Plattsburgh State recently announced that its yearbooks have been published online. Anyone can look through the years 1914 to 2002 on three different sites: SUNY Plattsburgh Digital Commons, New York Heritage and on archive.org.

The digitalizing process started in 2013, but in 2012, PSUC Special Collections librarian Debra Kimok,wrote a technology service improvement grant to the Northern New York Library Network, also known as NNYLN.

“After NNYLN accepted the grant, they took them and scanned them and added them to a project called New York Heritage, which is a statewide digital plan,” Kimok said. “They then sent us the yearbooks on DVD copies.”

Digital Commons Student Assistant Grace Jividen has been working on the project since Fall 2013.

“The DVD’s weren’t in the format we needed, so I sat at the computer and converted the files to PDFs,” Jividen said.
After converting them, Jividen uploaded each yearbook onto one of the sites, archive.org.

Joshua Beatty, the manager of Digital Commons, said that keeping three copies of the yearbooks is important. If something happens to one, there are two other copies.

Beatty oversaw the process.

“I had to determine the structure of how it looks online,” Beatty said. “I had to decided what would be most effective.”

One of the reasons for this process is for people to look back and see how everything has changed.

“One of the things I love is that we put up this collection knowing people might be interested in looking up either themselves or a relative,” Beatty said.

Beatty said they also put them up not knowing what people are going to do.

“My grandma, mom and dad went here, so it’s cool to look through and be like, ‘That’s mom!’” Jividen said. “People like to look through it and see there is more to Plattsburgh than just what we are living now.”

Digital Commons does more than just PSUC’S yearbooks, however.

“It’s to present the intellectual work of the college to the public,” Beatty said. “The yearbooks was our biggest project, but we also publish faculty’s work, students’ work and materials from the past. We actually publish a scholarly journal, “Common Good,” which is a peer-reviewed document published by Center for Teaching Excellence on the third floor of the library.”

Digital Commons is happy to publish any work from any department on the web.

With the yearbooks going online, it makes people start to think why yearbooks are so important. Yearbooks are a way to look back and remember all the good and funny times that happened in high school or college.

Yearbooks let people go through the pages and see how his or her parents spent their high school days and what they looked like.

Owning your own yearbook gives you a special bond with everyone in your high school or college because you all get to reminisce about the special memories that took place and to never forget your high school or college years.

“It’s one of the places you can go and see what we looked like at the time,” Kimok said. “I love seeing what people write in them. I think that’s what makes them pretty special when it’s your own.”

Email Samantha Stahl at samantha.stahl@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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