Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Long Beach Yearbooks

Last night I was renewing some library books online, and I noticed that the digital archives include local high school yearbooks. I love looking at yearbooks – they’re a great snapshot of a time and place. And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 If nothing else, they provide lots of hairstyle references! 
I think anyone can look at these without an account with the Long Beach library. They're in pdf format, so you will need Adobe to look at the files. Some of the scans aren't the best, oh well.

I haven't looked through all of them yet (there are 77!) but so far my favorites are Wilson High School from 1938-1940. There are some truly stunning photographs, a common theme is "Beautiful Girls", and for the ad section they sent students out to the businesses for photos and write ups. Very cute!

Thespian Club, Wilson High School, 1940

W Club Service Group, Wilson High School, 1940

Knott's Berry Place, 1940 - before it became Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park with major roller coasters!

Christmas Swing dance, Wilson High School, 1938 - I think the boy in the bottom center is the bandleader?

White Graduation Gowns, Wilson High School, 1938

Go to Zukor's for your dress, then head to the Tee-Pee after the dance! Wilson High School, 1938

Backstage in the Auditorium, Wilson High School, 1939

Hip Hip Hooray! Wilson High School, 1939

Herb and his Ambassadors, Wilson High School, 1939

Wilson High School, 1939

Wilson High School, 1939

A corsage lasts longer if you take her to the ice rink for your date! Wilson High School, 1939


  1. Awesome! I had a blog planned on a similar theme. I have my grandma's autograph book from her junior high graduation from about the same time 1937-38ish and the thing that the kids wrote to each other are priceless. Way better than "stay sweet and have a neat summer." It is great to know that there are archives out there!

  2. Thanks for posting these pics! My mom went to Wilson in the 60s so I've seen the yearbooks from that era, but these are much cuter!

    - Julie (whom you knew from dancing way-back-when)

  3. these are the most put-together teenagers I've ever seen!! Most people in my yearbooks looked scruffy and zitty and stoned LOL!!!

  4. Thank you for posting this. I went to Poly and it was fun looking back on my school's golden era!


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