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Kenneth Stuckey ; Claude Ellis 

Date range:

1950-1990, bulk 1980s

Call number:



This collection contains the records of Claude Ellis’ 40 year career at Perkins School for the Blind. While at Perkins, Ellis served as head of the Physical Education Department and Athletic Director, master in Tompkins Cottage, Academic Coordinator in the Principal’s Office, Assistant Principal, Principal, Junior and Senior High Program Supervisor, and Coordinator of Instructional Support Services. Materials include administrative records, local, regional, and national guidelines for educational institutions, and project files. There are also photographs from Ellis’ retirement party and physical education work.


2 linear feet, 4 half manuscript boxes



Processed by:

Susanna Coit, 2021-2022

Processing note:

Two related collections were combined during processing. The separate collections are maintained as Series 1 and Series 2. Original order was preserved, as well as original folder names except where noted.

Biographical/Historical note:

Albert Claude Ellis (1928-2022) was born in Malden, Massachusetts on June 18, 1928. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1950, he married Mae Holmberg (1926-2014) and began his 40-year career at Perkins as a physical education teacher. On January 1, 1951, he was called to serve in the United States Army, stationed in Korea as a physical education instructor in 1952 and 1953. Ellis returned to Perkins in 1953 as the head of the Physical Education Department and Athletic Director. Throughout his time at Perkins he also served: master in Tompkins Cottage (1953-1958), Academic Coordinator in the Principal’s Office (1962), Assistant Principal (1964), Principal (1967), Junior and Senior High Program Supervisor (1977), and Coordinator of Instructional Support Services (1978). He remained the Head of the Physical Education Department until 1967, when he became the Principal. In 1957, Ellis earned his Master’s degree from Boston University. His wife, Mae, is listed as the Registrar in the late 1960s. Before moving to a house built on campus in 1958, the Ellis family lived in a suite of rooms in Tompkins Cottage. 

Ellis was involved in many activities, projects, and programs while at Perkins. He hosted workshops, trainings, and presented at conferences including the topic of “The Paid Work-Experience On and Off the Campus at Perkins” at the Association for the Education of the Visually Handicapped in 1974. Ellis developed the first mobility program at Perkins in 1954, which introduced cane travel.  In 1955, he worked on a project to improve cane travel skills, work that continued throughout his career. He also directed a summer school at Perkins, starting a new Title I program in 1966. Ellis coached track and wrestling as he innovated adaptive technology and methods to allow students with visual impairments to participate in sports such as baseball, running, and bowling. A testament to his work, Ellis was honored by the New England Association of the American Athletic Union for his “loyal service and sincere efforts to advance amateur sports in New England.” An avid runner, Ellis ran the Boston Marathon 18 times during his life, at least once with another Perkins teacher and student in 1970. In 1977, he was invited to participate in the Second World Masters Track and Field Tournament in Sweden and ran numerous road races.

Claude and Mae Ellis both retired in 1990 and moved to Farmington, New Hampshire with his wife. He died on February 25, 2022. 

Sources of information:

A. Claude Ellis: Coordinator, Instructional Support Services.The Lantern, Vol. XLVII(1), December 1978, p. 6.

A. Claude Ellis of Farmington, New Hampshire. C.E. Peaslee & Son, Inc. Accessed April 27, 2022.

Administration Changes at Perkins. The Lantern, Vol. XXXVI, March 1967, p. 14. Available on the Internet Archive.

Administrative Changes at Perkins.136th Annual Report of the Perkins School for the Blind, 1967, p. 8. Available on the Internet Archive. 

Faculty 1953-4.” 122nd Annual Report of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind, 1953, p. 12. Available on the Internet Archive. 

Faculty 1956-1957.” 125th Annual Report of the Perkins School for the Blind, 1956, p. 11. Available on the Internet Archive. 

Instructional Programs.” 146th Annual Report of the Perkins School for the Blind, 1977, p. 31. Available on the Internet Archive. 

Staff Appointments.” The Lantern, September 1964, p. 10. Available on the Internet Archive.


None. Documents with privacy concerns have been edited to provide access and are noted as such.


It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Perkins School for the Blind, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright. 

Credit line/Citation:

AG187 Claude Ellis Collection. Perkins School for the Blind Archives, Watertown, MA.

Scope and contents:

The collection includes guidelines, guidance, and manuals from local, regional, and national organizations overseeing the operations of schools and schools for the blind (e.g., Department of Education, Watertown Board of Health). Administrative records consist of emergency administrator on duty, the development of a volunteer manual, as well as fire and building inspections. There are also project files for athletic fields, a new gym, and the library. Descriptions of classes for staff (such as flower arranging) and other school activities are also included. The collection includes color photographs of Claude and Mae Ellis’ retirement party in 1990 as well as black and white photographs related to Ellis’ physical education work at Perkins between 1968 and 1986.


B1:F1 = Box 1: Folder 1

4 boxes, original order preserved of the files and of the contents of the files

The collection is arranged in two series, by donation. Series 1 documents Ellis’ work from 1968 to 1990. It was collected and arranged by Kenneth Stuckey. Series 2 was donated as part of the Directors Office Correspondence and Project Files and includes administrative records, regulatory guidance, manuals, and other documentation of Ellis’ work at Perkins between 1984 and 1987.

Series 1: Kenneth Stuckey collection, 1968-1990

Series 2: Directors Office Correspondence and Project Files, 1984-1987

Container list:

Box: 1 Series 1: 

  • B1:F1: “Mr. Ellis Retirement,” 1990
  • B1:F2: Photographs, 1968-1986, undated
  • B1:F3: Perkins Staff Bowling League, 1970-1971
  • B1:F4: Alumni and Track Meet, 1975
  • B1:F5: Physical Education Records, 1971
  • B1:F6: Fire Regulations, 1970
  • B1:F7: Open House, 1975
  • B1:F8: “Reference Info: Theater and dramatic presentations and info”, circa 1983
  • B1:F9: Open House, 1976
  • B1:F10: New Gym, 1960
  • B1:F11: Boys Athletic Field Plans, 1973
  • B1:F12: “Misc. Perkins Documents”, 1969, 1970
  • B1:F13: “Talk To Parents Group,” 1950

Series 2:

  • B1:F14: National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Handicapped, 1984-1987
  • B1:F15: N.A.C. Policies and Correspondence, 1978-1987
  • B1:F16: N.A.C. Annual Meeting, November 10-11, 1984
  • B1:F17: New Regulations – OFC and Correspondence, 1989
  • B1:F18: C.O.R.I., 1987

Box 2

  • B2:F1: Administrator for Emergency Coverage, 1978-1991
  • B2:F2: N.A.C. On-Site Review, May 10-13, 1981
  • B2:F3: Beginners Drawing Course for Staff, 1987
  • B2:F4: Staff Woodworking Class, 1982-1983
  • B2:F5: Volunteers, 1987
  • B2:F6: Volunteer Banquet, 1989, 1990
  • B2:F7: Volunteer Manual, 1988
  • B2:F8: Volunteer Program, 1989
  • B2:F9: [Volunteer Information Folder], 1988
  • B2:F10: [Job Training, undated]
  • B2:F11: Request for Personnel Forms, undated
  • B2:F12: Staff Flower-Arranging Class, 1983
  • B2:F13: Staff Juggling Class, 1983
  • B2:F14: Staff Crafts Sampler Course, 1983
  • B2:F15: Staff Caning Class, undated

Box 3:

  • B3:F1: Library Project – School Library – Shelves, paint, carpet, 1987
  • B3:F2: School Library, 1987
  • B3:F3: Car Clearance Handouts, undated
  • B3:F4: In-Service Training, 1981-1986, 1990
  • B3:F5: Computers In Libraries, 1985
  • B3:F6: Dwight Hall Sound System Proposals, 1985
  • B3:F7: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), 1978-1989
  • B3:F8: [Campus maps, 1964, undated]
  • B3:F9: School Library Proposal to Shepley-Bulfinch, 1985
  • B3:F10: M.A.A.P.S., 1982-1989
  • B3:F11: D.O.E. – Regional Quincy [Department of Education],176, 1978, 1990

Box 4:

  • B4:F1: Building Inspector, 1980-1990
  • B4:F2: P.L. [Public Law] 94-142, 1975
  • B4:F3: CARF an ASHA, 1983, 1984
  • B4:F4: OFC Conference at Perkins, September 26, 1985
  • B4:F5: Green St. Licenses (WFD, Bldr. Insp., Bd. of H), 1987
  • B4:F6: D.M.H. [Department of Mental Health], D.M.R. [Department of Mental Retardation], 1978-1988
  • B4:F7: Quarterly Inspection, Watertown Fire Department, 1979-1989
  • B4:F8: G.B.A.A.P.S. [Greater Boston Chapter of the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Schools], 1986-1990
  • B4:F9: Department of Social Services
  • B4:F10: Regional Review Board, May 9, 1980
  • B4:F11: D.O.E. Old Approvals, 1983, 1985, 1986
  • B4:F12: A.E.R.B.V.I. [Association for Educational and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired], 1984, 1989
  • B4:F13: Board of Health, 1977-1986

Related collections:

AG45 Perkins’ Directors’ Office Files. Perkins School for the Blind Archives, Watertown, MA.


Series 2 was received from Ken Durand in 2015 as part of the Directors Office Correspondence and Project Files.  

Subject headings:

  • Perkins School for the Blind
  • Perkins School for the Blind–History
  • Teachers of people who are blind
  • Physical education for people who are blind
  • Physical education teachers

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