Yearbooks

Time Period
1877 to 1924
1925 to Today
Topics
Education

Virginia Polytechnic Institute, The Bugle, 1905

High school and college annuals, or yearbooks, offer more insights into a time and place than mere lists of students and snapshots. Social historians study youth culture through the clothes they wore, the clubs they formed, and the themes of the dances they attended. Genealogists use yearbooks to help establish timelines and locate photographs.

Yearbooks record a transitional period in one's life. Moreover, in smaller communities, educational institutions figure prominently in the social fabric of residents' lives. Consequently, the memories and emotions evoked by yearbooks rival the nostalgia of family albums. The Virginia Historical Society has high school and college yearbooks from across the Old Dominion in our published collections.

Search for books, manuscripts, sheet music, maps, and broadsides in the VMHC Online Catalog.

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The Tiger, 1964, of Central High School, Charlotte County, Virginia
The Tiger, 1964, of Central High School, Charlotte County, Virginia
In the mid-twentieth century, the "Last Will and Testament" became a popular feature of high school yearbooks, and many schools emphasized their scientific prowess in the midst of the Cold War. (VHS call number: LD7501 C598 C397)
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Battlefield, 1970, from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, Fredericksburg
Battlefield, 1970, from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia, Fredericksburg
Now known as the University of Mary Washington, the coeducational school was once an all-female branch of the University of Virginia. While traditional photographs of campus activities abound in yearbooks, in the late twentieth century current events increasingly crept into the pages, like these images related to the Vietnam War. (VHS call number: LD7251 M225 B2)
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The Web, 1976, of the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
The Web, 1976, of the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
Yearbooks, like The Web from the University of Richmond, eventually took on more artistic flourishes, as students exerted more control over the content of the pages. (VHS call number: LD4711 R45 W3)
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VPI Cadet Band
VPI Cadet Band
VPI mandated participation in the Corps of Cadets until the 1960s. The photograph captures the Cadet Band. (VHS call number: LD5693.V25 B75)