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A Home for Local History

 

FCPL's Virginia Room is creating online and physical collections of our community's school yearbooks.

Stories of Our Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and its alumni are an important part of Fairfax County’s rich history, and the Virginia Room located in the City of Fairfax Regional Library is your place to start exploring their stories. Founded in 1870 with the passage of the Virginia Public Free Schools Act — which established the state’s first system of free education for all children — FCPS included 41 schools in the rural county during its inaugural 1870-1871 school year. That number has since grown to 222 schools, making FCPS the largest school system in Virginia. More than 12,000 teachers instruct nearly 190,000 students who are transported on one of the largest bus fleets in the United States.

Yearbooks Go Digital

Digitized YearbooksThe Virginia Room’s commitment to preserving the history of FCPS inspired its participation in the Library of Virginia’s Yearbook Digitization Project. Since 2016 the Virginia Room has scanned more than 300 FCPS yearbooks loaned out by the Virginia Room, school libraries and private citizens. These digitized yearbooks from 36 elementary, middle and high schools are available on the nonprofit Internet Archive’s free digital library and are even keyword searchable.

This collection has helped genealogical researchers seeking photos of family members and local history enthusiasts searching for images of defunct Fairfax County businesses, which often appeared in the back of yearbooks as sponsors. As the digitization project moves forward during FCPS’s 150th anniversary in 2020, only high school yearbooks will be scanned.

Donate Your Yearbooks

The Virginia Room also maintains a physical collection of nearly 500 FCPS and private school yearbooks in its Rare Book Room. If you have any old, unused FCPS yearbooks collecting dust at home, consider donating them to us when the library resumes accepting materials after the COVID-19 suspension of donations. The Virginia Room accepts the donation of Fairfax County public and private school yearbooks from any years to add to this collection.

To view school yearbooks available in the Virginia Room’s collection or to view digitized FCPS yearbooks, visit research.fairfaxcounty.gov/local-history/school-yearbooks.

Files and Photographs

In addition to yearbooks, the Virginia Room houses other resources pertaining to FCPS, including local history files, newspaper articles, and, of course, the Photographic Archive of Fairfax County. This incomparable repository includes more than 13,400 images of the people, places and events of the county. For more information about the Virginia Room’s local history resources, call us at 703-293-6227 (option 6), or visit us online at research.fairfaxcounty.gov/local-history.

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