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About the Perkins History Timeline Project

The Perkins Timeline Project highlights specific events, people, and ideas that have influenced both Perkins and the larger blindness community.

Where is the exhibit?

The exhibit is designed so we can easily bring it to different spaces or events on campus. The exhibit lives on the brick wall between the Museum and the Research Library when not displayed elsewhere.

What does the exhibit involve?

The exhibit uses foamcore panels to display information. Most panels highlight two specific years in our history, with a series of facts, events, and interesting information tied together by a person, event, or concept. The “How are the panels designed” section later on this page describes the specific layout.

Some boards have copies of historical documents like advertisements and letters. Additional panels highlight charts and statistical information about the school and blindness education. We have future plans to create panels for special events or anniversaries.  

Where can I learn more about a topic?

This area of our website will have an online version of the timeline that includes links to additional material about the topics in the timeline. You’ll be able to access resources and more detailed descriptions and transcriptions of some of the many materials in the Perkins Archives.

How are the panels designed?

Most panels share information about two years in our history, with each year having a vertical column. The year is listed at the top (with a description of the layout in braille), with related items below. Items are also linked thematically, through highlight colors and tactile stickers.

The exhibit panels are made of foamcore boards with each item of information on its own piece of foamcore attached by velcro. Please remove any individual item if you would like to read it more easily or share it with someone who cannot reach that item.  

Images are briefly described in braille, and some items have tactile components (such as swell paper graphs and an example of embossed text.) Longer image descriptions are available from the website version of the timeline.

Some boards have copies of historical documents like advertisements and letters. We provide a print version, a braille version, and a large print transcription for each of these documents.  Some items also reference related materials in the Perkins Museum that you can touch and handle.

I have a question, who can I ask?

Please let the Research Library and Archives staff know if you have a question about this project or any of the information included in it. We’re happy to help.  Please also let us know if you have an accessibility question or need. You can reach us at [email protected] (Research Library), [email protected] (Perkins Archives), or at 617-972-7250. 

Elizabeth McClellan, a child born both deaf and blind due to a rubella infection, learned new communication skills after coming to Perkins.

Throughout history, Perkins emerges stronger from world-changing events

Early 20th century group portrait of Teacher Training Program participants.

Teacher of teachers

Kindergarten boys kneel next to white geese at the edge of Perkins Pond in November 1936.

A pond for study and fun