SUNY Potsdam history, including yearbooks, now online
POTSDAM - Many people may remember the days when phenomenal ice sculptures stood before Potsdam’s sororities and fraternities and college students took to the stage for Cavalcade, or may even recall that SUNY Potsdam was originally called Potsdam Normal School.
All of this information plus over 100 years of Potsdam College’s history may now be found online through the North Country Digital History site at history.nnyln.net, provided free of charge to the public by the Northern New York Library Network.A total of 10,911 pages from Potsdam Normal School and SUNY Potsdam “Pioneer” yearbooks have been scanned and placed online. The first edition dates back to 1897. These early yearbooks were small with only a few pages highlighting the college’s graduates. The “Pioneer” was printed continuously through 1996, then with an issue in 1998, and a final edition in 2002.
“Our college yearbooks are the heaviest used resource of any contained in our SUNY Potsdam College Archives and Special Collections,” noted Jane Subramanian, SUNY Potsdam College Archivist. “When searching for information in the past, archives staff and patrons have had to search page by page through yearbooks to find needed information. In the case of some research needs, the exact or approximate dates are unknown, which has resulted in having to search manually through several years of yearbooks, sometimes to no avail.
“Researchers searching for content information for our permanent exhibit on the history of the college, located in the Mary E. English Commons in Satterlee Hall, particularly struggled to find needed information through this frustrating, cumbersome, and time consuming manual process,” Mrs. Subramanian continued. “The ability of patrons to access and use our run of yearbooks no matter where they are located is a tremendous benefit. In addition, the (online) keyword search capacity will increase the ability to retrieve needed information in a significantly reduced amount of time with better results.
“Given that planning is already underway on campus for SUNY Potsdam's Bicentennial Celebration in 2016, the completion of the digitization of our yearbooks for availability at this point is particularly timely,” Mrs. Subramanian said. “Our entire campus community has been very excited about this project to digitize our yearbooks, and I know they will put the new digitized resource immediately to good use.”