This collection is composed of material Harding collected while researching the history of South Dakota State University. Much of the material is from the works of Robert F. Kerr and William H. Powers, and it appears that Harding used their notes while compiling his own. Also included are many notes from newspapers, which may prove helpful to anyone studying the earliest days of the University. Also included in this material are Harding's Master's thesis and some other varied writings.
This collection represents what can only be a portion of items from Kerr's personal files. They consist mainly of correspondence, but also include some diaries and writings, ledgers, class records and even Kerr's 1879 traveling papers for his stay in Japan. The bulk of the material is correspondence, which is both personal and related to his work at the university. Some of the letters chronicle his dismissal from the university, which is an integral part of the early history of South Dakota State University.