High School Yearbook Digitization

Cover of the Messenger 1960The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has expanded its yearbook digitization effort to include early high school yearbooks from North Carolina schools. Yearbooks submitted for digitization must meet the following criteria:

  • The yearbooks must be owned by a library, museum, or other cultural heritage institution whose collections are open to the public, or an alumni association that meets our criteria. Yearbooks held only by K-12 school libraries are not eligible for digitization at this time.
  • The yearbooks must be from a school located within North Carolina at the time the yearbook was published.
  • To respect the privacy of individuals pictured in the volumes, only yearbooks at least 50 years old will be digitized.
  • If the school is still in existence, the institution should speak with a current administrator at the school about the digitization and online publication of the yearbooks.

How it Works

Yearbooks are digitized by Internet Archive staff working at Duke University Libraries. As they are completed, each volume will be published on the Internet Archive. Once all of the volumes from a particular institution are done, they will also be published on DigitalNC.org so that users can easily browse by county, date, or institution.

Prior to digitization, the contributing institution prepares an inventory listing each volume to be digitized (see below). Once we begin work, yearbooks are generally returned within 2-3 months. Feel free to check in with the Digital Heritage Center at any time regarding progress.

Each contributing institution is responsible for transporting the yearbooks to Chapel Hill and picking them up once they’ve been completed. If your institution wants to ship the materials to be digitized, you will be responsible for return shipping costs.

How to Get Started

First, contact us to talk about your yearbooks. We will make sure they fit all criteria.

For each project we work on, the contributing institution needs to provide the following:

  • An inventory listing each volume to be digitized. The inventory should include the following:
    • The name of the volume to be digitized
    • The year
    • The name of the school at the time that the yearbook was published
    • The location of the school (city and county) at the time that the yearbook was published
    • The name of the institution that holds the original volume
  • If your institution would like to digitize yearbooks from a school that is still in existence, we ask the contributing institution to reach out to that school’s administration regarding the proposed project.

New Digital Heritage Center partners will need to provide a few additional items:

  • Contact information for your institution, to be included in the item record for each yearbook published online.
  • A logo for your institution, to be included on the contributing institution page on DigitalNC.org.