By Judy Woodward
Every month, the reference librarians at the Roseville Library receive dozens of questions from the public. Here is one of the more interesting queries we have received recently:
Q. Does your library have local high school yearbooks from the previous century in the collection?
A. Although the Library doesn’t carry yearbooks in our book collection, we do subscribe to a genealogy database called Ancestry.com. Among many, many other types of records, Ancestry.com features an online indexed collection of 20th century middle school, junior high, high school and college yearbooks from across the United States.
Curious to revisit a photo of your teenage self? Or maybe you’re trying to remember the name of a favorite (or least favorite) teacher? Or the last name of that amazing kid who moved away in the middle of seventh grade?
You’ll find facsimile, digitized versions of yearbooks from a vast array of American schools. There are at least 30 schools listed for Saint Paul and an additional half dozen for the Roseville area. There are Murray High School yearbooks from 1942 to the mid-1960s, back when Murray was still a senior high school. And there are yearbooks for high schools like Roseville’s Frank B. Kellogg High, which now exist only in memory. And the collection is growing, so if you don’t find your old school this time, try again in six months.
Because of the special circumstances of the Covid pandemic, the Ancestry.com database is now available for a limited time to users outside of the library buildings. Look for more information at this link: https://www.rclreads.org/resources/genealogy/.
In addition to old yearbooks, you can also find passenger lists, census records, city directories, military records, birth, death and marriage records and more than 2 billion names of potential ancestors in the database.
Judy Woodward, who lives in St. Anthony Park, is a reference librarian at the Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Ave. The library’s general phone number is 651-724-6001