Perkins School for the Blind
This twenty-one volume collection of bound scrapbooks contains newspaper clippings, articles, and pamphlets about Helen Keller, from her early education to her later life. The clippings include information about other deafblind students, including Thomas Stringer, Edith Thomas, and Laura Bridgman, as well as references to Anne Sullivan, Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, and other figures in Helen Keller’s life.
6 linear feet (21 volumes)
Charlotte Cushman ; Susanna Coit (2019) ; Biography updated by Susanna Coit, 2022
As one of the first schools to educate children who are deafblind, Perkins staff kept a collection of articles about the students and their progress through their lives. In addition to information about Perkins students, information about figures involved in those students’ lives beyond their education was collected.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama to retired army Captain Arthur Keller and his second wife, Kate. Helen had a younger brother (Phillips Brooks) and sister (Mildred), and two older half brothers. When she was nineteen months old, she became ill with a very high fever that ultimately left her deaf and blind. Doctors at the time diagnosed this as “brain fever” or “brain congestion,” but experts today believe that she most likely suffered from scarlet fever or meningitis.
Helen Keller developed her own system of hand gestures to communicate with her family and by the time she was seven she had nearly 60 such gestures. Nonetheless, she was frequently frustrated by the inability to express herself. When Anne Sullivan arrived to teach her in 1887, Keller quickly learned to fingerspell, as well as to read braille and raised type, and to write in block letters.
After a year and a half of homeschooling, Sullivan decided that Keller would benefit from the resources of a school. In 1888, Sullivan brought Keller to study at Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind (now Perkins School for the Blind). She became a student at the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York in 1894 before attending the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896 to prepare for Radcliffe College. In 1904 she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe and became the first person with deafblindness to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Helen Keller was a prolific writer, publishing 14 books and numerous articles. She traveled across the globe, advocating for social issues, such as women’s suffrage and rights for people who are blind or deafblind. She received numerous awards throughout her life for her humanitarian efforts.
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.
AG145 Helen Keller Newspaper Notices Collection. Perkins School for the Blind Archives, Watertown, MA.
This twenty-one volume collection of bound scrapbooks contains newspaper clippings, articles, and pamphlets about Helen Keller, from her early education to her later life. The scrapbooks all have bookplates indicating that they belonged to Michael Anagnos or Edward E. Allen, who were the second and third directors of Perkins respectively.
The clippings include information about other deafblind students, including Thomas Stringer, Edith Thomas, and Laura Bridgman, as well as references to Anne Sullivan, Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, and other figures in Helen Keller’s life.
The articles are arranged chronologically in volumes. Some of the volumes are available digitally via the Internet Archive. A list of publications and subjects for each volume is available by request.
List of digital collections related to Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan that are available online.
Scrapbooks and Clippings of various subjects available on the Internet Archive.
- Volume 1: 1887-1893
- Volume 2: 1894-1902
- Volume 3: 1903
- Volume 4: January-July 1904
- Volume 4b: 1904
- Volume 5: August-December 1904
- Volume 6: 1905
- Volume 7: 1906
- Volume 8: 1907-1908
- Volume 9: 1909-1911
- Volume 10: 1912-1913
- Volume 11: 1913
- Volume 12: 1913
- Volume 13: 1914
- Volume 14: 1915
- Volume 15: 1916
- Volume 16: 1916-1921
- Volume 17: 1922-1926
- Volume 18: 1917-1933
- Volume 19: 1934-1937
- Volume 20: 1936-1947
- Bridgman, Laura Dewey, 1829-1889
- Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
- Stringer, Thomas, 1886-1945
- Sullivan, Anne, 1866-1936
- Thomas, Edith, 1882-
- Children who are deafblind
- Perkins School for the Blind–History
- Perkins School for the Blind
Existence and Location of Copies
Links to digitized reproductions of the collection on the Internet Archive are available on the digitized Helen Keller newspaper notices scrapbooks guide.
Explore more resources from the Archives
Learn more about our collections, including digitized materials, and resources related to the history of Perkins School for the Blind and the history of education for people with blindness or deafblindness.