More than 100 years of Razorback history have now been digitized. Thanks to project donors and the University of Arkansas Libraries, all yearbooks from 1897 through 2018 are now available worldwide online, free of charge.
“Margo and I were extremely pleased to participate in the digitization of the yearbooks,” said project donor and alumnus Jeff Germany. “What an exciting time for technology to allow us to revisit and remember cherished times at the University of Arkansas!”
Yearbooks prove to be some of the most frequently requested items in the Libraries. In October 2019, the Libraries raised $11,000 for the digitization of all U of A yearbooks from 1897 to 2018 to increase access to the collection and afford users the ability to search.
“It’s important to have core resources widely available, now more than ever,” said Amy Allen, university archivist. “I’m grateful to everyone who helped make this project a reality.”
The student-created U of A yearbook originated as the Cardinal in 1897. This first yearbook, 108 pages altogether, included photos of faculty, students, the few buildings on campus at the time, student clubs, sororities and fraternities, athletic teams, military cadets and the literary societies on the Fayetteville campus, as well as pictures of the law and medical students in Little Rock. Known as the Razorback since 1916, the yearbook is created annually by a staff of students from a variety of disciplines.
The digitization project, completed in May 2020, comprises individual scans of 45,158 pages in 120 books, spanning 121 years of U of A history. The Libraries intend to continue adding each new yearbook to the digital collection.
“The Razorback Yearbooks is one of several digital projects created in anticipation of the University of Arkansas Sesquicentennial celebrations,” said Martha Anderson, head of digital services. “The digital services staff put a lot of work in scanning the materials to prepare them for digital publishing, a project that would not have been possible without community engagement. Experiencing the support the Northwest Arkansas community has afforded to the digitization project team has been overwhelming.”