Skip to main content
University of Louisville University Libraries


Digital Collections : University of Louisville Yearbooks

University of Louisville Yearbooks

About the Collection

University of Louisville students produced their first yearbook, The Colonel, in 1909. The Colonel apparently ceased publication after the 1912 edition, leaving a gap in the documentation of student life until 1922, when its successor, The Kentucky Cardinal, began monthly publication during the school year, with the June edition serving as a de facto yearbook. By 1924, the school year-end annual edition of The Kentucky Cardinal had been renamed The Thoroughbred, a title which lasted until 1972, despite a somewhat sporadic publishing record (no issues were produced in 1932, 1934-1938, 1943, 1945-1946, and 1970-1971).

During and after World War II two small publications were created to fill the gap while The Thoroughbred was on hiatus: The Key (1943) and The Class Cards (1946). The Thoroughbred Magazine briefly replaced the yearbook from 1969-1971, with multiple issues (four the first year and three thereafter) including poetry in addition to photographs. The Thoroughbred yearbook reappeared in 1972 for one last time, then, after another year without a yearbook (1973), it was replaced by The Déjà Vu (1974-1976). After another gap (1977-1978), the last major attempt at a UofL yearbook, Minerva, was produced from 1979-1980 and again in 1982 (there is no 1981 yearbook, although the 1982 yearbook covers 1981 events and includes class photos from 1981).

Please be advised that these yearbooks may contain images, language, and themes that may be offensive to some viewers. The University of Louisville does not endorse the content of these items. However, they present an aspect of the cultural record which we deem worthy of preserving and presenting.

This digital collection contains full-text searchable digital versions of all University of Louisville yearbooks. The yearbooks were scanned in chronological order, and the digital collection was updated in phases as groups of scans were completed and cataloged. Magazines (such as The Kentucky Cardinal monthly publications and The Thoroughbred quarterly publications) and yearbooks for individual schools (such as the School of Dentistry’s Plugger and the School of Law’s Jeffersonian) are not intended for inclusion at this time.

Conditions of Use

The University of Louisville welcomes fair use of this website and its contents. If you wish to publish, broadcast, or publicly display these materials, please notify Archives and Special Collections. In addition, it is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions, which may include paying fees for commercial use. For further information about permissions, use, and ordering reproductions, see Order Reproductions, or contact Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.

To cite an image from this collection, please use the format:

[Title], University of Louisville Archives and Records Center, Louisville, Kentucky.

To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).


The yearbooks were scanned by Marcy Werner and Rachael Ritter in 2010-2011 using the BetterLight overhead scanning setup with Linhof Kardan M camera and 135mm or 120mm Rodenstock lens.

Each page was scanned as a 600 ppi, 24-bit RGB TIFF file. Using CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software version 5.3.1, Rachel I. Howard uploaded the page images as lossy JPEG2000 files of Maximum quality, with file transcripts generated by using the ABBYY FineReader Optical Character Recognition (OCR) extension.

Rachel I. Howard created document-level metadata for each yearbook in accordance with our data dictionary (PDF).

Terri L. Holtze designed the HTML pages.

Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., provided copyright advice.

Select the collections to add or remove from your search