Breathitt County woman collects yearbooks spanning decades

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JACKSON, Ky (WYMT) - We have an update on a story we first told you about earlier this year.

A former librarian at Breathitt County High School has just finished scanning all the school's yearbooks. She began working in October and finished the project in June. The yearbooks span from 1938 to 1999.

You can buy the scanned copies on DVD at the Breathitt County Museum in downtown Jackson. Each disc costs $25.00 or you can purchase the six volume set for $120.00.

Barbara Deaton says she started the project because she knew other's shared her interest in the school district's past.

"People would like to have copies of these things but of course, they are out of print. You cannot have an annual but we thought maybe putting it on a disc, they could have access to them that way," said Deaton.

Deaton said she has similar projects in the works.
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JACKSON, Ky (WYMT) - Our high school yearbooks are like a trip down memory lane. From the homecoming court to graduation, these annuals keep the past alive long into the future.

That was the inspiration that led a Breathitt County woman to undertake a big project all in the name of preserving her community's history.

Barbara Deaton's love for Breathitt County High School spans decades.

"I graduated from that school district so it is very dear to my heart," said Deaton.

As she transitioned from student to employee, she collected quite a few of these bobcat-themed books.

"We only lacked 13 volumes of having a complete set and suddenly I got to thinking well you know, it would not be too hard to acquire the rest of those and do something with them," said Deaton.

So a plan was born.

"I want to share them with people but you cannot circulate them. They just ware out. You cannot do that and I just got to think, maybe you could scan them. Maybe," said Deaton.

For the past few months, peering from behind a computer screen, she did just that. She tells WYMT she has cataloged history of class trips, questionably short basketball uniforms and more. The memories span from the late 1930s through the start of a new millennium.

"The earlier ones were just 35 or 45 pages long and very simple. Now we have worked our way up to these later ones and there have been color, scads and scads of pictures and scripts they have put in there," said Deaton.

She has even had some fun at her own expense.

"I thought well did that actually happen? Did I do that and yeah there it was in black and white. I did it but I just do not remember it all," said Deaton.

Deaton said this project would not have been possible without the help of the Breathitt County Museum.
She added that she got help from the public library in town.

Deaton said they plan to sell each decade of yearbooks on DVD soon.


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