The West Virginia Archives and History hosted a conference in October that featured a special exhibit showcasing some of the state’s collection of 3,000 yearbooks. Most of us don’t think of yearbooks as sources of historic research. But they are just that with pictures of both people and events and information about students, teachers and activities.
Think what a treasure trove we have right here in Hardy County with Moorefield High School coming up on it’s 100th year as a school. There certainly weren’t yearbooks for every year, but there were for many of those years.
As part of the MHS Centennial on May 6 there will be a display of old yearbooks and a request for copies missing during the middle 1940s and as well as other dates. The MHS Alumni Association would like to gather a full collection of those years when a yearbook was available and turn them over to the archives of the public library where they can be preserved and eventually digitized.
Wardensville and Mathias high schools combined several decades ago, but there were yearbooks for many of the years when the two schools existed independently. Since then there have been yearbooks for the consolidated East Hardy High School. They, too, need to be collected and copied.
We would like to suggest that if any of you have yearbooks you want to be preserved and are willing to have kept for posterity that you donate them to the Hardy County Public Library for inclusion in their archives.
Any material donated to the Library will be preserved and made available for research under special conditions. As time passes, the Library hopes to get these books digitized which will make them available for easier and safer research.
We’re pretty sure these yearbooks will also be loaned to the Hardy County Historical Society Museum for special exhibits so there will be numerous opportunities for people to enjoy these books of memories.
We would also like to suggest that in the future when schools put out a yearbook, that a copy be given to the Library. And once digitized, the digitized version can be duplicated for inclusion in each of the school libraries. That’s a win-win for all concerned.
Please share your yearbooks, both past and future, so the history can be preserved and enjoyed by generations yet to come.