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Red Cedar Log (The) (Yearbook) UA 12.7.18

Identifier: Serial-00049

Scope and Content

This collection consists of copies of class albums and yearbooks from 1877 to the present.


  • 1877 - 2022

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Before the first “official” yearbook, Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.) had class albums. Unlike yearbooks that include photographs and stories of the academic year, class albums only included photographs of the faculty and students with no text or name indication. Some of the albums at the University Archives have names written under the photographs, but except for the more easily recognized faculty members, the names have not been verified. The only album that does have identifying names to photographs is the first photo album that appeared in 1877. It is 25 pages long, and has an index of the corresponding names to all 14 seniors and faculty members pictured. The one senior not pictured was Frank Kedzie, who would go on to be the college's eighth president, from 1915 to 1921.

In 1887, the Harrow, the first yearbook at M.A.C. was published. Different from the class albums, the Harrow was mostly text with few photographs. If any photos were included, it was usually the president of the college, a few select faculty members, and the editors of the Harrow. Within the text detailed information can be found, such as students’ names, lists of faculty members, sport teams' rosters, and members of the literary societies. Instead of photographs, there were hand drawn illustrations. The back of the yearbook had several pages of humor, mostly puns.

From 1877 to 1896, class albums, or yearbooks, were sporadically produced. Finally, in 1900, a format of the yearbook that we are familiar with today was published. The Wolverine contained pictures of students and faculty members, along with team and group photos, and humorous stories. Unfortunately, the yearbook was not a financially stable venture. Yearbooks under different names appeared in 1904 and 1907, and finally in 1910, the Wolverine once again returned. The yearbook kept this name until 1975. In 1976, the name was changed to Red Cedar Log, to better reflect MSU, and to avoid confusion with the University of Michigan.

The Red Cedar Log continued until 1996 when the yearbook production ceased due to a lack of student interest and financial difficulties. A senior edition booklet with only senior pictures and a few campus photos was distributed that year. No yearbook was published in 1997. In 1998, the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) successfully reestablished the Red Cedar Log. To help offset the cost, in 2000, a $3 tax was included in each student’s tuition that is used to produce the yearbook. Today, all students can pick up a copy of the Red Cedar Log free of charge.


50 Cubic Feet (This is an estimate of the total volume of yearbooks.)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

See also: Red Cedar Log Records (UA.12.7.18)

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

The Red Cedar Log (yearbook)
3 Ready For Cataloging
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US