Issues of The Prism vary in content and layout, but seniors are always highlighted. Individual photographs of seniors are arranged in alphabetical order by last name (within each college), and accompanied by information about hometown, major, and fraternity or sorority. Some books also contain photos of members of other classes. The older yearbooks did not contain photographs of individual students, however. Most of them do contain pictures of an entire class, as well as pictures of the athletic teams, the drama club, and more. Also included are sections on the faculty and administration, campus organizations, athletic teams, Greek societies, and events.
The pages of each yearbook are available as PDF files. Every page that I saw was crystal clear and was easy to read. I found it easy to view the images on both a Macintosh and on Windows. (Windows users will need to download Adobe Acrobat or a similar PDF viewer program.) PDF files often have the PRINT function disabled. However, I found that I could print the pages of The Prism on my local printer without any problems.
I went looking for my aunt and uncle from the Class of 1922. I found my uncle in the 1923 Prism. It seems that yearbooks are often published after the school year has ended. I discovered that Uncle Charles was president of his fraternity, a snippet of information that was new to me.
I found Aunt Helen in the Class of 1923, published in the 1924 Prism. Strangely, I always thought they were in the same class. However, this primary source is more believable than my memory. I made the appropriate entries, with source citations, in my genealogy database.
I spent some time looking for other people I knew when I was growing up and found several of them. Of course, looking at the hairstyles and clothing fashions in the various pictures was great fun. The advertisements in the back of each yearbook were also interesting to look at.
From the 1923 Prism:
I sent my son to Maine,
With a pat upon his back.
I spent five thousand dollars,
And got a quarterback.
I guess tuition wasn't cheap even in the twenties!
The University of Maine yearbook digitization project is sponsored by Fogler Library in partnership with the University of Maine Alumni Association.
The Prism yearbooks are available at http://library.umaine.edu/yearbooks.