The Research Library gets a number of requests from students, researchers, community members, and others. We're always glad to help with questions by email (preferred) or phone, but have collected some additional resources and information about common topics below.
- Research Library Catalog: Search our catalog to find over 48,000 items including books, dissertations, journal articles, pamphlets and other items related to blindness, deafblindness, blindness education and the history of Perkins. Help with searching the catalog is also available.
- Perkins Archives and digital collections: Many items in our Archives are now available online. The Archives website provides details about these collections and many other items relating to Perkins history, such as: Samuel Gridley Howe, Laura Bridgman, Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller (along with other individuals associated with Perkins.)
- Scout is an information clearinghouse with online resources on all aspects of visual impairments and blindness, maintained by the Research Library staff.
- Directory of Massachusetts Agencies Serving Individuals Who Are Blind is a searchable list of services for persons who are blind or visually impaired in Massachusetts. The Directory search from the American Foundation for the Blind lists a variety of resources and can be searched by state or province as well as type of service.
- The Research Library has a subscription to ERIC Full Text, a database of journal articles, dissertations, and other research material focused on education. Access is available to members of the general public while visiting the Research Library.
A variety of resource guides and bibliographies are available on the Research Library catalog documents area.
Documents are available by going to the Search menu, selecting Documents, and entering any search terms. You can enter an asterisk (*) by itself in the All Fields search area to get a list of all documents.
Subject Guides provide resources for specific types of questions, and link to additional resources and searches. They include:
- Historical resources: Information about the history of Perkins, blindness education, and famous (and less well-known) people in the blindness community.
- Practitioner Resources: Material for practitioners in the field including selected resources on specific topics.
- Distance services: Details about the services we can provide at a distance.
Email us at HayesLibrary@perkins.org with information about your project, grade level, and what kind of information you’re looking for. We welcome requests from both students and teachers. If you need help with any of the options below, please let us know.
Can I interview someone for my project?
Yes, if we can find a time that works for both of us. We have a document about how to arrange an interview and what kinds of questions work well.
Do you have photos I can use in my school project?
We do! You may use up to five images from our collection for free, but we will need a form signed by someone over the age of 18. (This can be a parent, guardian, teacher, or librarian who knows how the images will be used). Email us at HayesLibrary@perkins.org and we'll send you the form and explain the process. Once the completed form is returned to us, we will email you the images.
Please contact us if you would like to use more than five images. For uses other than school projects, our image use and licensing information explains the options and fees.
Do you have materials to help with a school assignment?
We do! First, you might want to check out the Perkins History Museum, which has information about Perkins, many people associated with it, and the history of blindness education.
We also have handouts and other materials about a variety of topics, including Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Laura Bridgman, braille, and the history of Perkins. Some of the materials we’d love to share with you include:
- Copies of essays and articles about these people and why their lives were important.
- Braille cards that let you feel and identify the individual letters.
- Photographs and films (available online) about the school and famous people associated with it.
- Documents about the school, and the education of the blind and deafblind.
If you include your mailing address, we can send you some additional handouts and items related to your question. We are currently working on updating a number of our handouts, let us know what topics you’re particularly interested in.
What are good books about Helen Keller?
There are lots of great books about Helen! Email or call with your question and we'd be glad to help you identify the best resources for your particular project.
Do you have information about other people who are blind or visually impaired?
View a list of famous people who are blind or visually impaired that you can learn more about. There are links to information about them, their lives and accomplishments.