Caprice DiLiello, Acting Manager of the Maryland Department
Remember that awful perm you had in 11th grade? Do you still think about your favorite high school teacher and know that you could never have passed calculus without her help? And what about that old flame from college? Does he/she look the way you remember?
Most people wouldn’t think of visiting their local library to find a copy of their high school or college yearbook, but you can take a trip down memory lane at the Pratt Library’s Maryland Department, which houses a collection of over 1000 yearbooks from all over the state of Maryland.
This collection is a tremendous resource because there are very few places, short of lucking out on eBay, where you can find a copy of your old yearbook. Companies that print yearbooks often generate millions of books per year, so it would be impossible for them to keep an inventory of backdated yearbooks in stock. Although yearbooks are technically the property of the schools they’re created for (the schools hold the copyrights), many institutions don’t keep a backlog of old yearbooks.
And people who want to glimpse into their past aren’t the only ones who use our yearbook collection. Since we have yearbooks dating back to the 1890s, family historians have found a wealth of information on their ancestors—everything from what types of extracurricular activities they participated in, to honors and awards they may have been given. One customer even found that her grandmother had personally signed the yearbook in our collection!
For over 10 years, the Maryland Department has been actively collecting yearbooks with the help of generous donations from you, our customers. Although the majority of our yearbooks showcase the schools in central Maryland, we’d love to expand our holdings in other parts of the state, especially Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
However, we welcome all yearbook donations. So whether you’ve stumbled across a cache of college yearbooks while cleaning out your grandparents’ garage, or you’re getting rid of duplicate copies of yearbooks from your school library collection, please keep the Pratt Library’s Maryland Department in mind. You can contact us at 410-396-5468 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.