Long one of the best resources for glimpsing the history of student life at UVA, Corks and Curls now appears to belong to history.
Mounting debt and declining interest among students led the staff of the yearbook to announce in January that publication has been indefinitely suspended.
“Every year we sold a few less books and had more trouble getting people to take their pictures,” former staff member Whitney Spivey (Col ’05) told the Cavalier Daily. “It just wasn’t a priority anymore.”
First published in 1888, Corks and Curls documented disparate generations of students linked by a common bond—their time on Grounds. Its pages chronicled students killed in World War I, the admission of African Americans in the 1950s, long-haired hippies in the ’60s, the first fully coeduational undergraduate class in the ’70s, and timeless traditions like walking the Lawn.
The popularity of Facebook and other social media contributed to the yearbook’s decline, several students said. “Yearbooks do not generate the same interest that they had a decade or two ago,” former photo editor Lorenzo Mah (Col ’05) told the Daily Progress.
The 2009 version was never published, and prospects of reviving Corks and Curls seem dim, according to Michelle Burch (Col ’11), co-editor-in-chief of that edition.
“It would take a completely different approach to bring it back to life in this digital world,” she said.