about and to be familiar with. Schmidt said she would read the journals and the congressional papers to get further ideas on how he affected the medical world.

“Looking at all those pictures would be fun, too,” she said.