School memories are captured in the pages of elementary school yearbooks. Yearbooks highlight the students who attended the school during a particular school year. Maybe you are searching for the correct spelling of the name of a long lost childhood friend or beloved teacher that you wish to contact. Although treasured for the first few months after purchase, elementary school yearbooks often end up gathering dust or in old cardboard boxes. Because yearbooks belong to years past, they often get lost or damaged. If your yearbook has been lost or you never bought one, there are ways to locate copies, with an investment of some money and time.

Contact Elementary School Attended

Call or visit the elementary school you attended. School libraries and administrative offices tend to keep extra copies of old high school and elementary school yearbooks. Ask the school whether they have copies of old yearbooks. If the answer is no, ask to speak to the school’s yearbook adviser. The yearbook adviser or even the school’s journalism adviser might have old yearbooks that you could view, copy or purchase. If the school does not have a copy, ask if they can recall the name of the company that may have printed their yearbooks at that time, and then contact the company if they are still in business.

Check Local Resources

Contact the school district, the public library, and even the alumni association (or club) for the school. District offices might have at least one copy of elementary school yearbooks from all the schools in the district. Similarly, local libraries tend to have copies of yearbooks from the local schools. The library will probably have only one copy. Be prepared to scan or make print copies from the library's copy. Not many elementary schools have alumni networks, but the school office will be able to tell you whether there is an alumni coordinator or association. The association or coordinator may either have a copy or will know where to get one.

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Use an Internet Search Engine

Search the Internet for yearbooks associated with your school’s name. If your yearbook had a title, enter it in the search field in a yearbook finder. Search online auction sites for a copy. A classmate might have a copy for sale on a yearbook finder or an auction site such as eBay.com, craigslist.com. If you are not particularly skilled at Internet research, consider asking a friend or family member for help using a yearbook finder.

Access Classmates' Yearbooks

Join a social networking site such as Facebook.com or LinkedIn.com to obtain access to former classmates's yearbooks. If there is a group for your elementary school, you might easily locate classmates who will have copies that you can at least veiw. Ask them if they would be willing to sell a copy. If there is not a group for your elementary school, search for names of former classmates that you can remember. Contact them to see if anyone still has elementary school yearbooks. You may want to check your high school yearbook to refresh your memory of the names of classmates who attended elementary school with you.

Place Newspaper Ad

Place an ad in the local newspaper searching for public copies or classmates' yearbooks. Include the school name and/or yearbook title, town and the year you are looking for. Some newspapers may let you place an ad for free in their wanted section.

About the Author

Based in California, Taruna Chhabra has been writing general knowledge and science-related articles for various websites since 2010. Chhabra holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of San Francisco.