As I watched the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special earlier this year, I was taken back to the late 70s when I was correspondingly in my late 20s.

The first season of SNL was in 1975. I was a newly-minted college graduate, living in Manhattan and working as a production manager for Christmas catalog company. It was an entry-level job where liberal arts majors were overworked and underpaid. (Not much has changed there except now they call it “internships.”) Being young and single, every night was date night, and going out happened any day of the week. Saturday nights were no exception, but with one difference. Most of us wanted to be in front of a TV at 11:30 to watch SNL

It should be noted here, for the whipper-snappers among us, that this was pre-DVRs, pre-internet, pre-OnDemand, pre-Netflix. VCRs were just coming on the scene, and you could “set the timer” to record something, but couldn’t count on it to actually do so. If you didn’t watch it “live,” you didn’t see it. Period. Well, you had a second chance during summer re-runs — a happy surprise if you missed a show.  Otherwise, you needed to rely on the office water cooler to find out what happened.

Landshark, “Jane, You Ignorant Slut,” Roseanne Roseannadanna, Mr. Bill, Barbara Wawa, Chee-burger, Lisa Loopner and Todd, The Blues Brothers…watching these characters again immediately brought me back. The same happened to some of my friends, I discovered. I got an email message during the show from a friend I haven’t seen in 20 years.  The message was brief, but meaningful: “I'm watching SNL and thinking about all the laughs we had watching the originals!!!”

Me, too.

Sometimes I grow nostalgic for my school days—college, secondary school and earlier. “Remember David? What was his last name?” “Where was Becky from?” “Mr. White taught bio and what else?” “There’s a new building where the senior dorm used to be. That was a cool building. Ok, so it was a little unsafe. But cool.”

“I know! Let’s look it up in the yearbooks. I have them somewhere. Oh, no. I only have my yearbook, not the ones of those around me, so I can’t look up Becky. I have an idea: Let’s look up our yearbooks online. Wait. What? We can’t see our yearbooks online? Bummer, man.”

If I could, I could relive my school days, wax nostalgic about them, and get inspired to connect with a friend, visit campus, volunteer for something, go to reunion, or even make a donation.  Plus, it would drive traffic to the school’s website.

The cost of digitizing a yearbook (quoted on one website as $34.00) is a small price to pay for potential connections to an alum or potential donor.

A quick Google search yielded these services.

Blueleaf Book Scanning

Bound Book Scanning

Erecords USA

Have you digitized your yearbooks yet? Do you have any advice for school marketers who haven’t done it yet? 


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