The Founding of the Perkins School

Early events in the creation of the Perkins School beginning with John Dix Fisher and Samuel Gridley Howe.

Howe Press and the Perkins Brailler

History of the establishment of the Howe Press and products produced including the Perkins Brailler.

The Deafblind Program

Description of the deafblind program beginning with Samuel Gridley Howe and Laura Bridgman. Descriptions of techniques including the manual alphabet and the Tadoma method.

Music Program

History and description of music curriculum and instruction and the history of tactile music notation.

Famous People

Biographical information about some of the famous people associated with Perkins including: Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Henry David Thoreau, Julia Ward Howe, Sir Francis Joseph Campbell, and more.

Kindergarten for the Blind

Discussion about the need for, rational, and events leading to the establishment of a Kindergarten for the blind in 1882.

Campus Place Names

Explanation of the individuals that buildings, cottages, and rooms are named for and their contribution to Perkins.

Campus Locations

Charts the growth and movement of the various Perkins locations and names. From 140 Pleasant St., Pearl St. (Post Office Square), South Boston (Dorchester Heights), Jamaica Plain (Kindergarten), and Watertown, Massachusetts (present day).

Archives Program

Introduction to the archives field, the Perkins collection and ongoing preservation, digitization and description initiatives at Perkins.

Perkins’ First Family

The story of Julia Ward Howe and the founding Director of Perkins, Samuel Gridley Howe.

Bridgman, Sullivan, Keller: Excerpts

Speech written for the dedication of the Bridgman cottage by Laura A. Stover. Valedictory address by Anne M. Sullivan, 1886. Essay written by Helen Keller when she was 12 years old about her first visit to Perkins.

A Sense of Place

Introduction to the feel and layout of Perkins’ Watertown, MA campus.

Books for the Blind

History of reading, writing, and printing systems for the blind.


Explanation of method and production of tactile maps and atlases, including a description of a Works Progress Administration project at Perkins to create the most complete embossed atlas in the world during the Great Depression in 1936-1938.

Beyond the Campus

Introduction to work for the blind carried out off campus including literacy, printing embossed books, home teaching, and efforts to help establish schools for the blind in other states and internationally.

Reading and Writing

Early reading and writing systems for the blind.


Arithmetic has always been part of the core curriculum at Perkins. This segment discusses tactile teaching tools including the arithmetic board, and the work of Nicholas Saunderson- a blind mathematician.