Former student seeking GRC yearbooks

Ginger Wilson, a George Rogers Clark High School student from the 1980s, has spent the past two years collecting yearbooks from the high school ranging from 1963 to the present day.

“I love to see old yearbooks, so I thought I would see if I could buy them up and scan them and put them onto a few groups that I started for all people to be able to see them and download them for free,” Wilson said.

She said she sees the yearbooks as a collection of history, not just about GRC, but the community at large. Elements from the books, like advertisements, prom songs and theater productions give a glimpse into the economic and cultural state of Winchester during the years they were printed.

Since summer of 2016, Wilson has reached out to the owners of every yearbook since 1963, asking them for permission to scan and copy their yearbooks in order to add them to the database. In that time she has made digital copies of every yearbook except for the books from 1969 and 1997. She said getting the books has not always been easy.

“So many students would vent that their yearbook was so precious that they would never let me scan it; nor would they send it out of state to me,” Wilson said. “I had a few friends that I even blocked because they knew me personally and volunteered their yearbooks but then got greedy and would not send them to allow me to complete this project.”

There has been a cost associated with the project as well.

“I bought 1998 through 2017 for $50 a book plus shipping to Tennessee. Well, over $1,050 just for those 21 books,” she said. “I also made an agreement saying whomever sends their yearbooks to be scanned will get the postage they paid reimbursed, plus I paid to send it back to them on a UPS tracking two-day delivery and some I paid extra to get confirmation of delivery.”

Wilson said one owner of five yearbooks charged her $300 for their scans, but some others provided their own scans to her free of charge.

In addition to the yearbook scans themselves, Wilson said she is creating a memorial page for all the students from the yearbook who have died. She is also creating a Facebook page linking anyone who is interested to the businesses, locations and events shown in the yearbooks.

“I am headed into 2018 needing the last two and knowing no one in those two classes,” Wilson said. “I will be glad when I complete the borrowing process. The rest is easy and involves no one but myself.”

Anyone with a copy of the 1969 or 1997 yearbooks who want to help Wilson finish her collection can contact her at gingerwilson12@yahoo.com.