Highlight: Online Old Gold Yearbooks

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has evolved and changed a lot over time, such as moving from its founding name of Iowa State Normal School to UNI. Yearbooks are a great way to learn about these changes and see glimpses of past life on this campus! From 1905, yearbooks were published under the title Old Gold. Then in 1969-1972, UNI published these yearbooks in a magazine type format that was published under the name the UNI Quarterly. However, this format was discontinued and the Old Gold publications were resumed in 1979 until the last production in 1997. 

The front of the 1997 Old Gold yearbook, the most downloaded Yearbook on the website.

Did you know that the Old Gold is available online for everyone to see in the UNI institutional repository, ScholarWorks? Library staff have scanned each year of the UNI yearbooks, from 1905 to 1997, and you can view them online in ScholarWorks in digital format as well as  download them as PDFs.  


These online yearbooks are great sources of information to find photos of past professors, students, clubs, activities, and departments. They feature countless pictures and descriptions that make researching and finding information easier. Although these yearbooks are out of print, they are still highly enjoyable to look through. The transition between black and white photographs and color, and the gradual change of picture quality is so interesting to look at! 


Readers from all over the world have viewed and downloaded these yearbooks, which make a great resource for scholarly and personal research. For example, you can search  for past relatives that attended UNI, and you might even find photographs of your relatives that you may have never seen before. Alumni and students have also used the yearbooks to research athletics, campus events, student organizations, and departments from years past. In this way, the yearbooks are a great starting point to identify key people and events to research further, such as the name of a past department head or president of a student organization. 


While we don’t print yearbooks at UNI anymore, there is still the UNI directory that can help you find professors and students, as well as updated online information to find certain organizations, sports, and upcoming events. Two other great online resources that SC&UA offers are IndexUNI, which features articles from university publications, and the faculty roster, which is a compilation of faculty members over the years.  Of course, when the library re-opens, you can always visit SC&UA located on the third floor of Rod Library for further information about campus history and to browse the physical yearbooks themselves.



The campanile on a snowy day.


A drawn map of the University of Northern Iowa's campus.



Contributed by Library Assistant Katie Currier, April 2020.