Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive (RIT/NTID DSA) in Rochester, NY

Material Description


Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Libraries will digitize 61 videotapes held in the RIT/NTID DSA that document the ASL literature movement in Rochester from 1970-1999. These videotapes will represent the largest collection of rare U.S. ASL Literature to be made publically accessible. Preservation digital copies will be made and stored, and access digital copies provided for use by scholars and the general public. This collection will be universally accessible: it will be captioned, voiced, transcribed and/or signed. The once “hidden” work of this pioneering and under-represented group will be made public for the first time, broadening access to the cultural heritage of this diverse group little known outside of the Deaf community and enriching interdisciplinary studies in linguistics, poetry, performing arts, and cinema. Finally, this project can shape a new understanding of the libraries’ role in modeling best practices for accessible sharing of online videos.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded:


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Deaf Studies Archive at Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID DSA)


Dr. Joan Naturale
RIT Libraries, RIT

Ms. Becky Simmons
RIT Libraries, RIT


  • 61 Audiovisual Recordings