Deb Merxbauer

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Journalism and Mass Communications


Intended to provide information and background for high school advisers and editors, this paper provides a history of high school yearbook coverage and trends from their beginnings in the 1600s through 1996 and investigates whether changes in yearbook content and trends reflect changes in American society. An extensive literature review provides a history of high school yearbooks and related technology in five phases- the pre-yearbook phase from 1600-1844, the letterpress phase from 1845-1930, the offset phase from 1931-1950, the experimental phase from 1951-1979, and the audio-video and computer technology phase from 1980- 1996. The literature review also contains the history of the Sioux Falls High Schools; the sport of basketball; women's suffrage, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and Title IX; and the history of the Sioux Falls/Washington High School basketball program. From information gathered it was concluded that yearbooks reflect movements and fads, political and economic events, inventions and technological advances and music, movie and media influences. Footnotes, over 40 scanned images, a 166-item bibliography, and nine appendices are included.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Washington High School (Sioux Falls, S.D.) -- Students -- Yearbooks

Washington High School (Sioux Falls, S.D.) -- Basketball -- History

Content analysis (Communication)

School yearbooks -- South Dakota --Sioux Falls



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University