This is part of our Take a Closer Look series. This regular feature offers a behind-the-scenes view of some of our hidden treasures in our library and what they reveal about our shared past.
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.