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 profile of Jennie Colby, student, volunteer, founding member of the Alumni Association, and pioneer in therapeutic gymnastics and massage treatment.
Joseph Edgar Chamberlin's great-great granddaughter writes about how Helen Keller spent her days at Red Farm, the Chamberlins' home.
Before she was known as the national expert on preschool education for children who are blind, Polly Moor worked with the Summer Institute at Perkins.
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