Yearbook inspiration can come from a variety of places, and it’s important to keep up on the latest and greatest trends. But, what about looking to the past? Odds are your school has a rich history of traditions and stories, and a yearbook is a perfect place to celebrate both the old and new aspects of student life.
Start by tracking down old school yearbooks. When was the first one published? How was it laid out? Take some time to become familiar with the history of your school. Keep an eye out for fun and interesting facts, memorable student photographs, and any information about what students were listening to, watching and wearing in the year the book was published.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even do some research about the alumni of your school. Where are the 1985 prom king and queen now? Whatever happened to the person voted Most Likely to Succeed in 1965? These are excellent opportunities to put your journalism skills to work, and perhaps even get an interview or two with those who were students at your school ‘way back when’. Nothing makes history relevant like talking to the people who lived it, and sharing that experience with your fellow students.
Next, start thinking about how you can incorporate some of the information you’ve found into your school’s yearbook. Is there a particularly great photograph that can be recreated now and placed side-by-side with the original in the book? Or if you know what students were watching and listening to thirty years ago, how about asking the same questions now and printing both the old and new answers together? Digging into the history of the student body can reveal a lot about both the ways students have changed and the ways they have stayed the same.
School experiences are universal on many levels, but there is also a big difference between a student who was in school the day the very first computer arrived and the student who works on a laptop daily.
Working with your school’s past yearbooks is an opportunity to bring history back to life, and foster a feeling of connection among the current student body with all the of the students who have passed through the halls before them, and all of those who will come after.