The most popular resource in the Central Park Library’s local history collection is the high school yearbook collection. Located next to the old Santa Clara City Directories, these old school yearbooks serve as an excellent source of local history and genealogical information.
Some people use them to look for the local advertisements written to appeal to teenagers at the time. Other readers want to see the hair and clothing styles of a certain era. And some users are searching for pictures of parents or grandparents when they were in high school. Or for the photograph of a favor ite teacher. The Library’s yearbook collection also provides great ideas for planning class reunions.
The Wilcox High Yearbook Collection. Until recently the Library’s collection of local high school yearbooks—those for Santa Clara, Wilcox, Peter- son and Buchser—was incomplete. Then, in April, Wilcox High School presented the Library several of the yearbooks that were missing.
The addition of missing yearbooks actually began five years ago, when Joe Miller, the head custodian and an honorary archivist for Wilcox High, found extra copies of many yearbooks from the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He presented them to the Library and they are now part of the new Central Park Library Heritage Pavilion collection.
Then, when Bob Buchser, a retired Principle of Wilcox High School, donated an 1881 “Examination of Teachers” book that had belonged to his father, Emil Buchser, a former Superintendent of the Santa Clara Unified School District, he learned about the incomplete Wilcox High yearbook collection. Bob then suggested that the Library contact Wilcox High Vice Principal, Kathleen McDonald, who had been one of his students. Kathleen then helped the Library to obtain a copy of each of the 18 missing Wilcox yearbooks.
First Library Building Dedicated in 1955. The Library also learned that Kathleen’s mother, Thelma Keech, had been the Chair of the Santa Clara Public Library Board of Trustees when the first Santa Clara Public Library building, located at Lexington and Main Streets—now the Mission Library Family Reading Center—opened and was dedicated in October 1955!
Now Perhaps You Can Help. Yearbooks are still missing from its Santa Clara High School collection: The years needed are 1972 through 1983, and 1992 through 1997. If you know someone who would be willing to donate one of these missing yearbooks, please contact Local History Librarian Mary Hanel at 615-2909 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.