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From the Cataloger’s Desk: Black and Gold … Starring a Famous Hoosier!

June 27, 2016

As the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society, I have the privilege of examining some very unique and interesting items on a daily basis. Every month, I plan to highlight one recently cataloged book, pamphlet, or map that stands out from the crowd.

I recently cataloged six issues of Black and Gold, an Indiana school yearbook. Before going into too much detail, let’s play a guessing game! The images below are from the 1944 and 1946 issues. Can you guess who this handsome young student is? I’ll give you three clues:

1. The yearbook issues are from Fairmount High School.

2. This talented student became a movie star and cultural icon.

3. His most memorable films include East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant.

If you answered James Dean, you are correct! The image on the left is his 7th grade portrait, and the image on the right is his 9th grade portrait. Dean was born on Feb. 8, 1931, in Marion, Indiana. His family moved to California when he was six years old; sadly, his mother passed away shortly thereafter. As a result, his father decided to send him back to Indiana, where he was raised by an aunt and uncle on their farm. Dean graduated from Fairmount High School in 1949, and as they say, the rest is history!

Come visit the IHS library and see James Dean in our issues of Fairmount High School’s Black and Gold yearbook. Images include: 7th to 9th grade portraits (1944 to 1946), band and track team photographs (1946), a special page dedicated to Dean’s memory (1956), and miscellaneous images (1952, 1955).

The catalog record for Black and Goldcan be found here.


Lindsay Borman is the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society. Her claim to fame: She can name all of the U.S. presidents ... in order!

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