Were your ancestors bringing home top marks or were they flunking out?
Gradating from higher education is a huge accomplishment. The pursuit of higher education was a goal for our ancestors. Not all of them had the financial resources to attend studies beyond high school.
At the beginning of the 20th century, fewer than 1,000 colleges with 160,000 students existed in the United States. As higher education became more available, colleges and universities were able to accommodate more students.
University and college yearbooks were quite common, but did you know many schools printed student and faculty directories? These books detailed student addresses, graduating class lists, and outlined social events. Remember, on-campus housing may have been scarce, so directories would print the boarding house or family name of where students were residing during the year. After graduation, alumni books gathered graduating (and sometimes non-graduating) students information, such as home address, occupation, and other contact information.
Internet Archive has a growing selection of University and College directories available online for free. Here are a few gems from their site:
Directory of the University of Wooster (1873-1874) Now College of Wooster
There are so many types of school, business, church, rural, and farm directories available for free on Internet Archive. It may take a bit to find them, so I recommend using the Genealogy portal of the site, which should help narrow down your search a bit. Don’t forget to add this portal to your saved bookmarks on your browser.
See you at the Library!