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RIP: Yearbooks

RIP: Yearbooks

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/90226213/90225960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

My yearbooks, from middle school and high school, are tucked away somewhere in my childhood bedroom. Some day, five or ten years from now, I'll crack them open, to look at awkward studio portraits, to read benedictions and valedictions, to search for an embarrassing photo of a now-famous classmate.

I was sad to read that future classes, in colleges and universities especially, might not have yearbooks to look at, to laugh at. Free social networks, like Facebook and MySpace, and online photo websites, like Flickr and Picasa, have eroded yearbook sales.

Ye Domesday Booke, the yearbook at Georgetown University, is poorly funded and understaffed. The yearbook office at Virginia Wesleyan College is filled with old books. (Many students who ordered copies didn't pick them up.) And The Debris, from Purdue University? There will be no 2009 edition.

Do you mourn the dying yearbook? What does it give you that an website can't? Do you have your old yearbooks? Do you look at them with any frequency?

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