Perkins History Museum

Laura Bridgman
Laura Bridgman

Perkins student Laura Bridgman was the first person with deafblindness to learn to read and write.

Learn More about Laura Bridgman

Anne Sullivan
Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller dramatically changed the world's perception of individuals with disabilities.

Learn More about Anne Sullivan

Helen Keller
Helen Keller

Helen Keller, who attended Perkins, is considered by many to be a leading figure of the 20th century.

Learn More about Helen Keller

First Kindergarten for the Blind
Kindergarten-aged students holding hands in a circle.

The Perkins Kindergarten, opened in 1887, drew pupils from all over the country.

Learn More about kindergarten for the blind

Beginnings of Deafblind Education
a boy talking with a teacher using tactile sign language

Deafblind education has evolved from the days of Laura Bridgman to the 21st century.

Learn More about deafblind education

Visit the Museum
a Perkins tour guide in front of one of the displays

Schedule a free guided tour through the Perkins Museum by filling out a tour request.

Schedule a tour

Hayes Research Library
books on a table with the "S.P. Hayes Research Library" sign

The Hayes Research Library is a resource for researchers, the Perkins community, professionals, parents and the public.

Plan a visit

Perkins Archives
A photograph of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan facing one another. Sullivan is wearing a dress with a high collar that flares at the shoulders.

The Perkins Archives include collections related to the history of Perkins and the education of the blind and deafblind.

Explore the Archives

About Us

The Perkins Museum works in partnership with the Hayes Research Library and Perkins Archives to preserve the history of Perkins and blindness education and share it with the world.

Have a question?

We welcome questions by email, phone or in person. Our Frequently Asked Questions has additional information about some common Research Library questions.

Contact/Hours

HayesLibrary@Perkins.org
617-972-7250

Monday through Friday
8:15 am to 4:15 pm

A page shows two kinds of tactile writing, the standard alphabet and a raised-dot system
January 21

Fascinating facts about the history of writing systems for people who are blind, and how literacy continues to evolve in the 21st century.

Sue and Larry Melander with a large leather volume
January 6

Historic Perkins correspondence from 1828-1910 is now searchable online, thanks to two dedicated Archives volunteers.

Laura Bridgman stands next to teacher Sarah Wight and signs into her hand. Both are wearing 19th century outfits.
December 22

In the 1800s, Perkins student Laura Bridgman was the second most famous woman in the world, after only Queen Victoria.