Wednesday, October 6, 2010
College Yearbook Collections Go Digital
Making old yearbooks and course catalogs available online is a truly excellent idea. It makes information about the universities much more accessible from an academic standpoint as well as being a great way to preserve memories. If primary sources aren't digitized, they are only available to a very limited number of people at the university. They're usually kept in private collections, and very few people know where to go to access them, or that they even can. In high school, I was on the yearbook staff and one of the coolest things we got to do was to look through the old books, and use them as resources. If you don't have a book available, you can't do that. Last semester my roommate was in a course about the Black Jazz Age and one of their assignments was to write as though they were a person living during that time period. She chose to be a student, but had to jump through numerous hoops to try and track down information about schools during that time. Having resources like yearbooks and course books available would have made it easier then trying to track down phone numbers and send e-mails to get said information; and could even make assignments like that feasible and much easier to achieve with younger students. It could make for a very fun lesson.