Yearbook: Michigan Ensian

Friday, September 6, 2019

Here's an interesting collection of yearbooks from the digital collection HathiTrust.

It's strange in that the collection links the full .pdf yearbooks directly from the catalog which I think I've only seen one time before, and it was the university's library catalog not a private digital consortia like this one. Really interesting to see the tech set up like this and that a private group is interested in preserving a yearbook as rich in college football history as this one. The copyright and watermark indicate that Google did the digitization for this set of yearbooks.

The University of Michigan has a robust collection of yearbooks available online. The Michigan Ensian was first published in 1896 and the Wolverines have been playing football since 1876, so a lot of their football history is chronicled in this collection. The collection has 96 volumes in total, but some of them are only partially available to view online, so there are 89 editions available in their entirety.

Michigan has such a rich football history and these pages are chock full of Michigan game writeups, pictures and stories about the players and games of yesteryear.

Don Peterson goes up and over Stanford in 1951

Here's a look at a mass momentum play from the 1914 season.

Michigan vs Michigan Athletic Club

One thing I noticed is that the scans all have a little grain to them. That is, not natural technical anomalies from older photos, but all of the pictures look like they have some kind of digital cross hatching on them. You can probably pick some of that up from the first photo of Don Peterson above.

Regardless, this is a valuable and unique collection very worthy of being archived online, and I'm proud to add them to my collection of Yearbooks. 

Check out the full collection of yearbooks under the Yearbooks tab above.


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Yearbooks button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

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