Blog written by Amy LeMoine, staff member, Halifax Central Library
Did you know that Halifax Public Libraries has a collection of local high school and college yearbooks?
When searching for genealogical information about your family and ancestors, there is more to explore than the most common genealogical sources such as censuses and vital records.
A treasure trove of information
Yearbooks can be a treasure trove of useful and unique information about students, teachers, and staff, including age, school career, where they lived, and their families. You can determine someone’s approximate age by learning where someone was at a specific time and place. Some yearbooks traced students’ school careers before or after their tenure at that school; for example, senior high school students’ future university destination. You may also discover where someone lived in their community, or even their address. If brothers and sisters attended the same school, you can even trace family connections in a yearbook by searching for students with the same last name.
Unlike many other genealogical records, yearbooks are often full of photos. You could see your grandmother’s school photograph, and find her in club or sports team photos, or in candid group shots. Learn more about who your family members were as a person—what were their interests, hobbies, and skills? Who were their classmates, friends, and teammates? Was your grandfather on the varsity hockey team? Did your mother sing in the glee club? Take the time to peruse the entire yearbook to find these pieces of information.
Yearbooks also provide a sense of the era in which they were produced and some include history, current events, and local happenings. You might find out about school events such as dances, plays, and model parliament.
Look back with Ancestry
There are digitized yearbooks on Ancestry.ca, available for viewing online at Halifax Central Library.
How to: Search for yearbooks using Ancestry Library Edition
- Visit the website AncestryLibrary.ca, opens a new window—you must be at a Halifax Public Libraries branch for this online resource to work.
- Scroll down to Quick Links and select Schools, Directories & Church Histories.
- On the right-hand-side menu click School Lists & Yearbooks.
- Now, you can filter by location or date.
- Click here, opens a new window to search the collection of Canadian School lists and yearbooks.
Our yearbook inventory
Halifax Public Libraries has high school and college yearbooks for local schools in the HRM, including St. Patrick’s High School, Queen Elizabeth High School, Prince Andrew High School, Dartmouth High School, Nova Scotia Community College, Dartmouth Regional Vocational School, and more. Our collections can be found at Halifax Central Library and at Alderney Gate Public Library.
View the most up-to-date list of available yearbooks, here on our website:
We want your yearbooks!
The Library has many yearbooks, but there are gaps in our collection. Check the inventory above to see what we already have and what we need. If you have one of our missing years, please contact us, we’d be happy to give the yearbook a new home.