PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.
Sandy Day, our Local History and Genealogical Librarian, has been collecting high school yearbooks for Jefferson County for many years.
When a package arrives on my desk from Sandy, asking me to look at something and see if we can “fix it,” it is likely to be an old yearbook that was found and donated to the library, and she wants to know if we can make it usable.
High school yearbooks are a great source of genealogical information, and can be good local history information from school histories to business advertising contained in most yearbooks.
There are currently two area yearbooks that are at our bindery being digitized and reproduced onto acid-free paper so they can be used in the local history collection.
“The 1936 Blue and Gold Yearbook” belongs to Mt. Pleasant High School and will be the first yearbook of that school in the library collection.
“The Class Annual 1934 Yearbook” of Toronto High School was in poor condition, but can be resurrected for use in the collection.
High school yearbooks seem to land in interesting places. They are carefully maintained and given to the library by Estates or are left at parent’s homes to be stored in the attic or basement to be forgotten until found by someone else.
We have been given yearbooks stored in bubble wrap, as well as those that have layed on a rafter in the barn.
Either way, they help form the history of our county, and need to be maintained.
Our earliest Steubenville High School Yearbook dates to 1913, and the collection extends to 2003. Since 1929, they have been called “The Steuben,” but the 1928 edition was “The Crimsonite, with previous years called “The Bulletin.”
Steubenville Catholic Central High School’s earliest yearbooks span from 1949 and are all called, “The Crusader.”
Mingo High School yearbooks were called “The Chieftain,” “Ex Libris,” and “The Indian” over the various available years.
Wintersville High School, and the current Indian Creek High School yearbooks span from 1947 and are called “The Warrior.”
Our Toronto High School yearbook collection is fairly complete, from 1923 to 2010, all called “The Torhisean,” except for 1934 which was “The Class Annual.”
The merger of school districts and high schools bring complexity to the yearbook collection. Adena High School was “The Adenian,” while Warren Consolidated at Tiltonsville was “The Wacoan.” Our three Dillonvale High School Yearbooks are “Purple and Gold and Dilhian.” Smithfield High School was “The Smithsonian and The Sparta.”
Brilliant High School, under its various names, had yearbooks named “Brilliantian, Blue and White, Blue Devil, and Aurora.”
Jefferson Union High School was “The Jeffaurean,” with Edison High School following with “Genesis and The Cat’s Eye.” Springfield High School was “Tiger,” and Stanton High School was “Straider.”
We have some early Jefferson Technical College Yearsbooks, which were called “Technique” in the 1970s
The former College of Steubenville yearbook was named “The Optimist” in 1950, changing to “The Franciscan” with the change to the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Sandy loves to acquire additional yearbooks for the collection, and we will try to resurrect yearbooks into usable condition regardless of their current condition.