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University of Minnesota Gopher Yearbooks

Identifier: uarc 1209

Scope and Content

82 volumes of the Gopher yearbook, published between 1888-1967. An additional volume was published for the 1982-1983 academic year. All yearbooks have been digitized and are available in the University of Minnesota's U Mediarepository.


  • 1888-1967, 1982-1983


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

In 1888, University of Minnesota students published the first volume of the “Gopher” yearbook. The November 13, 1897 issue of the “Ariel,” the University student newspaper, explained that the editors of the 1888 “Gopher” intended for it to be “a medium through which as much fun as possible should be had with the Faculty without causing the expulsion of the editors.” The tradition of an annual yearbook continued, but later student editorial boards viewed the “Gopher” as a vehicle to capture their perception of the campus community and publish a record of the student body.

Like other University student publications, the “Gopher” operated with its own management board comprised of elected student representatives and members of its staff. Student publications, including the “Gopher,” had experienced difficulties involving nepotism and mismanagement, and in the 1920s, students, faculty, and administrators decided a central board with authority for all University student publications was needed. The Board in Control of Student Publications was formed during the 1922-1923 academic year.

Ongoing struggles with printing, sales, and finances lead to the last “Gopher” being published in 1967. The possibility of a new publication was discussed by the Board in Control of Student Publications, but another annual publication was not launched. A few smaller yearbook volumes were published in the 1970s and 1980s.


82 Volumes


82 volumes of the Gopher yearbook, published primarily between 1888-1967.

University of Minnesota Gopher Yearbooks, 1888-1967, 1982-1983
Karen Spilman
April 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area