Central College has preserved more than 125 years of history through its student newspaper and yearbook. The original copies had begun to crumble, but a permanent digital archive now makes these publications available to readers anywhere.
Central’s alumni office partnered with Advantage Companies in Cedar Rapids to complete the digitization project, supported by grants and gifts from the State of Iowa Historical Research Development Program, MidWestOne Foundation, Geisler Library, Central College Student Senate and Central alumni.
The publications date back to 1876 (The Ray student newspaper) and 1907 (The Pelican yearbook). Users can search by date, keyword or name at centralcollege.advantage-preservation.com.
“As you can imagine, the Pelicans, especially, were in terrible shape,” said grant proposal writer Val Van Kooten. “Flaking, tissue-thin pages, smudged letters, cracked bindings — every time someone came to look through these, we winced, wondering if they would hold up.”
The Ray and Pelican recorded many historic events, from Central’s student army formed in 1917 to the visit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Even the advertisements preserve a glimpse into the fashions, music, businesses, clubs, organizations and life during a different time. And of course, the publications hold many memories for decades of Central students.
Search the archives: centralcollege.advantage-preservation.com