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Digitization of the Helen Keller Archival Collection -- Press Clippings and Scrapbooks

Material Description

Helen Keller (1880–1968) joined the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in 1924 and was its ambassador for 44 years. The Helen Keller Archival Collection is comprised of materials she bequeathed to AFB upon her death and those accrued by the organization. It is the single largest repository of materials by and about Helen Keller in the world. The collection contains detailed biographical information about Keller, as well as a fascinating record of over 80 years of social and political changes worldwide. The press clippings and scrapbooks, series 4 and 5 in the collection (approximately one-third of the collection), are an untapped resource on Keller and the times in which she lived. They have never been accessible to researchers due to their fragility. The loose press clippings span from 1880–1986 and include three oversized albums created by Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan Macy between 1913 and 1926. Researchers frequently contact AFB searching for information about a specific event involving Helen Keller. The press clippings, containing details of daily events, are typically the only resource that can provide possible answers. In addition, many of the photographs that are contained in these press clippings are unique and do not exist in the photograph collection. The three largest scrapbooks, which were compiled by Macy, provide a rare window onto Macy’s perception of their lives. Sixty-three composition books span from 1915–1967. These books were compiled by a friend and ardent fan of Keller’s. The contents of the scrapbooks are different than those of the press clippings. The majority are longer feature articles that appeared in periodicals and journals, providing contemporary discussion on attitudes to Keller. In addition to these, there are articles and information on dog guides and blindness issues, providing contemporaneous information about the burgeoning blindness field and perceptions of disability during Keller’s lifetime.

Year Added:

2015

Institution

American Foundation for the Blind

Contact(s)

Ms. Helen Selsdon
American Foundation for the Blind



Date Range

1880 - 1986

Geographic Scope

United States and international

Materials

  • 23.75 Press Clippings and Scrapbooks