Opened in 2004, the Perkins Museum tells the story of Perkin School for the Blind from its inception in 1829 to the present day. Located in the main hall of the Howe Building on Perkins' Watertown campus, the museum showcases photos, plaques, correspondence and historical relics from the school's early founders and well-known students Laura Bridgman, Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.
The Perkins Museum also traces the history of educating students who are blind or deafblind in many disciplines – including reading and writing, geography, math, science, music and sports.
Visitors can learn about the history of braille writing machines, from crude devices made of wood and steel to today’s sleek, colorful Perkins Braillers. Also available for exploration are tactile board games like chess, early books for people who are blind and the oldest and largest tactile globe in the United States.
The Museum showcases a number of historical figures with a connection to Perkins, including philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau; poet Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic;” inventor Alexander Graham Bell and Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women.