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Digitize all 128 of MSU’s Yearbooks from 1877 to 2021. 

Hands holding open an archived yearbook.University Archives & Historical Collections of Michigan State University is a place of discovery and a center for exploring our Spartan story and legacy. More than 160 years of MSU history can be explored through original letters and diaries, photographs, oral histories, and every volume of the MSU Yearbook since its first iteration as a class album in 1877.  

Over time, many of our unique collections housed in the MSU Archives have been requested in digital format to better assist historians, alumni, and other community members in their work. As part of Libraries’ Preservation Week, we’re asking for your help to digitize each and every volume of the MSU Yearbook and ensure that they are made available for present and future research and exploration. 

By making a gift to digitize the MSU Yearbook collection, you help safeguard, preserve, promote, and make accessible our Spartan history for all.  

Your Support Will Make a Big Difference

Your gift will ensure that present and future generations can enjoy and draw inspiration from past Spartans and their will to persevere throughout our school’s history.  

Yearbook spread from 1979 Rose BowlThe MSU Yearbooks have gone through many different iterations over the years including class albums from the late 19th century, Harrows from 1887-1889, various titles from 1896-1907, Wolverines from 1910-1975, and Red Cedar Logs from 1976 to the present day. Yearbooks provide an invaluable insight into the daily activities, lives, and experiences of the Spartan community. Academics, student activism, and campus life spring to life through the images and articles inside each yearbook.  

These books beautifully illustrate the thoughts, images, and memories of Spartans since our beginning to our years as the Michigan Agricultural College to the present day as Michigan State University. We see the lives of our students, their families, and their experiences not just in academics but in navigating two world wars and nearly 170 years of progress and discovery.   

Funding this project will help create high-resolution, long-term digital scans of every yearbook and will then make them available to the general public through MSU Libraries’ catalog and digital repository. The scans will also have searchable text online, allowing those accessing the material to search for specific names, events, or other search-terms.  

Project Budget

Community partners and alumni play a vital role in the preservation of Spartan history. One gift of $230 is enough to both digitize and provide online access to a single yearbook volume. By making a gift and sharing this project with others, we can provide universal access to the yearbooks and Spartan history. 

Our $29,000 goal directly covers the entire cost of digitizing each volume of the yearbook as well as the process of creating catalog and digital repository records in the MSU Libraries’ catalog for user access. Yearbook digitization will begin this summer and some copies will be available online as early as late fall 2022. Remaining scans will be made available over the following weeks. 

Who We Are

The project will be completed by an amazing team of Library and Archives faculty and staff who specialize in materials, digitization, resource description, and accessibility. Our mission is to provide expertise, collections, and infrastructure for discovery and creation, which includes being responsible caretakers of our collections. We recognize the power of information collection and description and use our dynamic skills and knowledge to help our community.  

Our aim in digitizing the yearbook collection is to help alumni revisit their cherished memories and provide insight into the Spartan spirit that helped make Michigan State University what it is today. 

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 22OOPCF1LIBYEAR” in the note section.

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