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The Yearbook Project from OCI

   November 20th, 2013

OCI ScannerI was recently forwarded this email, concerning a yearbook scanning project that is free to libraries:

We are contacting you in regards to a FREE project we're doing to digitize the High-School yearbooks at all of the libraries in your state. The program is called "The Yearbook Project", and it is sponsored by the Records Conversion Department at OCI; as I previously stated.COMPLETELY FREE. We even pay the S & H.

The Yearbook Project came about after it was brought to our attention that high schools and local libraries throughout Oklahoma were losing their yearbooks. Some were being destroyed by natural disasters, and others were being destroyed by people cutting images out of them. Once they are gone or damaged it is nearly impossible to replace them and these yearbooks are irreplaceable because of their historical value alone. The Records Conversion and Digital Imaging departments also use this program as an advertising tool to highlight the quality of work we do here at OCI. There's no obligation for our other services, we would just hope you keep us in mind if you ever do need them.

OCI is a state agency located in Lexington, Oklahoma. Our Records Conversion department has been in business for thirty (30) years and consists of four areas; Data Entry, Digital Imaging, Image Review & Verification, and Microfilm. We do records conversion for every state agency in Oklahoma. These include; the Department of Education, Department of Human Services, Department of Labor, The Oklahoma Supreme Court, and the Attorney General's Office, just to name a few. If you would like to visit our website it is www.ocisales.com.

Our overhead non-destructive scanning method ensures that the yearbooks are not damaged and that they are returned in their original condition. You can view sample yearbooks and read about Non-Destructive Scanning by clicking on the following links: Click here to view yearbook examples or Non-Destructive Scanning. The yearbooks are scanned at 300 dpi and saved in a [jpeg] format. Meaning, they are done with Publisher Quality so that libraries can digitally reprint any books, just a few pages, or a single image from the DVD for anyone who would like a copy.


  • Archival purposes
  • Reduces storage space and cost
  • Protection of valuable and irreplaceable materials
  • Ability to provide full or partial reprints from the DVD final product
  • DVD provides easy access and viewing of scanned material
  • DVD allows viewing without physically handling the original material
  • No cost to libraries participating in the Yearbook Program

After the yearbooks are scanned, they are returned to your library along with a set of DVD's containing each yearbook. These DVD's belong to the library and you can then load it in your computer database for everyone to access. In addition, if you would like to contact the area high schools and add to your current collection, we will provide a second set of DVD's to share with the schools (also free) and their books would be returned to you. Just be sure to let us know which school(s) to include an extra set for. The only thing needed to be done from your side is for you and/or your staff to box them up (no more than 25-30 in a copier-paper size box, please) tape them securely and make two inventory sheets, one for yourself and one to be put in the box. You'll then call us and let us know what day you would like scheduled for pick-up and we will take care of the rest with FED-EX. We will send you the shipping-labels via-email and the books will be returned to you within 5-6 weeks. Whether you have only a few or hundreds, we would be happy to be of service to you.

If you are interested in having your yearbooks converted into a digital format at no cost, please contact me at (405) 527-0833, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. central time. If you have any questions or need any references you can e-mail me at ocirc@doc.state.ok.us Also, feel free to forward this email to any area Branches or Directors in your Library System so that they may benefit from this offer as well.

From the limited research I did, I learned that "OCI" stands for the Oklahoma Correctional Industries, which explains why this service can be offered free - having inmates doing the work gives them something productive to do, while at the same time benefiting libraries who could not otherwise afford the scanning.

Has anyone used OCI for yearbook scanning, or heard about the quality of their work?

In our case (and all of Massachusetts), we have scanning services available through the Boston Public Library, in conjunction with the Internet Archive. However, I thought this was interesting enough to post, to hopefully find out more about it. If you know any details, please share in the comments - thanks.

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6 Responses to “The Yearbook Project from OCI”

  1. Sarah C Says:

    We sent our yearbooks off to them and got them back about a month later in good condition, along with the discs. The image quality is very good. They do include this language in the agreement you get when they send the discs back, “OCI and The Yearbook Project reserve the right to use any images it acquires for the purpose of completing a statewide archive. It is our intent to use those images as a course of our business. We may, or may not, choose to distribute them to other agencies or vendors.” However, as they don’t preclude us from redistributing the images, that doesn’t bother me too much.

    I actually got a question about a month after we did this from someone in another state doing family history research looking for a high school picture. I was able to locate the person in question in the physical yearbook and then e-mail her the requested images.

    Happy to (try to) answer any other questions.

  2. Angela Gates Says:

    We just got our project returned and we’re thrilled with it!

    The turnaround time on the project was a bit longer than we had anticipated, (5 weeks maybe?) but it was well worth it. We have saved the files on our genealogy and local history computer for easy access to the public.

    One thing we learned…before you send the books out, you might want to reach out to your community to see if you can have any gaps filled in your collection, either for loan to digitize or permanently.

    But yes, it is very well worth it!!

  3. laura Says:

    They sell the images they scan to Classmates.com, etc.* So, if you don’t have a problem with for-profit companies profiting from prison labor, I’m sure it’s a fine project.

    *It’s in some fine print I acquired from the New Jersey State Library. I spent a couple of weeks attempting to verify this with OCI but never got a call back from them.

  4. Brian Herzog Says:

    Awesome information – thank you everyone. And @laura, I was wondering if there was some connection to classmates.com. It seemed like a competitor, but being a supplier makes much more sense – very interesting.

  5. Brian Herzog Says:

    I received this email message from a librarian that I wanted to share:

    “We recently had OCI digitize our yearbook collection; they did a beautiful job, and we could not have had this done otherwise. The disks they sent us were labeled clearly, and professionally, and each yearbook’s file folder was labeled on each disk. We’ve listed the collection on our website, and then linked each to Picasa for patron access: http://www.pendleton.lib.in.us/Pages.aspx?p=YearbooksDigitized
    Check out what they did – it looks great.

  6. Cari Says:

    OCI contacted us, along with quite a few other Ohio libraries (there was some discussion on local lists). We decided not to just because it’s not in our priorities right now, and we didn’t like the idea of shipping the yearbooks off. We’re going to digitize them ourselves at some point.