Library seeks yearbook donations
If you’re still spring cleaning, and you’re ready to let go of your school yearbooks, please consider donating them to your library!
T.B. Scott Free Library takes pride in being a resource for the Merrill area’s collective memory. Among the repositories of that memory are yearbooks published by Merrill High School and Prairie River Middle School.
The Merrill High School yearbook began in the 1894/95 school year as a monthly literary journal called School Bell Echoes, which would have a “souvenir edition” each May including the commencement program. A high school annual in the modern format began with the 1908/09 school year and, in the 1916/17 school year, the annual took the title KEMO (Keep Every Memory Ours). A KEMO has been published every year since then, except for the 1932/33 school year, in the midst of the Great Depression.
“Ideally, we’d like to have at least two complete copies of every school yearbook published in Merrill,” says library assistant director Don Litzer. Right now, while the library has at least one copy of every KEMO, a second copy is lacking or damaged for 11 editions. The library would appreciate KEMO donations for the following years: 1949, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1989, and 1993.
Prairie River Middle School has been publishing a yearbook for at least 15 years. While it has been traditionally less coveted than the KEMO, the library has recently recognized its historic value and would appreciate donated copies for any year to build its collection. Especially valuable would be yearbooks 1998 or earlier, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009 (the library has one copy of each of the other years).
Finally, there’s the Mah-Wah, published by graduating classes of Lincoln County Normal School, which was located in present-day Normal Park. This school produced the teachers that served in the one-room
schools that some of us can still remember, and which the Merrill Historical Society’s Brickyard School commemorates.
The library has Mah-Wah editions for 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931 and 1935. If you have other years to offer, they would be very much appreciated.
If the library receives a surplus of donations for any yearbook, they’ll be offered to the Merrill Historical Society to help fill out their collection.
Contact T.B. Scott Free Library at 715-536-7191 with your questions, or check the library’s website at tbscottlibrary.org for more information about the library and its services.