CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Archives and History invites West Virginians to learn more about how they can research their personal histories and share their school memories! 

On Saturday, Oct. 22, Archives and History will host the Mining Your History Foundation annual conference in the Archives library and feature Eric Douglas’ documentary “Memories of the Kanawha Valley 2015-2016” in the Great Hall.  A special yearbook exhibit in the Great Hall will showcase some of the state’s collection of more than 3,000 yearbooks.  The day’s activities, which run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., are free and open to the public.

“People don’t often think about yearbooks as research materials, but these books can be valuable resources for historians and writers who want to accurately portray a certain period of time, place or style,” said Joe Geiger, state archivist. “Through the pages of yearbooks, researchers can study educational, community and school histories.  They also are wonderful resources for genealogical research.”

“We are interested in West Virginia yearbooks from public and private elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities,” Geiger said.  “The yearbooks that have been donated to our collection receive the same careful preservation and documentation as other publications and materials in the State Archives.”

To find out if the yearbooks from your schools are included – or missing – from the State Archives collection, visit

The schedule for the Mining Your History Foundation program is:

Archives Library
10 a.m. – noon   Beginning genealogy workshop
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.   Mining Your History Foundation annual meeting
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.    “When the Paper Trail Ends” – DNA testing

Great Hall
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.     Yearbook exhibit and collection
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  “Memories of the Kanawha Valley 2015-2016” – continuous playing of documentary by Eric Douglas

West Virginia Archives and History is dedicated to the collection and preservation of West Virginia’s history. The State Archives features manuscript collections, photographs, state documents, audiovisual materials and publications. 

If you have a yearbook that you would like to donate to the collection or want more information about the yearbook collection project, contact Joe Geiger, Archives and History director, at 304-558-0230 or at .

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.