The Association of Southwestern University Alumni

Yearbooks published from 1904-2002 make digital debut

  • News Image
    Jesse Saunders from Special Collections (right) shows alumnae Karen Hanson-Flowers and Karen Ray Fox how to find the old yearbooks online. (Photo by Danielle Stapleton)
  • News Image
    Back issues of old South'wester yearbooks such as these can now be found online.
    LUCAS ADAMS

A century of memories: now available

Anyone wondering what Southwestern University was like in earlier days can now find out with just a click of a mouse.

The university’s Special Collections has digitized all the issues that were ever printed of the student yearbook, which was called the Sou’wester. The books can be found online at https://archive.org/details/southwesternuniversity

The Sou’wester was published yearly from 1904 to 2002, with the exception of 1918, 1919 and 1997-1999. The old issues provide a wealth of information on early professors, buildings and student life at Southwestern. They also have a lot of early photos of Georgetown and advertisements from local businesses that have catered to students over the years.

“We hope that alumni who don’t own yearbooks will enjoy strolling down memory lane now that they can access the Sou’westers for the years that they were at Southwestern,” said Kathryn Stallard, director of special collections and archives.

Stallard said the online yearbooks are also a valuable resource for staff in the Alumni and Creative Services offices, who can use them to download images.

Since the yearbooks became available this year, Stallard said the most frequently downloaded yearbook is the 1926 yearbook with 301 downloads. Other popular issues are the 1931 yearbook, which has had 235 downloads, and the 1916 yearbook, which has been downloaded 230 times.

Stallard sent the old yearbooks to Indiana to be digitized through a non-profit library consortium called LYRASIS. She and other staff members in Special Collections showed alumni attending the 2013 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend how to find the yearbooks online and search them.