Ancestry.com

U.S. Yearbooks Collection Gets Major Upgrade/New Photo Sweepstakes on Facebook

Posted by Sean Pate on August 24, 2011 in Ancestry.com Site

Ancestry.com has just announced a massive expansion of the world’s most extensive searchable collection of U.S. school yearbooks available online. It now totals over 35,000 and carries 155 million records encompassing the years 1884 to 2009. The U.S. Yearbook Collection includes close to seven million images from thousands of U.S. high schools, junior highs, academies, colleges and universities.

In addition to providing a vast resource for finding more information about your relatives, the newly updated U.S. Yearbook Collection is also littered with images of famous Americans from the last century. We have included a special gallery that features some of them here; but there are hundreds more to be found in the collection.  Enter the Find the Famous Yearbook Photo Sweepstakes on Facebook to locate additional photos of high-profile people and a winner will be chosen randomly.

The contest is quite simple to enter. All users need to do is visit the new U.S. Yearbooks Collection, think of a famous person and get searching. Once you have found their photo, crop the image so just the person is featured and save it. Then visit our Facebook page and click the Contests tab on the left hand side to enter and upload your photo.

The contest starts today and will end on September 7th. The winner will be announced on Ancestry.com’s Facebook page September 8th. We wish you good luck and happy searching!

16 comments

Comments
1 Andy HatchettAugust 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Unless the OCR indexing has *vastly* improved from previous efforts, this is going to be a great exercise in frustration for most who partake in the adventure.

2 Andy HatchettAugust 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Well, it seems the OCR indexing *has* improved. I found who I was looking for right at the top of my search results!

3 BobNYAugust 24, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Are you people incompetent or is it that you just don’t care?????

Sean Pate apologized on July 19th in another blog entry when criticized for not announcing up front who was eligible for a contest:
“In the future we will be more clear as to whether or not a person can participate in a contest or sweepstakes outside of the United States . . .”

From the Official Rules of this contest:
” Participants must be legal residents of the 50 United States (or the District of Columbia). . .”

From the blog entry announcing this sweepstakes:
” ”
===================================
And again the right hand (PR flaks) does not know what the left hand (lawyers) is doing.
From the Facebook announcement page:
“Only persons residing in United States who are at least 13 years of age can enter.”

From the Official Rules:
“Participants must be legal residents of the 50 United States (or the District of Columbia), who has the age of majority in his or her state of residence at the time of entry.

There is a big difference between residing in the United states abd being a legal resident. About 12 million bodies at last count.

There is also a big difference between 13 years of age and the age of majority, which is 18 in most states, but can be as high as 21, e.g. Mississippi.

4 Night owlAugust 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Quote:

“The contest is quite simple to enter. All users need to do is visit the new U.S. Yearbooks Collection, think of a famous person and get searching. Once you have found their photo, crop the image so just the person is featured and save it. Then visit our Facebook page and click the Contests tab on the left hand side to enter and upload your photo.”

Are you nuts? I have a hard enough time doing my own family and all its branches, and finding enough time to do it! I don’t have time to research a famous person!

5 DorothyAugust 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

Why should I be forced to give up my information to facebook, I pay for ancestry that should be enough.

6 Deb HAugust 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

Again with having to be a Facebook member to enter…no thanks.

7 MitchAugust 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

Interesting, but I won’t turn on Facebook apps and give access to my profile just to enter.

8 SteveAugust 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

The OCR indexing has improved? If what I have seen just in my first few searches is anything to go by, it must have been truly appalling before.

Take the yearbook page which refers to “Dorothy Alischer – Library Club” and which goes on to say “Quiet and Studious is our Dot …” She has been indexed three times – first as “Dorothy Alisherlibrary”, second as “Quiet”, and thirdly as “Dot”! Other ‘names’ indexed on the same page include President Chester Andersonclass, Lovely, Smiling, and Dorothy Ballishswimming.

9 Matt HallAugust 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I just searched for myself and when none of the results were relevant, I decided to browse the individual records only to find that the 2 high schools I attended aren’t available, but the town rival schools are. Go figure.

10 Matt HallAugust 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

There is no chance that I will find anyone in this collection. I did some more hunting around and I nearly every school I checked only has 1 year available. I also looked and the cities for my father and wife aren’t even listed. :(

11 PJCoppAugust 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Well, this is limited in scope, but the real problem is that general (global searches) do not bring results for this database. So, you need to go there and do searching, and I found the best results using only a last name, as the first name is often omitted or abbreviated, and the inferred date of birth can be very far off, especially in cases of graduate programs and degrees. Some normalization of school names would make this more useful.

12 SusanAugust 27, 2011 at 8:11 am

Does Ancestry accept donations of old yearbooks? If so, please post information on where they can be sent.

13 LoriAugust 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

I was researching, George Allen “Pat” Summerall, b 1030. Columbia High School, University of Arkansas, who later became a famous football player and a broadcaster. Not to be found in index. I FOUND HIM ON GOOGLE WITH NO PROBLEMS, mmm…

At Columbia High School in Lake City, Florida, Summerall played football, tennis, baseball, and basketball.[1][2][dead link] Although basketball was his favorite sport, he was recognized as an All-State selection in basketball and football.[3] He was inducted into the FHSAA hall of fame and was later named to the FHSAA’s All-Century Team.

[edit] CollegeSummerall played college football from 1949 to 1951 at the University of Arkansas, where he played defensive end, tight end, and placekicker positions. He graduated from UA in 1953.

[edit] ProfessionalSummerall spent ten years as a professional football player in the National Football League, primarily as a placekicker. The Detroit Lions drafted Summerall as a fourth-round draft choice in the 1952 NFL Draft.[4] Summerall played the pre-season with the Lions before breaking his arm, which ended the year for him.[5] After that season, he was traded and went on to play for the Chicago Cardinals from 1953 to 1957 and the New York Giants from 1958 to 1961, during which he was a part of The Greatest Game Ever Played. His best professional year statistically was 1959, when Summerall scored 90 points on 30-for-30 (100%) extra-point kicking and 20-for-29 (69%) field goal kicking.

14 swayaminfotechAugust 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Interesting, but I won’t turn on Facebook apps and give access to my profile just to enter.

15 MikeAugust 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Is this sweepstakes even legal?

Per the rules “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.”

You have to be a paying member of Ancestry.com to enter. I would call that a purchase.

Dialing my attorney general…

16 swayamSeptember 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Enter the Find the Famous Yearbook Photo Sweepstakes on Facebook to locate additional photos of high-profile people and a winner will be chosen randomly.

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