Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920

The F.A. Pazandak Collection contains 115 images documenting the transition on a North Dakota farm from horses to steam engines to tractors, covering the period from 1908 to the 1920s. All images were taken by Mr. Pazandak on the Pazandak farms near Fullerton, in southeastern North Dakota. In addition, a hand-colored version for four of the images are included. These hand-colored images came from the Senator Milton R. Young Collection and had hung in his Senate office in Washington, D.C. He donated them, together with other photographs and artifacts, to North Dakota State University upon his retirement in 1981.

Photo IconIt was through the advice and encouragement of Dr. Hiram Drache, history professor at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., that Mr. Pazandak's daughter, Elaine P. Rumelhart, donated in 1983 the entire collection of negatives and prints of her late father to the Institute for Regional Studies. Dr. Drache described the collection as "... one of the best that I have come across in my years of working throughout the Midwest in search of agricultural pictures. The collection has given us a better understanding of the technology of agriculture by learning what people were doing in the past."

The Pazandak collection has been organized and a finding aid prepared. Not all of the negatives came with corresponding prints, and thus contact prints were generated and added to the collection. Mr. Pazandak in 1969 wrote very detailed descriptions of the tractors shown in the pictures, as well as other general description notes for various images. The general notes were included in the catalog record while the detailed notes were not.

Item-level cataloging was done for all images in the Pazandak collection. Photograph cataloging at the Institute began in connection with a laser videodisc produced in 1988 by the Institute for Regional Studies, Visual Images from the Northern Prairies. The videodisc, which still is used and available today, includes some 15,000 images from the collections of the Institute and several other local repositories. The videodisc contains only a portion of the total photographic resources available at the Institute.

The catalog record for each image includes all information that is found with the original picture. Additional research has been done by the Institute staff on only a few of the images. An attempt has been made to date all images, but at times it is difficult to assign a specific year. Many times only a span of years or a decade is used, and even some of those are estimates. Some dates are based upon the years certain machinery was owned by the Pazandaks, as given in the accompanying textural records. Since the original information accompanying a picture is incomplete, the Institute is eager to hear from researchers who have additional or better information.

The image title either was imprinted upon the image itself or provided by the cataloger. The Notes section includes information related to the image, such as a subject description of the image, source of the title, information written on the image itself or the negative, accompanying information sheets written by Mr. Pazandak, and citations to published versions.

Topical terms were assigned to all images, providing subject access to each image. In almost all cases these terms describe what the image shows rather than what it is about. The primary source for the topical terms was Thesaurus for Graphical Materials I: Subject Terms, developed and published by the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. When this proved inadequate, terms were taken from Library of Congress Subject Headings, and Art and Architecture Thesaurus. In addition, a small number of local subject headings were used, particularly terms relating to agriculture, such as Binders (Agricultural machinery), Sheaves of grain, and Threshing crews. Although the most specific term from the thesauri was used when assigning topical terms, in some cases a broader, more familiar, term was also used in hopes that it would aid the user in retrieving desired images.

The topical terms, in most cases, have been subdivided by place and decade. The place is expressed in hierarchical geographic order, such as (term)--North Dakota--Fullerton. The appropriate decade has also been added to all topical terms, as well as to personal name entries. To avoid any confusion, no overlapping of the decade year has been used. For example, 1900-1909, not 1900-1910.

Proper noun headings were checked against the Library of Congress Name Authority File. All people identified in the images were included in the subject index headings, and when possible, their life dates were added.

The term [sic] which appears in some records indicates erroneous spellings which are in the transcribed information.

A number of North Dakota local histories were consulted in the cataloging of the images in the F.A. Pazandak Photograph Collection. Other sources consulted were federal census schedules, naturalization records, and newspapers.

A Century of Memories: Ellendale, North Dakota, 1882-1982. [Ellendale, ND: History Book Committee], 1982.

1887 - Fullerton - 1987: A Century of Community. Fullerton, N.D.: Fullerton Centennial Book Committee, 1986.

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Northern Great Plains: Photographs from the Fred Hultstrand and F.A. Pazandak Collections