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University of Washington Yearbooks and Documents

Selections from 1905, 1932, 1955 and 1971 TYEEs
Images from the database

TYEE Yearbooks: Historical Background

The University of Washington Tyee was first published in 1900 for the graduating class of 1901. It was "dedicated by the Junior Class to all those students of the University of Washington in the past who loved their Alma Mater, and to those in the future who shall uphold her honor." The Tyee was published by the Junior Class until 1912, when the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) took over publication. Due to this change in publishers, there are some discrepancies in publication dates, cover dates, and volume numbers in the early years.

The Tyee was published by the ASUW into the 1960s, although the publishers were listed as "The Students" in 1914, "The Student Body" in 1915, "The Students of the UW" in 1917-1918, and "The University of Washington Associated Students" in 1929.

In 1965 William F. Johnston assumed the role of liaison between the publications board and the various student publication staffs; he was an aide rather than an editor. During these years, a quarterly Tyee magazine was also issued, and the quality of the yearbook was high: the 1967 Tyee, edited by Jack Rhodes, won the All-American Award from the Associated Collegiate Press. The cover, which featured photographs for the first time, was given special notice, and the photo essays, especially "What Is Camp," "The University in the Seattle Community," and "Haiku Interlude," were also praised.

In 1969, the quarterly Tyee magazine was abandoned because it competed for advertising with the Daily and was too expensive to produce. Around that time, the student body became critical of the Tyee yearbook. Many house and dormitory residents, for example, were displeased with their representation in the yearbook and felt the $150 price tag for a page of yearbook space was too high. There were complaints that too few candid shots were included, and that the Tyee therefore lacked "personality." The publications board tabled a proposal, also opposed by the yearbook editorial staff, that would have allowed living groups to design their own page layouts.

A combination of factors led to a thirteen-year suspension of the publication of Tyee. Decline in revenue and student interest were the major factors, but there were additional causes. In 1971 President Charles Odegaard, in order to reduce "the potentially dominant role of the ASUW over management and finances of student publications," dissolved the ASUW publications board, and the Board of Student Publications was formed. The new board included newspaper and yearbook representation, as well as faculty members and an appointed "professional journalist." After the restructuring, which probably resulted more from concerns about the Daily than the yearbook, the Tyee lost access to over $15,000 from the ASUW general expense fund. In 1971 the Board of Student Publications voted to suspend publication of the yearbook, citing debt and poor sales as chief concerns.

The yearbook was resurrected for a time in the 1980s and 1990s, with volume 73 appearing in 1986. Nearly 200 people, far more than expected, attended the first meeting of the revived yearbook staff, and over 50 submitted applications for section editor positions. The new Tyee was published into the mid-1990s, with the last volume appearing in 1994.

This collection of yearbooks spans almost a century of publication, from 1900 to 1994. There are words and images in these volumes depicting racist, sexist, ethnically derogatory and other offensive biases and behavior. Even as the University of Washington and University Libraries condemn them, we have not edited, redacted, excised or otherwise altered these pages, no matter how shocking or offensive they may be. They reflect shameful and regrettable aspects of our University's history, but remain included as part of an honest presentation of that history and of the primary source material. These offensive words and images also demonstrate what the members of our community subjected to such discrimination faced in their daily lives, as well as serving as a reminder that the struggle for equity continues today. We are working to confront bias and racism at the individual, institutional and systemic levels. Learn more about diversity and inclusion efforts at the UW.

About the Database

The Tyee Yearbooks in this collection were prepared by the UW Libraries Digital Initiatives Unit staff and student employees. Most of the yearbooks were disbound and scanned with a networked scanner/printer/copier machine. After scanning, the images were manipulated using Photoshop to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the Contentdm software suite. Original copies of the Tyee yearbook reside in the Special Collections reference wall and stacks, the Suzzallo/Allen Library stacks, and Odegaard Undergraduate Library periodicals (LC call no. LB3621.67 .T99).

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