The Index

UMass Amherst's yearbook with 136 years of history

“At the end of each year, the students of Massachusetts Agricultural College and its successor institutions issued a yearbook known as the Index... The Index contained complete lists of students and student organizations, faculty, and officers of the college, along with occasionally humorous (and occasionally-humorous) vignettes of life on campus.”
— Special Collections and University Archives,
W.E.B. Du Bois Library

History of the Index

How it started

Once the oldest yearbook in New England, the Index has been published by UMass Amherst students since 1870. It was first created by the third graduating class of what was then the Massachusetts Agricultural College. For the next 136 years straight, the Index chronicled the undergraduate life at UMass.

Opening pages of the first volume (1870)
Baseball Association (1900)

How it evolved

In its earliest years, the Index had few illustrations. Before 1882, each number contained only a handful of comic drawings of scenes on campus, and for several years after that date, the volumes were issued with only a single photographic frontispiece. By the turn of the century, however, photographs began to proliferate in the Index.

16-year hiatus

Beginning with images of the faculty, class portraits, and images of sports teams and campus views, the yearbook expanded by 1912 to include photographs of each member of the junior and senior class. Memories, current events, clubs, agencies, athletics, student works of art, and lots of pictures were showcased in the collection. Unfortunately, the Index ceased publication after the 2005-2006 academic year.

Spring concert by the Campus Pond (1980s)

Physical copies of previous editions can be found at the 20th floor of W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
All digital copies of the Index are publically available online as well.

Go to Online Archive →
Our motivation & 2022 Index

It's time to revive the UMass yearbook

"The day everything changed", students and faculty around television in the Student Union (2002)

When the Index stopped publishing in 2006, it probably sounded great to replace a yearbook with something like a website or a Facebook group. Since then, however, it has become clear that the Internet can be pretty temporary: social media comes and goes, websites stop being maintained and posts get buried under a mountain of newer posts.

Yearbooks offer a unique medium of reminiscence that remains relevant. The last couple years have been a whirlwind — from the pandemic itself to incredible movements for justice sweeping the country and uncertainty in all aspects of nearly everyone's lives. During historic times like these, yearbooks offer the best account of what it's like to be in our shoes as UMass students.

We're so excited to begin taking orders for the first yearbook at UMass after a 16-year hiatus. The 2021-2022 Index will be a timeless keepsake, featuring pieces of UMass life that we all experienced together. For seniors, the yearbook also includes the graduating class, ordered by academic college, and signature pages.

Get your yearbook

Class of 2022 yearbook

Order before April 7th to get your hands on a book in time for Commencement!

Order your Class of 2022 hardcover yearbook for just $30! Here's what you need to know about ordering:

  • Your order today will be ready for pickup on-campus in May 2022, including at the Commencement Fair.
  • We will also accept orders at the Commencement Fair, which will be ready for local pickup or domestic shipping in June.
  • Please follow our socials at @umassindex for updates!
  • If you would prefer to pay using a check, or you have any questions or concerns, please email us at!