Campus News

Libraries to digitize UGA yearbooks that chronicle change, diversity on campus

A grant project will digitize Pandora yearbooks from 1965 to 1974. (Photo by Mary Poland)

Yearbooks that chronicle a critical period in the University of Georgia’s history will be available online, thanks to a partnership between UGA Libraries and the Digital Library of Georgia.

A grant project will digitize Pandora yearbooks from 1965 to 1974, a period that includes the transition after UGA’s integration and chronicles increasing diversity at the birthplace of public higher education in America, including movements to increase representation among women and support of the LGBTQ+ community.

“The 1960s and ’70s reflect a turning point at UGA in terms of diversity, activism and student leadership that continues to shape the campus today,” said Steve Armour, who manages the University Archives in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, one of the UGA Libraries’ three special collections units. “Digitized yearbooks aid in research, teaching, exhibits and outreach that can enable the continued work to foster a safe, inclusive learning environment at UGA.”

The University Archives contain various documents and ephemera, including the first state charter forming a public higher education institution in the United States, signed in 1785.

The Pandora, first published in 1886, chronicles the history from students’ perspectives, and volumes preserved in the Special Collections Building vault and the Main Library are often explored in genealogy research, as well as in the study of the history of the university and its athletic programs, the state and higher education.

Thanks to grants and donations, most yearbooks from 1886 to 1938 have been digitized and are currently available through the Digital Library of Georgia, an entity of the University System of Georgia based at UGA’s Main Library. With further fundraising, UGA Libraries hopes to continue the digitization project to preserve the entire Pandora collection, and the grant provides a key step in providing remote access to the collection.

“In the era of COVID-19, we are more aware than ever of the importance of digital access to research materials,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost, “and I am pleased that the Digital Library of Georgia is working with the Hargrett Library to expand the reach of UGA’s collection.”