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Perkins School for the Blind: Samuel P. Hayes Research Library & Archives

Archive; Library
175 North Beacon St
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
United States
Jennifer Arnott, Research Librarian
1 617-972-7250
Fax: ---

Perkins School for the Blind was founded in 1829 (the first school for the blind to be established in the United States).

The Samuel P. Hayes Library and Archives house one of the largest non-medical collections about blindness, blindness education, deafblindness, and related topics in the country. The Research Library collection includes books (including historical works about education practices), conference proceedings, pamphlets, journals, magazine files, multimedia resources, and teaching materials for relevant topics such as braille.

The Perkins Archives include collections related to the history of the education of the blind and deafblind, institutional archives, and correspondence of significant figures in the school's history, such as Helen Keller, Annie Sullivan, Laura Bridgman and Samuel Gridley Howe.

The collection is non-circulating, but we welcome both visiting researchers and the general public. Our website has more information about arranging a visit, or you can email for more details. We are also glad to provide reference by email (preferred) or phone. Services available include reference, interlibrary loan, photocopying, and scanning.


The Research Library catalog contains more than 48,000 items including books, multimedia recordings, individually cataloged journal articles, magazine files, pamphlets, newsletters, and other materials from a wide range of sources including many other schools and organizations for the blind. We maintain a collection of historical teaching resources, making it possible to look at the development of educational techniques over time.

The Perkins Archives provide access to an extensive range of materials. A number (including our annual reports, many photographs, and some other publications) are now available online (see Other collections include the papers of Perkins directors, institutional reports and documents, deafblind collections (including papers relating to Laura Bridgman, Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller, and others), and a series of clippings books that include the Halifax Disaster, War Blind, and others.

Subject Strengths:
History of Blindness, Blindness education, Deafblindness
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