Those old high school yearbooks, digitized


The cover of Central High School’s yearbook from 1890

Image courtesy of Hennepin County Library

Who knew that the most popular books in the Central Library’s special collections are old yearbooks?

But, as it turns out, the 50 oldest yearbooks – which date from 1890 to 1922 – are so fragile, and also so in demand, that the Hennepin County Library has digitized them.

Now people can browse them at their leisure on the HCL website.

The digitized yearbooks can be searched by name or browsed by a particular school or year.

The yearbook digitization project is made possible by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and is administered by the Minnesota Historical Society. More yearbooks will be digitized and added to the collection in the future. The remainder of the project will be funded by a gift from the Professional Librarian’s Union of Minneapolis.

Librarian Heather Lawton says the yearbooks are commonly sought by family historians, people trying to track down former classmates or planning class reunions, or children looking for material for a parent’s or grandparent’s retirement or anniversary party.

Interested in donating an old yearbook to the collection? Contact Special Collections at 612-543-8200 or

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