The yearbooks of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) are now available to view online or download as a PDF document on the college website after a four-year digital scanning project that was recently completed by the NEO Library and Archive. Between 1926 and 2002 NEO published more than 60 yearbooks. The annuals contain photos of students, campus activities, clubs and organizations, and athletic events and serve as time capsules for alumni and the college.
NEO began as the Miami School of Mines in 1919 but became Northeastern Oklahoma Junior College in 1924. The first annual was published in 1926 and entitled The JaySeer, a play on the initials J.C. for Junior College. Publication may have ceased from 1932 – 1946; no volumes for those years have been found. Publication resumed in 1947, by which time the name of the college had been changed to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, and the name of the yearbook changed to The Viking in honor of the Golden Norsemen mascot.
Digitizing the yearbooks became a priority for the NEO Archive after library staff members realized how important the yearbooks were to alumni. The goal of the digital scanning project was to preserve the yearbooks and improve access for users. The digital scanning of the yearbooks ensures they are maintained in a more durable format and the original copy is conserved by reducing how often volumes are handled. Creating digital copies of the yearbooks ensures they will be available for generations of Golden Norsemen to enjoy.
“The online yearbooks will be a great resource for our alumni and their families,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “The collection will allow former Norsemen to stroll down memory lane from the convenience of their own computer and reconnect with their alma mater.”
The scanning of the digital yearbooks took more than four years to complete since digitization is a time-intensive project. Sloane Brown, Director of the NEO Library and Archive, oversaw the digitization process with a team who prepped the yearbooks, scanned them in archival quality format, performed edits of the scanned images and checked the completed files for accuracy. Finally the NEO Technology Services department loaded the files on a server and made them accessible through the new NEO website.
“It’s a privilege to be part of this college and its one-of-a-kind history,” Brown said. “We hope everyone enjoys the collection and appreciates the library’s efforts to make these yearbooks available online.”
Norsemen from the past and present who want to view or download PDF copies of the yearbooks should navigate to the archive webpage on the NEO website at https://www.neo.edu/neoarchive. The purpose of the NEO Archive is to collect documents, photographs, artwork, videos and other materials that tell the unique story of the college, and to preserve those materials as part of the living history of NEO’s great Norse Tradition. Future digital archiving projects are planned as NEO approaches their centennial celebration in 2019.