Perkins History Audio Recordings

Howe Reading Club

Description of the Howe Reading Club written by Julia E. Burnham from the 1929 Perkins Annual Report.

Perkins Mission

Defining a living institution- beyond the campus and the school, a discussion of Perkins' mission and philosophy.

Creating Tangible Geography in the Boys' Department

Description of interactive geography lesson where the students craft tactile maps out of plasticine and paraffin on wooden trays.


History of science education and methodology with emphasis on the tactile museum and models of the natural world.

Sports At Perkins

Perkins pioneered physical education for the blind in the United States from the beginning with efforts undertaken by Samuel Gridley Howe. Description of the evolution of physical education including the playground movement.

The Girls' Program for Intercottage Competition

Essay on the Girls' Program for Intercottage Competition written by Mary Howe Ferguson and printed in the 1931 Perkins Annual Report.


Short recording of a game in progress. Goalball is a sport for the blind played with a ball that has bells in it.

Perkins' Cheerleaders, 2004

Short recording of Perkins' cheerleaders.

Perkins Pond

Description of the educational, recreational, and historic aspects of the Perkins Pond from an article in The Lantern, 1979.

Report on Campus Move to Watertown, 1913

Excerpt from the Perkins Annual Report, 1913, on the transition from the South Boston campus to Watertown.

Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

History of library services, literacy, Howe Press, and other events leading up to the creation of the Braille and Talking Book Library and beyond into current day circulation and technology changes.

WPA Project: Talking Book Machine, circa 1935

Address by Mr. Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to the people of America who are blind, about the Talking Book Machine. Recorded at the talking book studio of the American Foundation for the Blind. Project federally funded through the WPA, Library of Congress, and the American Foundation for the Blind. Recording also contains a brief overview of other WPA projects at schools and organizations for the blind.

“Perkins Institution Within the Memory of Those Still Living” Centenary address by Director Edward E. Allen

Address delivered at the Perkins Centenary by Director Edward E. Allen titled “Perkins Institution Within the Memory of Those Still Living” written by Edward E. Allen. Description of Perkins in the second half-century of the school, largely based on Allen’s personal experiences. Topics include: Dr. Howe and thoughts on socialization, descriptions of staff, daily schedule of students and life in South Boston, importance of physical education, the Work Department, the establishment of the Royal Normal School for the Blind in England and its relationship with Perkins.

Christmas Concert with address by Dr. Gabriel Farrell, 1935

Recording begins with "Gloria In Excelsis Deo" sung by the Perkins Chorus, then breaks at 1 minute 45 seconds for commentary about the performance and music for the blind in general by Perkins Director Dr. Gabriel Farrell. The recording continues with a performance of "Silent Night" at 4 minutes 40 seconds. This concert preceded a Christmas Concert at Jordon Hall in Boston with the full 175 members of the Perkins Chorus.

Tower Bells Chiming, 2014

Short recording of the Wheelwright Bells in the Perkins tower. The bells were originally change ringing bells. For more information read this blog post. Recorded by Jerry Berrier, August, 2014