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Cedric Cummins papers

Identifier: MS-044

Content Description

The Research Materials series comprise of a variety of materials that relate to Cummins’ book on USD, including various histories, diaries, correspondence, interviews, and questionnaires. This series is located in Boxes 1-9 and is arranged into topics with each box in either chronological or alphabetical order. The Class Information series include copies of exams, notes, outlines, and printed materials related to a specific class topic. This series is located in Boxes 10-12 and is arranged by class, initially chronologically and then alphabetically. The Correspondence series consist of letters received by as well as sent by Cummins, and are arranged alphabetically in Box 13. The Subject Files contain articles, reports, programs, and printed materials relating to Cummins tenure at the University of South Dakota. The material is organized alphabetically by topic and are located in Boxes 14-16. The Oversize Series includes an 1891 student petition to the South Dakota Board of Regents against the University president, Dr. Howard Grose.


  • 1880 - 1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Cedric Cummins was born in English, Indiana, on March 14, 1909. After marrying Evelyn L. McFadden in September 1932, Cummins pursued his doctorate in history from the University of Indiana, and graduated in 1944. Cedric, Evelyn, and their three daughters relocated to Vermillion, South Dakota after Cummins accepted a teaching position in 1946, where he served on the Department of History faculty until his death on April 11, 1980 at the Dakota History Conference in Madison South Dakota. During his tenure at USD, Cummins served on a variety of local and state historical organizations, including: Bicentennial Commission, the USD Centennial Committee, the SD Historical Society, the American Historical Society, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the Western Historical Association; was the department chairman for 15 years; and authored two books, Indiana Public Opinion – World War I (1945) and The University of South Dakota from 1862 to 1966 (1976), and many articles. After his death, two scholarships were established in his name that still exist today: the Cedric and Evelyn Cummins Memorial Scholarship (available to sophomore or junior history majors) and the Robert “Bid” Miller/Cedric Cummins History Scholarship (for history majors).


16 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Cedric Cummins papers contain material primarily from his time at the University of South Dakota (1946-1980) as a history professor, with much of the material relating to his project The University of South Dakota from 1862 to 1966.


This collection is arranged into five series: Research Materials, Class Information, Correspondence, Subject Files, and Oversize.

Related Materials

The South Dakota Oral History Center located at the University of South Dakota includes a 1978 oral history with Cedric Cummins recorded by Gerald Wolff (SDOHP 1725), in which Cummins discusses his personal background, teaching history at the University of South Dakota, his chairmanship, changes in education and students, the Department of History at the University, the administration, higher education, and his writing.
Cedric Cummins papers
Ashley Lynch
June 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository