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Decades of Loyola memories go online

Loyola press release - August 29, 2011

Want to take a trip down memory lane of your college days at Loyola University New Orleans, but can’t find your old edition of The Wolf yearbook? No worries. Pictures that you haven’t seen in years are just a click away, while articles from old editions of the university newspaper, The Maroon, may not be far behind.

Due to a partnership with the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative and through funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Loyola has published 62 editions of the digitally re-mastered yearbook and made available absolutely free online. The editions begin in 1924 and continue through 2007, but there are gaps when Loyola did not produce a yearbook, most notably during much of the 1930s (the Great Depression) and the 1970s (the Vietnam War). The university is also hoping to add digitized archived editions of The Maroon to the online collection in the near future.

“It’s taken almost a year, but we are very excited to finally get all of these editions of The Wolf online,” said project coordinator and Special Collections Librarian and Archivist Trish Nugent. “It’s extremely easy to use. You just click on the year you want and it pops up right in front of you. Instead of scrolling, all you have to do is click and it turns the page for you. It’s just like reading a book.”

The process of digitizing archived editions of The Maroon is proving more difficult because of two formidable problems - the lack of funding and the conditions of the archived papers.

“To properly scan the archived editions of The Maroon, it takes time and money,” Nugent said. “The papers are some of the most heavily used of our archives and are extremely delicate. They need to be handled very carefully, especially during the scanning process. We need around $50,000 to get the whole project done and right now we just don’t have enough funding.”

Nugent says the library has raised almost $32,000 for the project and is actively seeking contributions. Anyone interested in donating can contact university library interim dean Deborah Poole at 504-864-7133 or poole@loyno.edu.

In addition to The Wolf, the university also digitized nearly 500 school bulletins dating back from 1886, when Loyola was still known as the College of the Immaculate Conception. The bulletins described school life, college majors, course descriptions and even tuition expenses.