The students in some of these 19th and early 20th century graduation photographs were dressed in their very finest clothing, with young men in suits and young women in lace adorned white dresses. Bouquets of roses surround the graduates and symbolize an important occasion. Rolled sheepskin diplomas were presented to students instead of the flat diploma we use today. By 1917, graduates wore gowns.
Fads and styles change from generation to generation, but many rituals and symbols of graduation remain the same today as they were 100 + years ago. Graduation marks an important achievement. It symbolizes the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Different generations have common memories of student life and graduation, such as commencement ceremonies, speeches, diplomas, caps and gowns, music, friends, proud parents and family, and anticipation towards the future.
In addition to our large collection of historic school photographs, the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center holds a nearly complete run of Morristown High School yearbooks from 1910 to the present. Yearbooks are a useful genealogical resource. Individuals can be located to a particular time and place, and much can be discovered about their interests, hobbies, and sibling relationships. Yearbooks offer interesting photographs and information as well as general history about time periods and locations. We invite you to come to our reading room (in the lower level of the library) and ask to see the yearbooks from our collection.