Perkins School for the Blind Archives Project

Material Description

Perkins-related material -- most are unique primary-source documents: -- Correspondence from the 1820s through the 1920s, including letters from people prominent in 19th-century New England philanthropy and in the national education reform movement. -- Educational, financial, and housekeeping records from the 19th and 20th centuries. -- Journals and letters written by Perkins student Laura Bridgman, the first deafblind person to learn language. -- Teachers’ journals and papers that document the early practices of education of students with blindness and deafblindness. – Documents and publications relating to the first four directors, including Samuel Gridley Howe. -- Documents and publications relating to Julia Ward Howe. -- Scrapbooks of newspaper articles, 1880-1950s. -- Student and alumni publications. Material related to Perkins students Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy – unique primary source material: -- The Nella Braddy Henney Collection of correspondence (1920s-early 1960s). -- Henney’s notes for her 1936 biography of Macy. -- Original correspondence, 1890s. -- Keller scrapbooks, 1880s-1960s. Material related to the history of education of the blind; attitudes toward people with disabilities: -- Annual reports and scrapbooks about other schools, 1880-1950s. -- The Bettye Krolick International Music Braille Collection (collection of published materials). -- Papers donated by alumni and staff, documenting educational practices and individual accomplishments.

Year Added:



Perkins School for the Blind


Betsy McGinnity

Date Range

1820 - 1970

Geographic Scope

Perhaps 75% of the material (approximately 310 feet) pertains to institutions, individuals, and events in New England, while the remaining 25% relates to institutions, individuals, and educational practices throughout the continental U.S.