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Published May 03, 2013, 10:01 AM

Money OK'd for possible Teddy Roosevelt Library

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — State lawmakers have approved $6 million for construction of a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library on the campus of Dickinson State University in southwestern North Dakota.

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — State lawmakers have approved $6 million for construction of a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library on the campus of Dickinson State University in southwestern North Dakota.

Dickinson State's existing Theodore Roosevelt Center must raise at least $3 million to access the state grant money that's included in the Department of Commerce budget bill the Legislature has sent to the governor, The Dickinson Press reported.

Roosevelt hunted and ranched in the North Dakota Badlands in the late 1800s before becoming the 26th U.S. president. He credited the time at his ranch with deepening the love and respect he had for nature that helped make him an early champion of conservationism. He also said in his writings that he would not have become president if not for his time in the Badlands.

The Theodore Roosevelt Center, created in 2005, already has items from Roosevelt's time in the Badlands, as well as a digital archive of materials related to Roosevelt, including photographs, cartoons, newspaper articles and diary entries.

The digital collection — a project of DSU, the Library of Congress, Harvard College Library and the National Park Service — reached 10,000 items last year. The collection can be found at http://www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org .

The university also hosts an annual Roosevelt Symposium, a conference for scholars, students, history buffs and others.

Planning for the library is in the early stages, university spokeswoman Marie Moe said. DSU President D.C. Coston said in an email to students, faculty and staff that "a facility with this goal and scope is an exciting development for North Dakota and for Dickinson."

"The work over the last several years by the (center), including digitizing records related to President Roosevelt and hosting the annual Roosevelt Symposium, has received national and international recognition," Coston wrote.

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