Communication Studies and Theater Department Records

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 006.01

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Communication Studies and Theater Department Records


  • 1931-2018 (Creation)


1.26 linear feet (3 document cases)

Name of creator

Administrative history

Speech courses have always been a part of the South Dakota State University curriculum. In the earliest years, the preparatory department offered courses in public speaking to high school students, and the English Department offered courses in public speaking and rhetoric, including elocution and oral reading. Through the years, various other departments took responsibility for the public speaking courses, including the Elocution and Physical Culture Department, the Public Speaking Department, and the English Department. A Speech Department first appeared in the 1924 catalog, offering courses in debate, speaking, and play production. Required courses in rhetoric were taught by the English Department until 1938 when they were placed into the speech department. / By the 1950's, the Speech Department was well established on campus. The Board of Regents approved the speech major in 1958, and a master's degree was also available. Courses were taught in forensics, drama and radio. Film and television instruction began soon after. In the 1970's the communication disorders program, which prepared students to teach or provide therapy in speech, hearing and speech language was established as part of the department. / In addition to formal course work in speech, extracurricular activities involving the department have flourished on campus. In the early years, speech and literary societies sponsored most plays and debates, which were a major source of entertainment on campus. After such societies disappeared, students continued to participate in debate and theatre, taking part in competitions and many theatrical productions. Students also worked for the State College broadcasting system and work for the campus radio station KAGY. / Since the early 1990's, the department has been known as the Communication Studies and Theatre Department. Programs in speech communication, speech education and theatre are offered, as is the radio, television and film program, which focus on production. Many opportunities for extracurricular activities are also offered through the department.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of items materials produced by the various programs offered by the Communication Studies and Theatre Department. Folders include pamphlets, programs, and newsletters. The bulk of the material is related to the Prairie Repertory Theatre and State University Theatre. This material includes playbills, posters, ticket information, calendars, programs, and correspondence. Some items of note consist of bound books of theatre seasons for the Prairie Repertory Theatre. These books cover the 1971-2002 summer theatre seasons and include copies of programs, clippings, and photographs from plays.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

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Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related Archival Materials
History of State University theatre 1972 through 1992 - Louis W. Karlen
Publication Date: 1993
Call Number: LB2385.K1465

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

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Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)




UA 6.1

Description control element

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Accession area