I recently spoke with a woman who was trying to help a ninety-year-old friend track down some pages from his yearbook from the 1940s. Our local history room actually contains a collection of Chelmsford High School yearbooks dating back to when the school was established in 1927. In the process of going through the books for the specific page, I was amazed at how universal the high school experience appears from the photos, with their little bios beside each – so many bright, ambitious, excited young people about to embark on adulthood.
Upon receiving the scanned pages we sent him from the yearbook, he called to express his thanks. He shared some of his memories from that period so many years ago, and the impact it had on his future. The gentleman in question had grown up on a farm in Chelmsford, and in those years during the war, his family had been intensely busy supporting the war effort. Upon graduating, first from Chelmsford, and then from university, he was able to move away to begin a successful career in another area. He was delighted and overwhelmed to return briefly to the time and the person he had been so many years ago.
If you would like the opportunity to reminisce about your youth, visit our collection anytime we are open. You can browse the collection we have through our catalog (each year is listed in the call number), and check out a few of the interesting covers in our Flickr photo collection here. We have many of the years between 1929 and 2013, but our set is by no means complete. If you have any old yearbooks collecting dust around the house, consider donating them to the collection.