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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

Portal to the Past: KU’s Yearbook

September 20th, 2012

I find the KU yearbooks to be one of the most informative and entertaining resources in the University Archives. When you open the covers you are transported back to the 1930s, 1960s, or even the 1900s. The yearbooks span from 1873 to the present and depict student life, campus growth, and university history as it was happening.  By 1901 the University’s yearbook was given the name “The Jayhawker.”  The name was chosen by a committee of student representatives from each class with the hope that “The Jayhawker” would become the permanent name of the Annuals of Kansas University.  Their wish came true and the yearbook retains that title today.

The covers on display below have been chosen because they are indicative of the years they represent and are just plain fun – Enjoy!

Becky Schulte
University Archivist

Jayhawker: A Record of Events of the University of Kansas for the Year…
Spencer Library Call Numbers: LD2697 .J3 (Reading Room Reference Collection copy);
UA Ser 69/1 (University Archives copy). Click images to enlarge.

Image of 1902 Jayhawker  Image of 1926-27Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1902                                                         Above: 1926-1927
Below: 1927-28                                                       Below: 1930-31

Image of cover of 1927-28 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of cover of 1930-31Jayhawker Yearbook

Image of cover of 1933-34 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of Cover of 1934-35 Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1933-34                                                Above: 1934-35
Below: 1935-36                                                     Below: 1949

Image of Cover of 1935-36 Jayhawker Yearbook      Image of cover of 1949 Jayhawker Yearbook

   Image of Cover of 1958 Jayhawker Yearbook     Image of cover of 1959 Jayhawker Yearbook

Above: 1958                                                Above: 1959
Below: 1969                                                    Below: 1985

Image of cover of 1969 Jayhawker Yearbook     Image of cover of 1985 Jayhawker Yearbook

Want to browse more yearbooks in person?  Copies of  all of KU’s yearbooks are housed with the reference collection in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library Reading Room (you don’t even have to fill out a paging request). Come in and travel back in time with a KU yearbook!