Penn State

AAUW Used Book Sale receives donation of more than 100 years’ worth of Penn State yearbooks

The Penn State Alumni Association donated a few hundred yearbooks to the sale.
The Penn State Alumni Association donated a few hundred yearbooks to the sale.

A lot happens in a year in the life of a Penn Stater.

Beginning and ending, mood and event, victory and defeat — so says a page in the 1963 “La Vie,” the university’s annual student yearbook. Several copies of which sit in the Snider Agricultural Arena waiting for the first customers to pour in on Saturday.

The Penn State Alumni Association was cleaning house, said AAUW member Connie Schroeder, so it donated a few hundred “La Vie” yearbooks to the 56th annual AAUW State College Used Book Sale.

The book sale is a great cause to support, said Paul Clifford, Alumni Association CEO, and the association wanted to get the yearbooks out into circulation to people who would appreciate them.

And even with the donation, Clifford said the Alumni Association still has a few copies from every year.

The earliest copy that will be available for sale during the four-day event is from 1892, Schroeder said, which is two years after the first “La Vie” was published.

There are multiple copies of yearbooks from most years, though some years are missing, Schroeder said.

Imagine being able to find great-Grandpa’s yearbook from 1900, Schroeder said.

“People are going to have a lot of fun back here,” she said.

The oldest and most sought after yearbooks will be kept in the Special Collections room, she said. Those ones will be priced higher than the vast majority, which will be $10.

With the yearbooks spanning a period of more than 100 years, they’ve evolved with the times, both inside and out — from the brown suede-like binding and gold-tinted pages of the 1910 edition to the peacock on the cover of 1936 to the simple but thoughtful description in the 1963 edition: “Nineteen sixty-three was a part of that intangible which is past, present and future in a moment.”

Having a selection of them to sell this year is “really cool” because it’s something different, said Donna Trapp, book sale chairwoman.

The “La Vie” selection is only a fraction of what’s available at the sale, though.

With 250,000 books to browse in 30 departments, ranging from biographies to fiction and travel to mystery, there’s something for most tastes.

“It’s a treasure trove,” Schroeder said.

It’s a great feeling when most of the books are gone at the end of the sale, Trapp said, because she knows they’ll be enjoyed again.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

If you go

What: AAUW State College Used Book Sale

When: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Tuesday (Monday is half-price day and Tuesday is bag day)

Where: Snider Agricultural Arena, 800 E. Park Ave., University Park


Note: Monday is Half-Price Day and Tuesday is Bag Day ($7 per bag)