South Dakota Historical Society Data Entry Project


Inmates at the Women’s Prison are working with the South Dakota Historical Society to enter state census data into a database.


The program began at Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield but has since been moved to Pierre.


Between 1905 and 1945, a state census was conducted every ten years. Information was handwritten on 3 x 5 cards for each state resident, making the information difficult to read. Due to age, the cards were becoming brittle and faded.


Inmates enter information from the cards into a database. Fields include name, county, city of residence, education level, religious affiliation and citizenship.


Once the information has been entered in the database and checked for errors, the information will be uploaded to an online, searchable site.


Inmates are currently working on cards from 1925.