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Graham Hall 123
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2552
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Collection documenting South Dakota railroad donated to NSU library

​ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University’s Beulah Williams Library is proud to announce the donation of the George Nikolas Collection.


This unique collection showcases the history and progress of the South Dakota railroad and provides information about the major South Dakota railroad companies from the early 1900s to the mid-2000s.


Nikolas is a World War II veteran who is one of the last surviving members of the original 3rd Platoon. He served throughout Europe during and after the war. Nikolas began working for the Milwaukee Railroad in 1941 and served in a variety of positions, including operations, engineering, safety and accounting.  He also served as an office engineer with the Burlington Northern Railroad and is a longtime member of the State Railroad Board. Nikolas saved many important documents regarding the railroad’s development and donated many of these documents to the NSU library archives.


The George Nikolas collection provides a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of railroad companies, as well as documentation of a variety of proposed and completed railroad expansions throughout the region. Researchers and the general public will be interested in the oversized rail and blueprint maps, correspondence, books, pamphlets, videos, reports about railroad history, newspaper articles, digital objects and much more.


The collection also includes a variety of items that document Nikolas’ time in Germany during WWII. The library plans to digitize many of these objects for preservation and public access.


The NSU library archives are open 8 a.m.-noon or by appointment. To learn more about the collection, stop by the library, call 605-626-3018 or visit