by Delia

I love school yearbooks. All of the bright shining faces, all of the interesting activities. And if I can get one that belonged to a student or teacher, that’s been autographed, well, that’s a delightful rainy day read reflecting a student’s place in the hierarchy and exchanges with friends. And alumni directories, even without photos, are a fascinating study in sociology.

Church yearbooks, or annual/semi-annual directories, are interesting, too. One can find interesting photos of the church and events, and especially family group photos. Seeing everyone dressed up in their Sunday best for the photos, reflecting a person’s or family’s tradition-oriented garb or adherence to the fashion of the day, bouffant hair, big glasses, narrow or wide ties and all. One can place family groups together: parents, children and, sometimes, pets.

Association yearbooks or directories don’t often contain photos, but provide addresses, offices held, and sometimes other biographical information. Children often joined the same organization as a parent, so one can follow a family’s interests through an association’s annuals.

A directory for a workplace may only list in-house names and phone numbers, but will confirm employment at specific times.

All of these, and more, may be floating around your house. Maybe the people living in an apartment before you moved in left them. Maybe they belong to you but you need the space and they are destined for the recycle bin. Maybe they were treasured by a parent, but really, you think, why do you want them?

So consider donating them to The Genealogy Center. We own a large collection of Fort Wayne and Allen County school yearbooks, and association, church and business directories, but our collection is not limited to just this immediate area. Currently, we own school annuals from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, …well, you get the idea. We have church directories from, among other places, Florida, Maine and Nevada, and work and association directories and yearbooks from places just as diverse, so your cast-offs would be more than welcome! When you run across this type of material and wonder what you want to do with it, pack them up and send them to us. We will be happy to provide a home to these valuable historic research items!