The Perkins Archives is part of the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library at the Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. The Perkins Archives document the evolution of the fields of knowledge associated with blindness and deafblindness as well as the gradual inclusion of people with visual impairments into the mainstream of American life. Many of the discoveries and achievements that fueled those changes occurred at Perkins, including the first deafblind child to be formally educated, the first kindergarten for blind children, the development of one of the first mechanical braille writing devices, and the first lending library of tactile books.
The collections are in a variety of formats, including original manuscripts, ledgers, scrapbooks, clippings notebooks, photographs, etc.
Browse Finding Aids
Flip through publications and other materials, in virtual book form on the Internet Archive.
Digital Collections on the Perkins Archives Flickr Page arranged by topic.
Links to Online Resources from the Perkins Archives related to Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.
A guest blog post featuring J.E. Chamberlin's recollections of Helen Keller's love of reading, written by Chamberlin's great-great granddaughter.
Despite incorporating in 1829, Perkins did not officially open its doors to students until 1832. What took so long?
A guest blog post about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan's close friendship with Joseph Edgar Chamberlin, written by his great-great granddaughter.
The Perkins Archives house institutional records as well as collections documenting the history of education for people with blindness or deafblindness.
The Research Library and Archives staff are glad to help with your questions about a range of topics including blindness and deafblindness, blindness education, and Perkins and our history.
Monday through Friday
8:15 am to 4:15 pm