David Richards Collection on N.E. Hansen

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 049

Level of description



David Richards Collection on N.E. Hansen


  • 1884-2000 (Accumulation)


1.89 linear feet (4 document cases, 1 small document case)

  • Photographs

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Richards grew up on a ranch on the Belle Fourche River about 20 east of Sturgis, South Dakota in the 1930's. He attended a one room rural school. In 1946, Richards enrolled at South Dakota State College and graduated in 1950.

During his career as a student at South Dakota State College, Richards worked on a research project with Ames, Iowa and the University of Minnesota to discover the best chemical to dwarf lawn grass. And during his senior years, he completed a research project on budding and grafting evergreens. He was on the Rifle Team, president on the Presbyterian Student group, and ROTC.

A rancher in Meade County, South Dakota, Richards has been active in the Meade County Farm Bureau for over 60 years, president of the Meade County Stockgrowers, and helped form Ag Unity. In 1958, Richards was presented with the Outstanding Young Farmer awards by the Sturgis Jaycees.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Niels Ebbesen Hansen, a pioneering horticulturist renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to agriculture and plant breeding, dedicated his career to enhancing agricultural practices through the introduction of new plant varieties. The N.E. Hansen Papers offer an exploration of his achievements, including articles, bulletins, and circulars from his tenure at the South Dakota Experiment Station. Additionally, contributions from Helen Hansen Loen provide valuable insights into his personal and professional life. The collection serves as a valuable resource for understanding Hansen's legacy and his contribution to agricultural science.

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Scope and content

Richards was an admirer of Dr. Hansen and often stopped to visit him in his office. After Dr. Hansen's death in 1950, David asked for and received, permission to keep a few souvenirs and then dug through the trash filling several boxes with papers of historical value.

This collection is composed writings for the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in the form of bulletins and circulars, manuscripts for articles and publications that include Hansen's notations and corrections, correspondence with friends, colleagues, and customers interested in ordering seeds or rootstocks. Also included are catalog descriptions of plants to be included in seed catalogs, transplanting cards on which researchers will find records of planting and transplanting of plant hybrids, and research projects and reports to the Agricultural Experiment Station and material related to the South Dakota Horticultural Society.

Some items of note are collected Russian publications, seed catalogs and Seeds and Plants Imported published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which list the plants and seeds imported by Hansen. Researchers will also find some material related to Hansen's travels.

The publications and manuscripts by Hansen related to many different horticultural topics: apples, crab apples, apricots, cherries, currants, grapes, pears, plums, plums, roses, roses, alfalfa, trees, plant genetics and breeding.
Researchers will also find clippings related to Hansen and photographs.

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

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    Finding aids

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    Custodial history

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    Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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    Alternative identifier(s)




    MA 49

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