Library Requesting High School Yearbook Donations

by Katie Pyzyk January 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm 7,847 22 Comments

(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) If you attended high school in Arlington, you have something in common with Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric and Sandra Bullock. All are immortalized in yearbooks at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St), but the collection isn’t complete. That’s where you can step in to help.

The Virginia Room at the Central Library is asking for donations of Arlington high school yearbooks in good condition. That way, your accomplishments can be put on display for all to see, along with Sandra Bullock’s time as a cheerleader at Washington-Lee or Katie Couric’s work (quite foreshadowing) in the Yorktown Quill and Scroll Club. Hopefully, there’s no issue over the spelling of your last name like Shirley MacLaine and her brother, Warren (Beaty vs. Beatty).

In addition to the yearbooks, visitors to the Virginia Room can browse through the reference collection of the state’s historical items including maps, photos of the County from decades past and a local newspaper archive.

Judith Knudsen and John Stanton work in the Virginia Room and help visitors hunt down resources. The process will become a little easier on February 1, when the collection, including around 600 photos, will begin to be digitized and put online for public viewing.

“We’re Arlington, Virginia history, but we’re also a community archives,” Knudsen said. “We collect papers and information on individuals and also organizations.”

The high school yearbooks the library would like can be from any year between 1951 and 2010. It’s fine if the books have writing in them, but they must be without mold and mildew. Duplicates are welcome, but the Virginia Room is specifically missing the following yearbooks:

Wakefield – 1954, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Washington-Lee – 1930, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1969, 1972, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010
Yorktown – 1982, 1984, 1985, 1993, 1997, 2010
Hoffman-Boston – Missing All Except 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Bishop Denis J. O’Connell – Missing All Except 1977, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998
H.B. Woodlawn – They don’t have ANY yearbooks

Donations can be made in person. For more information, call 703-228-5966 or email the Virginia Room.


  • Lou

    I have three of those Grenadiers they are looking for, but I am not parting with them. Too much great stuff written inside.

    • drax

      Comments in cutesy writing saying “keep in touch” from girls you failed to keep in touch with?

  • Matt

    While I enjoy the celebrity “then” photos, my favorite is the one of Clarendon in 1955. It looked so much more interesting and alive back in the day!

    • Arlingtonian

      I had the same thought – would love to see more pictures like that one.

  • novasteve

    Lord, that guy next to Katie couric looks like the inspiration for the GEICO caveman guy.

  • CrystalMikey

    Sandy was a cheerleader huh?

    • Lou

      As was Katie Couric.

  • Michael H.

    Apparently Beaty is the correct spelling. Shirley and Warren’s parents had the last name of “Beaty” with one “T”. That’s how it’s spelled on her official website (shirleymaclaine.com).

    • Michael H.

      This People Magazine article also confirms that “Beaty” was the original spelling:


    • Tabs

      Good reporting.

    • I think they picked the wrong photo

      Warren’s photo says “Beatty” which is where I think the error actually was made. đŸ™‚

    • We have updated the article to reflect this. Thank you to everybody who pointed it out.

  • yardyoder

    Man Washington Lee needs to step it up.

  • Nancy Bailey

    Poor Forrest Tucker…he used to be the big movie star W-L proudly claimed as its own. Then came “F-Troop”…and oblivion. My dad, who graduated from W-L in the late 1930s, remembered Tucker and said the star-to-be was a class or two ahead of him.

  • TG3oA

    Hippie High — no yearbooks. Love it

    • Sikudhani

      I always got the impression that HB students had a greater level of creative control of their senior yearbook, and that the contents were generally much more candid and personal as opposed to a collection of mug shots, which I could see a person being more willing to part with…

      • Sully

        Did you go to HB?

      • Katie

        This is true. I’d happily part with my Swanson generic mug shot books, but I’ll be hanging on to my HB yearbook till the day I die–brings back so many more memories.

  • CrystalMikey

    I’d love to offload my yearbooks for the sake of a “research collection”. Alas, I went to high school overseas.

  • CarlosDePasqual

    HB’s yearbooks tend to have a lot of inside jokes, innuendo, and they smell like dew. I know I have like eight of them in my “life box” right next to my swim team “honorable mention” medals and the goatee I pulled off with tape in 9th grade.

  • Mike

    Are they going to scan the yearbooks and make them available electronically, or do they need to keep the physical book?

  • Public Information, Arlington Public Library

    Hello Mike:

    Pardon the delay in answering your question.

    For now, the Virginia Room is hoping for permanent donations of yearbooks.

    But eventually, the goal is to have yearbooks digitized and online. So at some point we would put out the call to borrow any missing yearbooks for scanning and then return them to their owners. Sort of a funny twist–the idea of the Library borrowing books from the public.

    Thanks for supporting Arlington Public Library.


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