Related product Collections Management

Yearbook Digitization Project

In 2013, the CARLI Board of Directors approved funding for the digitization of the student yearbooks OR the student newspaper for all CARLI Governing members. The following information is for those institutions that have chosen to have yearbooks digitized. Institutions may choose to digitize yearbooks OR newspapers, but not both. The newspaper portion of the project is on hold pending the FY16 budget.

For this project, CARLI is working with the Internet Archive, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The Internet Archive has already digitized over 8,200 books, serials, and pamphlets for CARLI since 2008. These materials are freely available to CARLI libraries and the world, through the Internet Archive

Through their extensive experience digitizing thousands of college and university yearbooks, the Internet Archive has  identified four areas where the physical design, size, binding or paper type might not yield optimal digitization results. Please review the following Internet Archive Policy Statement about yearbook digitization in order to determine if any items in your collection may be problematic.

Internet Archive Policy Statement regarding Student Yearbooks

For the Library Partners:

Libraries and various institutions have been very keen to have the Internet Archive digitize yearbooks. We have, over the course of our operations, digitized thousands of yearbooks over the past few years.

We have learned that there are four areas where the physical design, size, binding or paper type of a yearbook might not yield an online image that meets the expectations of the content provider or end user. These four areas are detailed below:

  1. Glare appears on portions of the pages. The cause of this issue is black and/or glossy physical pages. While we have tried various approaches to solve this problem, we do not have a solution that is 100% effective.

  2. Center text or images are cut off. Many yearbooks have text or images that run into the center gutter. Due to our non-destructive scanning methodology, we can’t capture images or text that run into the gutter. The only partial solution we have is to over crop the center gutter, which does not guarantee the capture of text or images that are deep in the gutter. A decision needs to be made before scanning about pre-approving center over crop on all pages or no pages of an entire shipment of yearbooks.

  3. Text or images that run to the outer edge of the page are cut off. To address this situation, we will, as a standard procedure, over crop the outer pages. This will result in up to a 0.5-inch dark colored border around each of the pages.

  4. Moiré pattern appears on images.  On occasion, the printing of an image or picture may result in a digitized image that displays undesired digital artifacts in pictures or photographs on a page. This is due to a rare interference pattern that occurs when the grid of the printed image is overlaid with the grid of the camera sensors, and is more common when digitizing halftone images. The results can range from a mild-to-extreme moiré pattern. We can’t predict when this will happen and at this stage do not have a solution for this condition.

We are working to improve our capabilities to address these situations, but until a better solution is found, please be aware that digitization of these types of materials could yield the aforementioned results. As such, we will not be able to rescan or correct items that display these conditions.

What Does My Institution Need To Do To Participate?

  • Confirm that your institution has the right to digitize the your materials. If your institution is not the copyright holder, you will need to contact the copyright holder for permission to digitize the materials in order to participate in the program. 
  • Complete the Director/Designee Signature Sheet. Please open in an external reader.  Either send completed form by email to or by fax to (217) 244-7596.
  • Determine the official “contributor” name that should be used to identify your institution and your materials on the Internet Archive web site and in any promotional materials. (COMPLETE the form on this page.)
  • Provide information needed to create a collection/institutional page on the Internet Archive site, and respond to other requests for information to aid the project. (COMPLETE the form on this page.)
  • Provide a JPEG or GIF image of your institutional logo to appear on your page on the Internet Archive. Image dimensions MUST BE NO LARGER than 250 x 75 pixels. 
  • Prepare your materials for digitization in a timely manner, following the guidelines provided by CARLI. The digitization site will scan everything that institutions send to them, regardless of the condition of the item. Materials that should be excluded or rejected based on the condition of the item should be flagged to the attention of the digitization staff.
  • Create a shipping list for the materials to be digitized.
  • The CARLI office will provide shipping labels at no cost to you after your shipping list has been submitted.
  • Ship your materials in a timely manner.
  • Review the digitized files to confirm that you are satisfied with the digitization.
  • Notify CARLI in a timely manner about any digitization problems.
  • Notify CARLI when items may be shipped back to you. The CARLI office will provide return shipping labels at no cost to you.

Begin the Submission Process

If you would like to participate in the program to have your institutional (or any preceding institution) yearbooks digitized, please complete the following information in order to begin the process. This program is not intended to digitize high school yearbooks that may be affiliated with your institution.

9. Please indicate how your contributed materials should be credited within the metadata of each item. The Internet Archive calls this the "Book Contributor Information."

Your choice will be the name associated with all materials that are contributed by your organization at the Internet Archive. If your institution has digitized materials through the CARLI Book Digitization Initiative, then your "Book Contributor Information" has already been determined.


  • Prelinger Library
  • University of Toronto, John M. Kelly Library
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Northwestern University
  • McKendree University, Holman Library
  • Milner Library, Illinois State University

10.  Information for Institutional Page

The Internet Archive creates a page for each contributing institution. That page contains an institutional logo and some information about the materials digitized. The Internet Archive will not begin to digitize materials until the institutional page is created

Here are examples of two CARLI members that have had institutional pages created:

A. Determine your Collection Identifier.  The Collection Identifier is what you would your page to be named (see the end portion of the above URLs "lakeforestcollege" and "principiacollege")

Guidelines for the Collection Identifier:

  1. No more than 50 characters
  2. Only letters and numbers no other characters
  3. All lower case letters (no capitals)
  4. Only standard abbreviations
  5. Avoid using acronyms

If you have already digitized materials through the Internet Archive, you already have a Collection Identifier.  Please use that identifier for this form.

B. What is the URL for your organization?  This will link your institutional page on the Internet Archive site back to your organization's webpage. This can be the web address for your library, special collections, or your main institution.

C. Description of the collection (can contain html): This may be a verbose statement to both showcase your institution and the items in your collection. You may include URLs you want included in the institutional page.

D. Provide the title and year of your Spotlight Item. A Spotlight Item is one item in your collection that will be featured on your institutional page on the Internet Archive website.

E. Attach a JPEG or GIF image. Image dimensions MUST BE NO LARGER than 250 x 75 pixels. If you do not provide a logo, the CARLI logo will be used. To attach image, click the "Choose File" button to select your image. Once selected, click the "Upload" button to upload image to this form.)