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Omaha, NE 68102-4252
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The Yearbook Archives Go Live!
Now every issue of the O-Books, from 1904 through 2019 can be viewed at this website and are word searchable. Click on Yearbook Archives to browse the collection. Helpful notes on how to use the scans are included.
About the Project
Here is an amazing database. The Omaha Central High School Foundation, Alumni Association, and generous supporters present to you a nearly complete run of The Register, Central High School's award winning newspaper, which is the oldest continuous student paper west of the Mississippi. From 1886 on, each page is digitally scanned and made available in an easily searchable format so that alumni, staff, or researchers can access this priceless collection. Search instructions are provided below.
This collection of The Register was assembled and maintained by a long line of dedicated staff, alumni, and students. It was used frequently for research by journalism students, and consequently, was deteriorating rapidly. Some were unreadable and much of the collection would soon become so. Several years ago, The Alumni Association decided to digitally scan the papers, so that the originals would never need to be handled again, and would be stored as the ultimate back up of the digital version. The CHS Foundation enthusiastically agreed to make this one of the projects of their 150th anniversary fundraising campaign, and many generous supporters contributed to make it possible. All those who helped with this project should be proud to have sustained and protected all the commitment that preceded them.
Because of the size of the undertaking, we chose to have it scanned commercially. Curt Reiter, of Microfilm Imaging Services in Omaha, did an excellent job on what proved to be a very technically complicated project.
Who is Behind OmahaCHSArchive.org?
Several years ago, while scanning old records at Central, Barry Combs '50 and Jim Wigton '66 realized that the scanning project was urgently needed. CHS Foundation executive director Terry Price and the Foundation staff helped coordinate the effort and the CHS Foundation provided all funding. Curt Reiter and his dedicated staff determined how best to scan it all while preserving the bound Registers. Bob Wigton '60 provided technical advice, as did Chris Horn (the Foundation's web master) who also enabled us to offer this database on the website. The staff at CHS were very helpful.
What's in Store
Soon the O-Books, Central High's yearbook, will be offered as well.
Purpose of the Scanning Project
The prime reason for digitizing The Register collection was preservation. We were in danger of losing them. They are an irreplaceable record of a remarkable institution and the effect it worked on generations of students. Many of the issues are one of a kind. Many were also printed on paper that was disintegrating before our eyes and in our hands, as well as in the hands of researchers also utilizing them.
Contributors to the "Preserving the Past for the Future" Project
Leading the effort were Dr. Jim Wigton '66, Barry Combs '50 and the CHS Alumni Association's Historical Committee. Scanning was under the direction of Curt Reiter and his Omaha company, Microfilm Imaging Systems. Curt and his staff were invaluable; they displayed amazing patience and tenacity.
History of the Register Collection
The school to become Central welcomed its first students in November, 1859 and issued its first newspaper the following spring. Omaha was five years old. The paper took the name, The Free School Advocate, was handwritten and read to the students at 3 p.m. each Wednesday afternoon.