The 1972 Black Hills Flood project was created by the Rapid City Public Library because we believe that preserving the shared history of a life-altering local event will benefit our community. To help preserve the community’s memory of the lives that were lost and the remarkable heroism of the time, the Library presents a virtual archive that digitizes and publishes a variety of historical resources related to the flood.

This site includes several collections of online sources. Click Browse Collections for a list of those available. The first collection, Radio and Television includes broadcast recordings and transcripts from the days surrounding the flood event.

A more personal connection to the event can be found in Written Memories. During several of the events commemorating the flood, survivors and community members have submitted their experiences during the flood for inclusion to this archive.

The SD Oral History Center collection includes interviews conducted in the year following the flood. Many of these interviews have been digitized by the library and are available to listen to online. Additional interviews are stored at USD in Vermillion.

For the RCPL Oral History collection, Library staff conducted and recorded oral histories of people who experienced the flood, which are compiled into videos and posted on the site. Interested individuals may contact the library's Oral History Team to record and submit their own memories to be included.

The flood was devastating to the Rapid City community. 238 lives were lost during the event. The city has sought to commemorate these lives, and we do so here on our Digital Memorial Wall below. The names of all victims are listed, along with any pictures the Rapid City Library was able to obtain.

Digital Memorial Wall


The Flood of 1972 was devasting to Rapid City, and 238 lives were lost on June 9. The Rapid City...