This collection contains yearbooks published by students of Delaware College and later the University of Delaware. First published in 1898 under the title “The Aurora,” the early yearbooks appeared sporadically due to financial difficulties. The “Blue Hen” title was adopted in 1911 and used thereafter. From 1911 until 1948, the yearbook was published biennially although it ceased publication all together for a brief period during World War II. Until the adoption of co-education in 1945, the yearbooks represented only the all-male Delaware College. The 1916 yearbook, however, contains a section devoted to the Women’s College of Delaware, which began operation in 1914. “The Blue and Gold,” the yearbook of the Women’s College of Delaware, returned the favor in 1945 by including a section on the men’s college, which had only eighteen students in the 1945 graduating class as a result of World War II. The 1946 yearbook is the first to include both men and women. In 1948, the “Blue Hen” began annual publication, which continued until publication ceased in 1999.
Although the yearbook appeared under a number of different titles, “Blue Hen” has been used throughout for the sake of uniformity. The year of the volume has been assigned according to the graduating class contained in the volume. Because of the irregularity of early publication and the interruption of World War II, this is sometimes not so clearly or easily defined. The 1916 yearbook, for instance, contains five classes including 1915, which had graduated, and the 1916 senior class that published the yearbook. During World War II, the accelerated class schedule effectively eliminated a year from the normal course of study; the section on the Men’s College in the 1945 “Blue and Gold” therefore has no junior class. Finally, it should be noted that yearbooks frequently contained student’s home address information, most notably in the period from 1948 to 1976. Out of consideration for the privacy of alumni and alumna, the addresses in these directories have been redacted.