Genealogy and Biography

Best-State-Websites-LogoThe Institute for Regional Studies Archives has developed a number of searchable databases that will aid those doing biographical, family history, and genealogical research within North Dakota. They include the North Dakota Biography Index, Dakota Territory 1885 Census, and Fargo Forum obituaries. For Cass County the Institute has developed searchable databases for marriage licenses, probate records, divorce records and civil cases. In cooperation with the State Historical Society of North Dakota we are please to provide access to its North Dakota Naturalizations database.

The Institute collects published North Dakota community, county, church, and family histories, as well as microform collections, all of which are cataloged in the NDSU Libraries online catalog.

The time available for Institute staff to research individual persons or families is limited. It would be very helpful if you would include a family group record sheet with your inquiry.

To research your German Russian heritage consult the website for the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection located at the NDSU main library.

Research Tools

The primary research tool to aid researchers in locating useful material is the NDSU Libraries online catalog. Also, each database has an information page that covers its scope and content.


The publication and microfilm collections are available for use in the Institute/Archives Research Room. Reference staff is available to assist in your research needs. Copying facilities are also available.


The Institute for Regional Studies Archives welcomes donations of published family histories, genealogies and other reference works that relate to North Dakota. All donations are gift-plated with the name of the donor and cataloged as part of our North Dakota historical publications collection. There your donation will be readily available to students, faculty and the general public.

Contact Information

Consult our Contact Us page.