Perkins Institutional Records Collection

Samuel P. Hayes Research Library
Perkins School for the Blind
175 N. Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Creator: 

Perkins School for the Blind

Date Range: 
1832-1941
Call number: 
AG30
Abstract: 

Record books and accounting ledgers related to the Perkins School for the Blind, formerly Perkins Institution, the Workshop and Salesroom for the Blind, and the Kindergarten for the Blind in Jamaica Plain, MA. Includes many accounting books, enrollment and attendance records, records of deportment, gradebooks, and Workshop orders, correspondence, and inventory.

Extent: 
9 linear feet
Language: 
English
Processed by: 

Molly Stothert-Maurer, 2014. This collection was processed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Washington, D.C., 2012-2015.

Restrictions: 
Some material is restricted.
Credit line/Citation: 
Perkins Institutional Records Collection, Perkins School for the Blind
Arrangement: 

4 Series, 54 boxes

Series 1: Accounts

Subseries 1: Enrollment and Attendance

Subseries 2: Deportment

Subseries 3: Grades

Series 2: Student Records: Enrollment, Attendance, Grades and Deportment

Series 3: Workshop and Industrial Department

Series 4: Other Records

Container List: 

Series 1: Accounts

Daily registers of food purchases (milk, sugar, meat, fish, beets, etc.), odds and ends (wash basins, bees wax, sand, charcoal), labor and wages (wages, extra labor, intelligence office), medical supplies, and facilities maintenance. Columns: date of bill, number, articles bought, quantity, rate, of whom, and price. Entries contain the signatures of two auditors (members of the board of trustees).

Box 1: Accounts, 1834-1847: minutes from proceedings of the board of trustees with resolution to create the position "Auditor of Accounts". Daily register of payments with the following fields: Number, Date of Bills, Description, and Amount. Large ledger that is mostly empty. Back pages contain inventories of: property, articles belonging to the printing fund, books not bound, real and personal real estate, furniture, office furniture and sundries, tools in the shop, books in raised letters and common type, philosophical apparatus, movables, musical instruments, and inventory of apothecary case.

Box 2: Accounts, 1836-1852: beginning entries titled "N. E. Institution for the Blind in accordance with R. D. Tucker, Treasurer", later Peter R. Dalton and B. Wales Jr. Contains salary and "Bill of Board" information for S. G. Howe, E. Trencheri (music instruction), and others. Printing fund accounts.

Box 3: Accounts, 1838-1856: account payments/reimbursements/interest for John Dix Fisher, Samuel Gridley Howe, other employees, and entries for different companies. Listings for profits and loss, bills, accounts for "New House on 5th street". Middle of ledger empty, back of book contains "Inventory of No. 19 Boylston Place", and lists of provisions, vegetables, groceries, fruits and nuts, bread stuff, grain etc., crockery ware, medicine, stables, stationary, confectionery, garden, wages, dry goods, etc. 

Box 4: Accounts, 1839-1840, States' censuses of the blind, 1840: food and supplies, payments to teachers and others. State censuses include: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and South Carolina. Short essay on Edmund Spenser, English poet. Ledger mostly empty.

Box 5: Accounts of the Steward, 1840-1846, 1849: Food purchases, odds and ends, labor and wages, medical supplies (including leeches), and facilities maintenance. From 1840-1843 ledger pages are titled "Institution for the Blind in account with the Steward", 1843-1844 the title shifts to "Institution for the Blind in account with John D. Fisher, Steward", from 1844-1856 title is "Institution for the Blind in account with S. G. Howe, Steward." After a number of blank pages there are 5 pages of "Summary of Expenses in Stewards Apartments", mostly food but also domestic wages, clothing, and stationary.

Box 6: Accounts, 1841-1850: list of payments by state, individual, or institution. Includes teachers: Mary Swift, Eliza Rogers, Sarah Wight, Sophia Carter, and others. Back of ledger contains 1842 list of debtors and creditors. 

Box 7: Accounts, 1841-1850: daily register of expenditures including salaries, sundries, printing fund, state payments, institution payments, and shop payments. More than half empty.

Box 8: Accounts of the Steward, 1846-1850: Food purchases, odds and ends, labor and wages, medical supplies, and facilities maintenance. Entries by S. G. Howe. Half empty.

Box 9: Accounts, 1850-1866: Food purchases, odds and ends, labor and wages, medical supplies, and facilities maintenance. Entries by Edward Jarvis and S. G. Howe. Examined by Thomas T. Bouvé and Joseph B. Thaxter (Trustees on behalf of the State).

Box 10: Accounts, 1851-1873: list of payments by state, town, individual, or institution. Includes listing for Boy's Shop, Treasurer's Cash Account.  Contains alphabetical index.

Box 11: Accounts, 1851-1877: folded letters tucked in front labeled "trial balance", plus two letters to S. G. Howe regarding the purchase of a globe. Listings of transactions with individuals and institutions. Listings of profit and loss. Treasuries Cash Account, tuition, sundries, salaries, work department, etc.

Box 12: Accounts, 1866-1876: Food purchases, odds and ends, labor and wages, medical supplies, and facilities maintenance. Entries by S. G.. Howe, and M. Anagnos.

Box 13: Reports to the Treasurer, 1892-1905: copies of account info and some correspondence on onion skin paper, many signed M. Anagnos. Numbered pages but no index information. Many listings for "General Account", "Kindergarten Account", and "Printing Account".

Box 14: Accounts, 1903-1922: extensive list of last names with quantities usually less than $10 with running totals at the bottom, followed by workshop, rent and Perkins Institution, cash, Salesroom, Bay State Trust Co., Stock, Merchandise, Sales, Expense, Tools and Equipment, John Vars, J. H. Wright, Vincent Memorial Hospital, New York New Haven and Hartford R. R. Co. (rail road) accounts and other state agencies and hospitals with entries separated by month and listed only in numbers (not what was bought or sold or by who, except for the Stock section).

Series 2: Student Records: Enrollment, Attendance, Grades and Deportment

Subseries 1: Enrollment and Attendance

Box 15: Enrollment & Biographies, 1832-1838: "Catalog of the Blind Pupils of the New England Institution for the Education of the Blind Opened in August, 1832. S. G. Howe Sec. Front of ledger contains list of pupil name, age, date, place of residence Condition (private pupil, state beneficiary, or trustee beneficiary), remarks, and results (status at discharge). Bulk of ledger contains paragraph descriptions of individual pupils.

Box 15A: School Journal, 1839-1840: student lists, daily schedules including morning and night routines, academic classes, devotional exercises, work and chores, summary of offenses and discipline. Daily accounts of special events and visitors. Workshop lists. Written by Samuel Gridley Howe, Director.

Box 15B: School Journal, 1845-1848: Remarks on pupils, conduct, academics, events, and visitors. Detailed information on weather with entries at sunrise, noon, and sunset with columns for: thermometer, barometer, wind, and weather (example: 42, 29.6, SW, cloudy). Limited account information for a portion of 1845.

Box 16: Original register, 1832-1858. Alphabetical index of students in front. Pages contain: No., Name, Age, Date of Entry, Residence, Condition, Degree of Blindness, Supposed Cause, Departure, Remarks, Page. Almost completely empty. Note in front: "Original Register later copies into Master register."

Box 17: Pupil Register #1, 1832-1862. Front of ledger contains alphabetical index of students. List of pupils, age, date of entry, residence, term, degree of blindness, cause of blindness, date of departure, general remarks, and page number. Page number refers to longer entries including a thorough medical diagnosis and comments such as "head will shaped" (phrenology), and "Protestant Church, anything but Catholic".  Ledger mostly empty.

Box 18: Pupil Register #2, 1832-1894. Primary source for enrollment information. Columns include: Number, Name, Age, Date of Entrance, Residence, Parentage, Condition (state beneficiary, private pupil, trustees), Degree of Blindness (partial, total, discerns lights, blind and deaf), Supposed Cause (accident, congenital, disease, brain fever, malpractice), Departure, Remarks, Died, Page number. Alphabetical index at front. Starting on page 129 paragraphs on medical history and doctor's diagnosis (Williams, Green, Derby, Howe). Entry for Annie Sullivan on page 475.

Box 19: Summary of Pupils, 1868-1876: Report of the Perkins Institution for the Blind to the State Board of Charities. Includes student enrollment, admissions, discharges with numbers broken down by gender.

Box 20: Summary of Pupils, 1876-1889: Report of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind to the State Board of Education (Anagnos). Includes student enrollment, admissions, discharges with numbers broken down by gender.

Box 20A: Monthly Record of Pupils, 1890-1897: Enrollment, home town (Whence entered), medical information, absences from school, and deaths. Lists include Kindergarten and Workshop.

Box 21: Enrollment & attendance, 1890-1906: Enrollment for this period 199-290 pupils. Records include: date of admission, name, age, birthplace, residence, supported by, in school or workshop, discharged, and date of discharge. Also includes quarterly reports on enrollment, broken down by gender, and transcripts of reports submitted to the State Board of Education.

Box 22: Kindergarten Pupil Register, 1895-1913: Details of students, medical diagnosis, info on parents, student summaries.

Box 23: Enrollment & attendance, 1898-1905, monthly summaries, 1897-1905. Monthly Record of Pupils: includes: Pupil's number, name, date of birth, Whence entered, months (September to June), and date discharged. Back of ledgers contains: monthly summary of blind persons connected with the Perkins Institution and Mass. School for the Blind (organized by state), and lists of boys, girls, and kindergarten children.

Box 24: Enrollment & attendance, 1906-1911: Enrollment for this period 303-311 pupils. Monthly records of pupils including: pupil number, name, date of birth, "Whence Entered" (town or city of origin), listing for absences or returns, and discharge date.  Separate monthly listings for girls department, boys department, kindergarten department, girls primary, boys primary, and workshop for adults. Back of ledger contains various lists of pupils and monthly totals.

Box 25: Enrollment & attendance, 1906-1924: Enrollment for this period 299-318 pupils. Records include: date of admission, name, age, birthplace, residence, supported by, in school or workshop, discharged, and date of discharge. Also includes quarterly reports on enrollment, broken down by gender, and transcripts of reports submitted to the State Board of Education.

Box 26: Enrollment & attendance, 1912-1919, monthly summaries, 1911-1914. Monthly Record of Pupils: includes: Pupil's number, name, date of birth, Whence entered, months (September to June), and date discharged. Back of ledgers contains: monthly summary of blind persons connected with the Perkins Institution and Mass. School for the Blind (organized by state), and lists of boys, girls, and kindergarten children.

Box 27: Enrollment & attendance, 1926-1932, monthly summaries, 1925-1932. Monthly Record of Pupils: includes: Pupil's number, name, date of birth, Whence entered, months (September to June), and date discharged. Back of ledgers contains: monthly summary of blind persons connected with the Perkins Institution and Mass. School for the Blind (organized by state), and lists of boys, girls, and kindergarten children.

Box 28: Enrollment & attendance, 1920-1925, monthly summaries, 1919-1926. Monthly Record of Pupils: includes: Pupil's number, name, date of birth, Whence entered, months (September to June), and date discharged. Back of ledgers contains: monthly summary of blind persons connected with the Perkins Institution and Mass. School for the Blind (organized by state), and lists of boys, girls, and kindergarten children.

Subseries 2: Deportment

Box 29: Boys Department Record of Deportment, 1884-1885, entries by student with alphabetical index. Infractions include: impertinence, unexcused absence, tardiness, rudeness, unsatisfactory work in class, talking after silence bell, etc. Back of ledger contains weekly tallies for: First Class, Second Class, Third Class, Fourth Class, Class A, Class B, and Class C

Box 30: Girls Department Record of Deportment, 1884-1885, 1887-1888, entries by student with alphabetical index. Infractions include: impertinence, unexcused absence, tardiness, rudeness, unsatisfactory work in class, talking after silence bell, etc.

Box 31: Girls Department Record of Deportment, 1902-1908, first page: list of students held at school during Spring vacation as punishment, followed by student listings (one or two per page) with a list of infractions by date. Infractions include: tardiness, disobedience, sauciness, forgetfulness, disorderly room, not observing bedtime hour, exposure of health, etc. Mostly empty.

Subseries 3: Grades
Box 32: Girls Department Record of Scholarship, 1880-1883, list of subjects with pupils names and assessment: excellent, very good, good, fair, improving, etc. Includes Anne Sullivan.

Box 33: Girls Department Record of Scholarship, 1883-1886, list of subjects with pupils names and assessment: excellent, very good, good, fair, improving, etc. 

Box 34: Boys Department Record of Scholarship, 1898-1901, charts by term with student names at left and columns of classes. Grades listed on a scale of 10 with fractions listed to the tenths.

Box 35: Gradebook, 1901-1929, organized by grades: post-graduates and 1st-8th classes. Lessons include: College English, Virgil, Beginners Greek, Grammar, Physical Geography, Arithmetic, Elementary Sciences, English History, Spelling, Reading, Begining Latin, Languages, Reading, Typewriting, Sloyd, Tuning, Mattress Making, Chair Caning, Deportment, Gymnastics, etc. Numerical and letter grades (100 scale, A-E +/-).

Series 3: Workshop and Industrial Department Records
Box 36: Workshop accounts, 1846-1871: entries by name and date, no listing of what was purchased beyond the label "sundries", and method of payment. Columns labeled cash, shop, sundries, and balance. In back of ledger separate entries for quantities and amounts of food products including: meat, fish, flour, crackers, meal, raisins and prunes, coffee, tea, sugar, molasses and syrup, vegetables, macaroni, Farina, etc.

Box 37: Workshop orders, 1855-1858: orders by name with specifications and dates. Inside cover has information about room rentals. Orders include mattresses made from feathers, hair, cotton, palm-leaf, and husk, also mattress and ticking cleaning and repair . Other products include pillows, sofa cushions, chair cushions, bolsters, sheets, carpet bags, and fiber mats. Chair caning also available. Most services (anywhere from 5-20 entries per day, but usually about 7) are for repairs: "sofa to be put in good order", "feather bed to be cleansed and new tick", "mattress to be made new", or "Tick washed".

Box 38: Workshop correspondence, received 2/14/1859-6/8/1865: original correspondence pasted into a bound volume with an alphabetized index at the back. Letters addressed to Mr. D. L. Bradford. Letters on a variety of subjects including: balance on accounts, placing orders, inquiries about services, letters requesting books in raised type, chair caning, brooms, and mattresses.

Box 39: Workshop Correspondence, outgoing, 1848-1856, 1867: handwritten transcripts of outgoing correspondence from J. W. Patten (sales-room director, formerly a pupil of the institution) and S. G. Howe. Correspondence related to financials, employment, real estate, purchasing, advertising, debt collection, and mattresses. Back of ledger also contains lists of national and international schools for the "blind, deaf, and dumb", "idiot hospitals", prisons, libraries, and reform schools.

Box 40: Inventory of stock, 1867-1881: yearly inventories recorded every October 1st of: household furniture, provisions, stable, boy's workshop, printing office, books stereotyped, bound/unbound books, raised/common type, school apparatus & furniture, musical department, pianos, musical library, and treasury report. 

Series 4: Other Records

Box 41: Engagements, 1903-1908: Employment records. Hiring, contract extension, copies of outgoing correspondence. 

Box 42: Catalogue of Cuts, no date, mostly empty inventory of "cuts"- image blocks used in the printing process (metal plate). Ledger contains pasted copies of the printed images on paper. Mostly Perkins founders and deafblind students including Helen Keller. Cuts used in annual reports and other publications.

Box 43: Blindiana Library books lent to scholars, 1901-1906, mechanical reproduction of titles with researcher's names written at the top of the pages, with alphabetical index at front.

Box 44: Account book 1830s & Black Marble Group ms., J. R. H. Anagnos: account ledger of Joseph Neals Howe, Samuel Gridley Howe's father dating from 1806-1807. Ledger listings are by name or by company and almost entirely for cable or cordage, but also listings for various rope, tar, possibly hemp and other illegible listings. After a break the ledger is re-purposed by Julia Romana Howe Anagnos, Samuel Gridley Howe's daughter and later married to Michael Anagnos, to write an undated draft of a work of fiction titled "The Black Marble Group". 

Box 45: Record of Wills, 1894-1919, wills and clippings. Includes original legal documents in addition to handwritten typescripts. Contains alphabetical index. Dorothea Dix p. 33. Stephen J. Blaisdell, p. 138 (mentions Annie Mansfield/Anne Sullivan). 

Box 45A: Record of Wills, [1910-1941], wills and clippings, legal documents and handwritten transcripts of newspaper notices and original wills. Contains alphabetical index.

Box 46: Origami Exercises, L. H. Stratton, 1884: Lucy Henrietta Stratton was a teacher in the Kindergarten at Perkins. Scrapbook of pasted origami in assorted colors.

Box 47: L. H. Stratton's Pupil Notebook, [1898-1919]: Lucy Henrietta Stratton was a teacher in the Kindergarten at Perkins. Contains notes and photographs of pupils in Anagnos Cottage. Notebook has accompanying set of cyanotype photographs of Thomas "Tommy" Stringer (deafblind) with other pupils at the Kindergarten at Jamaica Plain. 

Box 48: Worcester Auxiliary for the Kindergarten for the Blind, 1894-1911

Box 49: Record of John McGillicuddy, 1915

Box 50: History of Clarence Goddard while at Perkins, 1926-1930

Subject Headings: 

Perkins School for the Blind.
Perkins School for the Blind--History