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OKState Yearbook Collection
About the Collection
Before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram documented the college experience, there was the yearbook.
For 81 years, from 1910 to 1991, Oklahoma State University published an annual volume of student clubs, activities, accomplishments, poems, sketches and inside jokes. Each yearbook served as a time capsule for its year. Now Cowboys, past and present, can flip through the pages of all 81 volumes virtually.
The name of this publication depicts ethnic and racial insensitivity that was once commonplace in American society. Such portrayals were wrong then and are wrong today. While not representing the views of Oklahoma State University today, these publications are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. To learn more about American Indian culture and sovereignty, visit https://sovnationcenter.okstate.edu/.
The goal of digitization is two-fold; it improves both preservation and access. By producing a digital copy of rare and unique items, the Library ensures the work is maintained in a more durable digital format while simultaneously allowing for greater preservation of the original copy by reducing the amount items must be handled. Prior to digitization many items were available on a very limited basis and only to those who could travel in-person to visit the archives. By making these items available online, digital collections not only reach a broader audience but also provided searchable, shareable content.
The Digitization Process
Unfortunately, the digitization process is time intensive and expensive. The “OkState Yearbook Collection” took more than 500 staff hours to complete.
David Thompson, then manager of digital products, oversaw the digitation and online presentation of the “OkState Yearbook Collection.” Thompson and his team prepared the original books, scanned to archival standards, edited the scanned pages, and ran optical character recognition to create full-text searchable files. Every page of each volume was checked by the team to ensure an accurate presentation.
“It was an honor to work with such a unique part of OSU’s history,” says Thompson. “I hope everyone enjoys the ‘OkState Yearbook Collection’ and appreciates the library’s efforts to make this collection available on the internet.”
A complete list of digital collections at the OSU Library website. Topics are diverse and include OSU history, state history and notable Oklahomans. The list of collections awaiting digitization is just as varied.
Access the Physical Collection
Original yearbooks are located in the circulating collection (call number 378.766 Ok4r) as well as the Archives (2nd floor) of the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information please contact the Archives at 405-744-6311 or [email protected].