The Father William C. Sherman Photograph Collection at the NDSU Libraries Germans from Russia Heritage Collection encompasses over 13,000 black and white photographs, negatives, and color slides taken in the 1970s. Within this collection are homesteads of North Dakota images including houses and other dwellings, barns, sheds and root cellars, as well as interior and domestic architecture of early North Dakota settlers. The diverse architectural styles of many ethnic groups are displayed in these photos, including Germans from Russia (southern Ukraine), Ukrainians, Germans from Bohemia, Czechoslovakians, and Germans from the Banat (Hungary). The Sherman Collection is one of the most comprehensive collections of homestead photographs in North America and worldwide.
Father Sherman and NDSU students identified, researched, and photographed primarily in central and western North Dakota. Father William Sherman writes, “For about 10 years at NDSU, I’d get the architecture and the history students together and we’d saturate North Dakota studying the housing Germans from Russia built out there...They built houses of adobe, just like they did back in the Black Sea area near Odessa, Ukraine.”
About 4,500 of the images from the Sherman Collection have been digitized with detailed research information on Digital Horizons.