Dr. Edward J. Waterhouse Collection

Samuel P. Hayes Research Library
Perkins School for the Blind
175 N. Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472


Edward J. Waterhouse

Date Range: 
1950-1999 (bulk dates: 1951-1971)
Call number: 

Contains materials related to the life and works of Dr. Edward J. Waterhouse, former director of Perkins School for the Blind from 1951 to 1971. The collection contains correspondence, clippings, writings, publications, photographs, and materials related to Waterhouse’s time as director at the school, as well as his personal impact and advocacy for better legislation and programs for people who are blind or deafblind.

4 linear feet
Processed by: 

Megan Weinstein, 2012; biography revised by Susanna Coit, 2020

Biographical/Historical notes: 

Edward J. Waterhouse (1902-1999) was born in Hale, England and graduated from Queen’s College Cambridge University in 1930. The same year, he immigrated to the United States and in 1933 began teaching mathematics at Perkins School for the Blind in 1933, where he was also a housemaster in one of the school’s residences. From 1935 to 1938 he represented Perkins in the planning and directing of WPA projects, which made educational models for the blind and embossed maps. In 1948 he was appointed manager of the Perkins’ Howe Press and while in that position he did much to introduce to the world the newly designed Perkins Brailler.  He also helped to establish new programs and services in the United States and worldwide for individuals with deafblindness.  In addition, he worked to expand the Perkins Teacher Training Program for professionals around the world.

In 1951 Dr. Waterhouse became the fifth director of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind (now Perkins School for the Blind). He resigned as director in 1971, but continued to work as a consultant for Perkins for a number of years. He also served as a trustee of the National Braille Press (Boston) and as an overseer of the John Milton Society for the Blind (New York). He was chairman of the North American Committee on Service for the Blind and Deaf from 1970-1974. He was involved with ICEVI (formerly ICEBY or the International Conference of Education of Blind Youth) from its very conception and its first conference in 1952 and later served as president of the conference from 1962-1967.  He died in Bath, Maine, on September 17, 1999.

Sources of information: 

"In Memoriam." ICEVI (International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment). ICEVI, 1998-2006. Retrieved from http://www.icevi.org/publications/educator/Fall_01/article15.htm

Credit line/Citation: 
Dr. Edward J. Waterhouse Collection, Perkins School for the Blind

10 series, 6 boxes
Series 1: Publications, 1953-1977

Series 2: Braille Mathematics Code Committee, 1950-1960

Series 3: Federal Legislation, 1962

Series 4: International Conference of Education of Blind Youth (I.C.E.B.Y.), 1967

Series 5: Pamphlets, the “New England Plan”, the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Watertown campus, and manual arts photograph set, 1952-1962

Series 6: Perkins Publicity and History, 1934-1970

Series 7: Foreign Correspondence and Travel, 1951-1969

Series 8: Photographs, 1954-1969

Series 9: Personal Papers, 1951-1999

Series 10: Materials donated by Waterhouse descendants

Container List: 

Series 1: Writings and Publications, 1953-1977
*note, collection starts with Folder 5

Box 1: Folder 5: Internal memos about article “Maladjustment and Maternal Rejection in Retrolental Fibroplasia” by Barry published in Mental Hygiene. Critique of article and concerns about student privacy, 1953

Box 1: Folder 6: Conference Papers, 1953-1976.

Box 1: Folder 7: Book reviews written by Waterhouse for publications relating to blind and deaf-persons.

Box 1: Folder 8: Publications - “Education of the Deaf-blind in the United States 1837– 1967”, “The Emergence of Anne Sullivan”, “Emphasis: The Deaf-blind”, “Extra-curricular Program at Perkins”, “Helping the Deaf-blind to face the future”, “History of the Howe Press of Perkins School for the Blind”

Box 1: Folder 9: Publications - “Arithmetic Aids for the Blind”, “A Complete Program for Deaf-blind Children”, “Audiovision, the Blind, Deaf-blind”, The Challenge of Change”, “A Consideration of the Work of Samuel P. Hayes in relation to the Individual Blind Child”, “Current Status of the Perkins Brailler”, “Deaf/Blind Children in the Perkins School for the Blind”, “Deaf-blind Children and their Future”, “Deaf-blind Progress”, “Education of the Deaf-blind”, “Education of Blind Children in the United States of America”       

Box 1: Folder 10: “A Lifetime of Work with Blind Children”, n.d.

Box 1: Folder 11: “Communication by Braille and Recordings”, 1953

Box 1: Folder 12: “Montfort College Special Course for Teachers of the Regulations and Syllabus”, 1970, 1971              

Box 1: Folder 13: “The Deaf-blind Child: Educational training or Custodial Care”, 1972

Box 1: Folder 14: “Deaf-blind Adolescent”, 1973

Box 1: Folder 15: “Planning a Public Relations Program for the Rehabilitation of the Deaf-blind”, 1974 

Box 1: Folder 16: “What Deaf-blind Children Need”, 1975 

Box 1: Folder 17: “The Status of Deaf-blind Persons throughout the World”, 1976

Box 1: Folder 18: “A Complete Program for Deaf-blind Children”, n.d.

Box 1: Folder 19: “Perkins and its reputation”, 1976

Box 1: Folder 20: Book copy, review, and writings, 1971, 1973, 1975, n.d.

Box 1: Folder 21: Biographical data (written by Waterhouse)
Box 3: Bound publications and books 
Mental Hygiene, Vol. XXXVII  October, 1953 No. 4

Conferencia Panamericana Para el Bienestar de los Ciegos, handwritten notes

The Landon School, Washington, D. C., 1931 (Waterhouse was academic aide to a blind student in the 1930s)

*box contains list of titles that weren’t kept, or were integrated into the Research Library collection

Series 2: Braille Mathematics Code Committee, 1950–1960
Box 1: Folders 22-24: Braille Mathematics Code Committee Documents

Series 3: Federal Legislation, 1962
Box 1: Folders 25-26 to Box 1A: Folder 27: Federal Legislation on Rehabilitation and Special Education, in particular, the Exceptional Children Act of 1962, H.R. 10123, and H.R. 10125 (includes copies of the proposals), 1962

Series 4: International Conference of Education of Blind Youth (I.C.E.B.Y.), 1967
Box 1A: Folder 28: Correspondence (includes thank you notes from attendees written to Waterhouse from when Perkins School for the Blind hosted the conference in 1967)

Series 5: Pamphlets, the “New England Plan”, the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Watertown campus, and manual arts photograph set, 1952-1962
Box 1A:  Folder 29-30: Pamphlets

Box 1A: Folder 31-32: New England Regional Conference on the “New England Plan”, 1952– 1953.  This discusses an offer to make Perkins programs available to public schools due to the growing student body at Perkins, as seen in 1952

Box 1A: Folder 33: The New England Plan Council, 1952

Box 1A: Folder 34: Deaf-blind screening sessions, 1958-1960

Box 1A: Folder 35: Corporation and Library (including the dedication of the reference library), 1966

Box 1A: Folder 36: Adelphi Research Center, 1961-1965

Box 1A: Folder 37: Fifty years on the Watertown campus, 1912-1962

Box 1A: Folder 38: Proposal for the use of funds donated in the memory of Rose M. Vivian

Box 1A: Folder 39: Memorials Committee, n.d.

Series 6: Perkins Publicity and History, 1934-1970
Box 2: Folder 40: History of the Deaf-blind department at Perkins, 1934-1954. Includes one letters (and one copy) from Waterhouse to Helen Keller.

Box 2: Folder 41-42: Newspaper clippings, 1954-1999

Box 2: Folder 41: Original clippings

Box 2: Folder 42: Photocopies of the original clippings

Box 2: Folder 43: “Fourth World” book and film, 1956-1958

Box 2: Folder 44: Article written by Don Murray in the Saturday Evening Post, reactions and correspondence, 1957

Box 2: Folder 45-45A: Deaf-blind Publicity, 1957-1962

Box 2: Folder 46: Braille Bowling Indicator, 1960

Box 2: Folder 47: “Children of the Silent Night” film, 1961

Box 2: Folder 48: Florence Cohen’s article on deaf-blind entitled “Speak into the Darkness”, 1961

Box 2: Folder 49: Gala Preview of the “Miracle Worker” film for the benefit of the Anne Sullivan   Memorial Fund, 1962

Box 2: Folder 50: Deaf-blind and Rubella, 1962-1966

Box 2: Folder 51: Dennison Christmas Recording Project, 1964

Box 2: Folder 52: BBC Programs on Perkins (Stephen Grenfell), 1964-1965

Box 2: Folder 53: “Searching for Light”, a film by the NHK Special Reporting Team of Radio-Television Japan, 1965.

Box 2: Folder 54: Perkins record of “Una Cantante de Noe” correspondence, 1965

Box 2: Folder 55: The Mike Douglas Show, 1965

Box 2: Folder 56: Discussions of Various Braillers, 1967-1970

Box 2: Folder 57: Brochures, n.d. Includes brochures for deaf-blind programs at Perkins and other schools

Series 7: Foreign Correspondence and Travel, 1951-1969
Box 2: Folder 58: Deaf-blind in Iran and the Middle East, 1951-1961

Box 2: Folder 59: W.C.W.B., 1953-1954. World Council for the Welfare of the Blind, World Assembly conference in Paris, France

Box 2: Folder 60: Pan-American Conference, 1954

Box 2: Folder 61: Far East Conference on the Welfare of the Blind, 1955

Box 2: Folder 62-63: Perkins Officials visit Japan in 1967, 1956-1967. [4 photographs]. Includes correspondence prior to the trip and 4 small photos

Box 2: Folder 64: Waterhouse’s Trip to Japan, 1967

Box 2: Folder 65: Asian Correspondence on the Deaf-blind, 1957-1963

Box 2: Folder 66: India Palayamkottai Training Course, 1958-1961

Box 2: Folder 67: Correspondence with the New England Lions-CARE committee, 1959-1965. CARE (Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, INC.) for the rehabilitation of the blind in Greece

Box 2: Folder 68: Lions-CARE Appliances, 1963-1965

Box 2: Folder 69: American Friends of the Blind in Greece, INC., 1964-1969

Box 2: Folder 70: Deaf-blind Conference in Denmark, 1962-1965

Box 2: Folder 71: UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) correspondences, 1962-1966

Box 2: Folder 72: World Federation of the Deaf, Fourth World Congress conference of the Deaf in Stockholm, Sweden, 1963

Box 2: Folder 73: The Second Asian Conference on Work for the Blind, Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaysia, 1963

Box 2: Folder 74: International Conference on the Education of the Deaf in Washington, D.C., 1963

Box 2: Folder 75: Asian Trip, 1964

Box 2: Folder 76: Correspondence with schools in the Middle East, 1965

Box 2: Folder 77: Waterhouse’s Trip to Jamaica to visit the Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Handicapped Children, 1968

Series 8: Photographs, 1954-1969
Box 2: Folder 78: W.C.W.B. World Assembly conference in Paris group photo of attendees, 1954. [1 photograph]

Box 2: Folder 79: Personal photographs, 1955-1969. [36 photographs]. Includes holiday cards to Waterhouse in 1967, personal photographs, and Perkins-related photographs

Box 2: Folder 80-81: Perkins staff photographs, 1957-1969, n.d. [15 photographs]

Box 2: Folder 82: Photographs of Piano Tuning (Manual Arts at Perkins), 1961. [5 photographs]

Box 2: Folder 83: Photographs from Waterhouse’s Trip to Japan, 1967. [13 photographs]

Box 2: Folder 84: Photographs of Mr. and Mrs. Waterhouse, n.d. [52 photographs]

Series 9:  Personal Papers, 1951-1999
Box 4: Folder 85: Diploma of honorary Doctorate of Letters bestowed on Waterhouse by Gallaudet University, signed by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957

Box 4: Folder 86: Memorabilia, 1951-1976. Includes recognition by Boston Society of Optometrists and recognition for his Department of Education appointment as an advisory board member for the Division of the Blind

Box 4: Folder 86A: Memorabilia and Personal Papers, 1951-1976

Box 4: Folder 87: Special Education Services Study, 1973

Box 4: Folder 88: Conference Paper, “Correlating Home and Personal Management and Daily living skills with the school program of the slow learning visually handicapped”, 1974

Box 4: Folder 89: Waterhouse’s Writings, 1953-1977

Series 10: Materials donated by Waterhouse descendants, 2014
Box 5: Awards, plaques, certificates, medals (AFB and Anne Sullivan), retirement related memorabilia and correspondence

Box 6: Photographs: travels abroad, Chan Poh Lin, with Gov. Volpe, Ted Kennedy visit to Perkins, deafblind department, foreign travel, conferences and Perkins related articles and writings. Includes Waterhouse’s original letter of hire by Gabriel Farrell.

Box 7: 16mm films, 8 titles

The Perkins Story, 1957

Children of the Silent Night, 1961

Legacy of Anne Sullivan, 1968

Realities of Blindness-The Perkins Experience, 1972

Children Without Sight, 1971

The World of Deaf-Blind Children “Deaf-Blind Circus,” circa 1975 

The World of Deaf-Blind Children - Growing Up, 1975

The World of Deaf -Blind Children - How They Communicate, 1975

Subject Headings: 

Perkins School for the Blind.
Perkins School for the Blind--History.

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