Gabriel Farrell Collection Finding Aid

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


Gabriel Farrell, Perkins Institution

Date Range: 
1898-1968, Bulk: 1930-1960
Call number: 
11 linear feet
Processed by: 

Processed by Ryan McDonough, 2012

Biographical/Historical notes: 

Dr. Gabriel Farrell, an ordained Minister, served as the fourth Director of the Perkins School for the Blind from 1931- 1951. As director he revitalized the deaf-blind program, establishing the Perkins Pension Plan, oversaw the re-design of the Perkins Brailler, created a co-educational program for the once segregated boys and girls deaf-blind program, and taught teacher training courses at Harvard University. Dr. Farrell is the author of The Story of Blindness, published in 1956. Farrell served as Secretary and Trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind, was a member of the National Advisory Committee for the war-blinded, and served as President of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) from 1950-1951. After retiring from Perkins in 1951, he returned to the Episcopal Church where he continued to work in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Gabriel Farrell died in 1968.

Sources of information: 

Appendix A: Presidents (Chairmen) of ICEVI, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) website. Retrieved on December 7, 2012 from:

Credit line/Citation: 
Gabriel Farrell Collection, Perkins School for the Blind

10 series, 18 boxes. Includes: 35 Personal Journals, 2 Daily Planners, 12 Periodicals, 6 Scrapbooks,  29 black & white photos, 1 magnetic recording, 4 16mm reels of safety film, 22 Lp’s, 2 metal pressings/stampers, 1 Bay State awarded plaque, and 1 rough draft manuscript.                            

Series 1: Writings, Publications and Reviews by Farrell       
            Sub-series 1: The Story of Blindness Manuscript
Series 2: Conferences, Lectures, and Radio Broadcast Transcriptions
Series 3: Activities, Correspondence, and Research as Perkins 4th Director
Series 4: Personal Correspondence
Series 6: Daily Planners
Series 5: Gabriel Farrell Post-Perkins Career
            Sub-series 2: Gabriel Farrell’s Trip to Iran
Series 7: Scrapbooks
Series 8: Personal Library
Series 9: Memorabilia
Series 10: Sound Recordings: Long-Playing Records and Stampers

Container List: 

Series 1: Writings, Publications, and Reviews by Farrell

Box 1

Folder 1: “Attitudes and Services as Reflected in Statutory Actions Affecting the Blind,” American Association of Workers For The Blind, Inc., n. d.

Folder 2: “Reflections at a Milestone”, 1937

Folder 3: “Social Service as a Career”, 1932

Folder 4: “The Exercise of the Benevolent Affections”, 1949

Folder 5: “Social Service in a Modern World”, 1939

Folder 6: “The Places of the Blind in a Modern Social Welfare Program”, 1939

Folder 7: “Training For Industry”, 1943

Folder 8: “Children of the Silent Night”, 1953, 1956

Folder 9: The Asian Blind, 1958

Folder 10: “The Blind in Asia” American Foundation for Overseas Blind, n. d.

Folder 11: The Blind in Iran Report, n. d.

Folder 12: “The Place of the Blind in the Modern World”, 1949

Folder 13-14: “Segregation and/or Integration”, 1940

Folder 15-17:  “Iran: A Hot Spot in a Cold War”, 1951

Folder 18: “Vocational Training of the Blind in the United States”, 1949

Folder 19: “Why Placement?”, 1937

Folder 20: “Hereditary Blindness”, 1935

Folder 21: “The Blind Mentally Retarded in America”, 1935

Folder 22-23: “How the Blind See”, 1935

Folder 24: Centennial of Perkins Institution for the Blind, 1932

Folder 25: “A Boy’s Dream Come True”, 1920

Folder 26: “Social Aspects of Visually Handicapped Children”, 1951

Folder 28: “When Eyes Take Holiday”, 1937

Folder 29: “Vocational Guidance at Perkins”, 1937

Folder 30-31: “Pensions for the Blind”,1936-1937

Folder 32: “Hanover’s Most Illustrious Woman”, 1937

Folder 33: “The Right of Sight”, 1937

Folder 34: “The Education of the Deaf-Blind”, 1937

Folder 35: “Help for the Blind Soldiers”, 1944

Folder 36: “For Those in Darkness”,1943

Folder 37: The Blind in the United States, n. d.

Folder 38: “Our Approach to Legislation”, 1943

Folder 39: “Education of Blind Children”, 1940

Folder 40: “Mental Hygiene for the Blind”, 1939

Folder 41: Notes on Mental Hygiene, n. d.

Folder 42: “Blindness in the Modern World”, 1933-1935

Folder 43: “Our New Citizens”, 1946

Folder 44-46: “The Blind”, 1945

Folder 47: “Education & Health of the Partially Seeing Child”, 1944

Folder 48: “Observations from a Tower of Ivory”, 1939

Folder 49: “Reflections from an Ivory Tower”, 1940

Folder 50: “Welfare of Blind and Partially-Sighted Children”, 1950

Folder 51: Dartmouth Mother of Men, n. d.

Folder 52: “The Education of the Blind”, 1933

Folder 53: “The State and the Blind”, 1937

Folder 54: “A Survey of the Social Aspects of Visually Handicapped Children”, 1950

Folder 55: Notes on The Goat, 1937

Folder 56-57: Reports on Retrolental Fibroplasia, 1949

Folder 58: “The Miracle Worker”, 1963

Folder 59: “The Supreme Moment”, 1963

Folder 60: The Harvard-Perkins Course, 1942

Folder 61: Miscellaneous Duplicates of Gabriel Farrell’s Publications and Articles, n. d.

Folder 62: List of Gabriel Farrell’s Writings, n. d.

Folder 63: Perkins One Hundred and Twenty-First Report, 1952

Folder 64: Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings and Articles

Folder 65: “Work for the Blind in Retrospect”, 1951

Folder 66: Review of Gabriel Farrell’s Story of Blindness, 1957

Folder 67: Various Book Reviews of Gabriel Farrell’s Work

Sub-series 1: The Story of Blindness Manuscript
Box 7
Folder 68: The Story of Blindness: Index

Folder 69: The Story of Blindness: Forward and Contents

Folder 70: Chapter 1, Shooting Stars on the Horizon

Folder 71: Chapter 2, Beginning with Children

Folder 72: Chapter 3, Stirrings in Europe

Folder 73: Chapter 4, Pioneering in America

Folder 74: Chapter 5, Opening of New Ways

Folder 75: Chapter 6, The Way Ahead

Folder 76: Chapter 7, Children of the Silent Night

Folder 77: Chapter 8, Fingers for Eyes

Folder 78: Chapter 9, Battle of the Types

Folder 79: Chapter 10, Mechanizing the Dots

Folder 80: Chapter 11, Ears for Fingers - early draft not in the final publication.

Folder 81: Chapter 11, Ears for Fingers  - as it appears in the book.

Folder 82: Chapter 12, Compensation – The Early Objective

Folder 83: Chapter 13, Parity – The Goal

Folder 84: Chapter 14, The Toll of War

Folder 85: Chapter 15, Who are the Blind?

Folder 86: Chapter 16, The Extent of Blindness

Folder 87: Chapter 17, Gains Achieved

Folder 88: Chapter 18, The Present Front

Folder 89: The Story of Blindness: References for Chapters 1-18

Series 2: Conferences, Lectures, and Radio Broadcast Transcriptions
Box 2
Folder 90: Conference of Educators of Deaf-Blind Children, 1953

Folder 91: Material relating to the Conference for Physically Handicapped, 1953

Folder 92-93: Programs, Pamphlets, & Correspondence related to The Belgium Conference, 1952

Folder 94: Programs, Pamphlets, & Correspondence Subsequent Meetings, Belgium Conference, 1952

Folder 95: Text of Opening Meetings, Belgium Conference, 1952

Folder 96: Oxford and Amsterdam Conference, 1949

Folder 97: International Conference of Educators of Blind Youth, 1963

Folder 98: Bussum Conference, 1953

Folder 99: Harvard Class Correspondence, 1942-1944

Folder 100: Harvard Class Lecture: Voluntary Organizations, 1951, 1954, 1955

Folder 101: Harvard Class Register, 1942

Folder 102: Harvard Class Register, 1940

Folder 103: Reading Lists

Folder 104: Harvard Class Lecture: Higher Education for the Blind

Folder 105: Harvard Class Lecture: Notes for the History of the Deaf-Blind: 1942, 1946-1948, 1950-1952

Folder 106: Harvard Class Lecture: Last Decade of A.A.I.B., 1950-1952

Folder 107: Harvard Class Lecture: The Blind Outside of the United States

Folder 108: Harvard Class Lecture: Opportunities and Responsibilities (Opening Talk), 1941, 1943-1950.

Folder 109: Harvard Class Lecture: European Beginnings, 1950-1952

Folder 110: Harvard Class Lecture: American Beginnings, 1950-1952

Folder 111: Harvard Class Lecture: Hereditary Blindness, 1949-1952/ Graph of Eye Disorders amongst pupils in USA, 1942-1943

Folder 112: Harvard Class Lecture: History of Reading and Types, 1950-1952

Folder 113: Harvard Class Lecture: Causes of Blindness, Lecture at Boston Univ. of Occupational Therapy, 1945-1946, 1948

Folder 114: Harvard Class Lecture: Extent of Blindness, 1945 – 1950

Folder 115: Harvard Class Lecture: Legislation for the Blind, 1947-1954

Folder 116-117: Harvard Class Lecture: Public Relations and Administrative Problems 1, 2, 1947-1951

Folder 118: Harvard Class Lecture: One In A Thousand, 1941

Folder 119: Harvard Class Lecture: War Blinded, 1947-1949, 1951,1951

Folder 120: Harvard Class Register, 1939-1941

Folder 121: Harvard Class Lecture: Day Classes vs. Residential Schools, 1950-1951

Folder 122: Harvard Class Lecture: Devices for Writing, 1950-1952

Folder 123: Harvard Courses: Inquiries about Application and Course, 1942-1943

Folder 124: Harvard Class Lecture: Problems in Socialization, 1948-1950

Folder 125: Harvard Class Lecture: Avenues of Communication, 1949

Folder 126: Lowell Institutive Lectures: 1953

Folder 127: Lowell Institutive Lecture 1: Definition and Extent of Blindness

Folder 128: Lowell Institutive Lecture 2: Blind Bards of Early Days

Folder 129: Lowell Institutive Lecture 3: First Attempts to Educate Blind Youth

Folder 130: Lowell Institutive Lecture 4: Training the Blind to Contribute

Folder 131: Lowell Institutive Lecture 5: Tools of Learning Without Sight

Folder 132: Lowell Institutive Lecture 6: Economic Compensation for Visual Impairment

Folder 133: Lowell Institutive Lecture 7: The Deaf-Blind and Their Needs

Folder 134-135: Lowell Institutive Lecture 8: Causes and Curses of Blindness

Folder 136-138: National Committee for Deaf-Blind Children, 1, 2, 3 1956-1962

Folder 139: The International Conference, 1952

Folder 140: The Rehabilitation Conference: The Young Blind, 1948

Folder 141: Columbia Lecture: Modern Trends in Education of Blind Children, 1945-1950

Folder 142: The Gabriel Farrell Lectures: Definition and Extent of Blindness, Blind Bards of Early Days, First Attempt to Educate Blind Youth

Folder 143: The Gabriel Farrell Lectures: Training the Blind to Contribute, Compensation for Visual Impairment, the Deaf-Blind and Their Needs

Folder 144: The Gabriel Farrell Lectures: Causes and Cures of Blindness

Folder 145: American Foundation for the Blind: The Foundation’s Contribution to Education, 1950’s

Folder 146: National Academy of Sciences: Blindness in the Modern World, 1950-1951

Folder 147: The University of Michigan Conference: Community and Family Problems, 1947

Folder 148: White House Conference: Report on the Visually Handicapped In Massachusetts, 1932

Folder 149: Address at Jordan Hall Concert: A Century of Service (Centennial Speech), May 1932

Folder 150: Alumni Dinner Address: The Future of Perkins (Centennial Speech), November 9, 1932

Folder 151: Address at the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America, September 29, 1935, the Methuen, Massachusetts Lions Club, October 18, 1934, and in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, November 3, 1933

Folder 152: Radio Broadcast: The Deaf-Blind at Perkins Institution, December 13, 1947

Folder 153: Radio Broadcast, WORL: Perkins Institute for the Blind, October 8, 1936

Folder 154: Radio Broadcast, WEEI: The State and the Blind, October 27, 1937

Folder 155: Radio Broadcast, WBZ: Preparing For Life at Perkins, December 6, 1938

Folder 156: Radio Broadcast, WLAW: Special Legislation for the Blind, January 23, 1945

Folder 157: Radio Broadcast, WNAC: Education of the Blind Child, February 19, 1933

Series 3: Activities, Correspondence, and Research as Perkins 4th Director
Box 3
Folder 164: List of Speaking Engagements of the Director, 1934-1950

Folder 165: Perkins Calendar, 1935-1936

Folder 166: Perkins Staff Meeting: Opening Talks, 1945-1950

Folder 167: Invocation: Commencement, 1957

Folder 168: Exchange Teacher: Deaf-Blind, 1937

Folder 169: Extra-Curricular Activities

Folder 170: Fire Drill

Folder 171: Filing Procedure at Perkins

Folder 172: V-E Day Service, 1945

Folder 173: Perkins Booklet

Folder 174: Lincoln Dollars

Folder 175: Library Building [WPA Projects], 1938-1948

Folder 176: Chapel Windows, 1946

Folder 177: Jokes

Folder 178: Knots & Notches

Folder 179: Games and Appliances for the Blind

Folder 180: Domestic Science

Folder 181: Ediphone Transcribers

Folder 182: Home Teaching

Folder 183: Teaching Course: Home Training

Folder 184: Howe Memorial Press Survey, 1940

Folder 185: Howe Memorial Club

Folder 186: International Studies

Folder 187: Jordan Hall, Floor Plan

Folder 188: Junior College

Folder 189: Director’s House

Folder 190: Director’s Reception, 1938

Folder 191: Rules of the School

Folder 192: Library Bulletins

Folder 193: Decorations in Dwight Hall

Folder 194: Kindergarten Course of Study: by Francis M. Andrews, 1932

Folder 195: Large Type Experiments

Folder 196: Various Form Letters, 1932-1945

Folder 197: Perkins Financial Statements, 1931-1938

Folder 198: U.N Economic and Social Council, 1951

Folder 199: Research of Braille

Folder 200-201: Development of Interprint/Interpoint Braille, 1925-1938

Folder 202: Reading Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Society

Folder 203: William Terry Touch Alphabet (Touch Alphabet)

Folder 204: Changing Front, May 29, 1945

Folder 205: Seeing Eye Dog Literature, 1931-1938

Folder 206: The Visagraph, 1931

Folder 207: Extract from “Rapport Prelminaire Sur La Situation Sociale Dans Le Monde Et Les Niveaux De Vie En Particulier”, 1945

Folder 208: Legislative News on Work for the Blind, 1941

Folder 209: “To Be A Better Blind Man” The Red Cross Magazine, April, 1919

Folder 210: Terry Center for Blind Babies

Folder 211: “Blind Poets” “Stars In The Night”, 1955

Folder 212: “Educators Washington Dispatch, March 1947 – December, 1948

Folder 213: Massachusetts Child Council: Legislation Statistics, 1946

Folder 214: Saturday Evening Post: Mystery of the Blind Babies, 1955

Folder 215: Information on the Blind Population in Australia, 1933

Folder 216: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary: Retrolental Fibroplasia writings

Folder 217: Boston Sunday Herald: 9 Yr. Hunt Pressed for Clue to Mystery of Blind Infants, 1951

Folder 218: The Ophthalmic Optician, 1963

Folder 219: New Seventh Sense for the Blind, April 29, 1945

Folder 220: Instruction Manual, Form and Guide: The New York Institute for the Education of the Blind, 1945

Folder 221: Veterans Administration Laws and Instructions, and Vocational Rehabilitation

Folder 222: Foundation for Vision: U.S. Contracts, 1946

Folder 223: Information on Air Raids at Perkins

Folder 224: Avon Old Farms Hospital Publication, 1941

Folder 225: Advisory Committee and Rehabilitation for Blinded Veterans

Folder 226: War Blinded Program Newspaper Articles and Research: 1942-1943, 1945

Folder 227: Veterans Administration Articles and Applications, 1946-1949

Series 4: Correspondence
Box 4
Folder 228: Correspondence: Veterans Administration, 1945

Folder 229: Correspondence: War-Blind, 1943

Folder 230-231: Correspondence: Avon Old Farms Hospital

Folder 232-233: Correspondence: Surgeon General’s Office

Folder 234: Correspondence: Victor Belboni: Health Department, 1946

Folder 235: Correspondence: National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, 1953-1958

Folder 236: Correspondence: Robert B. Irwin, 1942-1947

Box 5
Folder 237: Correspondence: United Nations and UNESCO, 1953

Folder 238: Correspondence: Deficiency Diseases in Relation to the Eye, 1953

Folder 239: Correspondence: Various Correspondences with Gabriel Farrell, 1952-1955

Folder 240: Correspondence: Sir Clutha Mackenzie, 1951

Folder 241: Correspondence: Director’s Reception: RSVP, 1941

Folder 242: Correspondence: Sunday Evenings at the Director’s Cottage, 1932-1937

Folder 243: Correspondence: United Nations and UNESCO Survey Agreement, 1951-1953

Folder 244: Correspondence: National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, 1945-1952

Folder 245: Correspondence: Letters from the Blind Service Association, 1945

Folder 246: Correspondence: With/About Valley Forge, 1944-1945

Series 5: Gabriel Farrell Post-Perkins Career
Box 6
Folder 247: Gabriel’s Blue Cross Information and Paperwork/Announcements of Gabriel’s Passing

Folder 248: Retrospective Speech on the Retirement of Gabriel Farrell, 1951

Folder 249: Dr. Farrell’s Bay State Award, 1957

Folder 250: Gabriel Farrell’s Retirement and Passing Announcements

Folder 251: Gabriel Farrell’s Life Insurance Documents and Biographical Articles

Folder 252: Assorted Newspaper Articles on Gabriel Farrell’s Passing and Memorial Service, 1968

Folder 253: Memorial Service Handouts for Gabriel Farrell, 1968

Folder 254: Transcribed Speech at the Memorial Service for Dr. Gabriel Farrell, October 1, 1968

Folder 255: Mrs. Farrell’s Correspondence about access to Gabriel’s writing, 1969

Folder 256: Mrs. Farrell’s Correspondence with Edward J. Waterhouse, 1969

Folder 257: The Spectator Year Book, 1943

Folder 258: The Spectator Year Book, 1944

Folder 259: The Browner Year Book, 1944

Folder 260: William R. Farrell’s Thesis Report: The School for the Blind in Shiraz, Iran, 1951

Folder 261-269: Gabriel Farrell’s Financial Statements: 1913-1921

Folder 270: Pamphlets from St. Luke’s and the Epiphany Church, 1919

Folder 271: Phillip Brooks Memorial Endowment Fund, 1919

Sub-series 2: Gabriel Farrell’s Trip to Iran
Box 3
Folder 158: The article “The Blind in Iran,” for the Imperial Organization for Social Services.

Folder 159: The Bi-Annual Report of the Iran Foundation, Inc. January 1949- March 21, 1951

Folder 160: Report to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind: International Conference of Educators of the Blind, August, 1954

Folder 161: Dr. Farrell’s Correspondence to family from Iran. Letters to and from his daughter and mother.

Folder 162: Dr. Farrell’s Trip to Iran: Newspaper Clippings and Research, and Photographs from Dr. Farrell’s trip. Includes 6 B&W photos of local children in Iran

Folder 163: Dr. Farrell’s Trip to Iran: Correspondence to the Imperial Foundation, and the Iranian Embassy.

Series 6: Memorabilia
Box 17
Folder 272: The Harvard Times: November 17, 1945

Folder 273: Standard Indian Braille

Folder 274: Photographs of Gabriel Farrell 1931-1951. Twenty-five, black and white photographs of Gabriel, ranging from LIFE headshots to photographs of his day-to-day activities at Perkins

Folder 275: Materials from the Museum Exhibit about Gabriel Farrell. Included are biographical writings and one black and white photograph of Farrell as a Chaplin in the army

Folder 276: Summaries for Educational Facilities for the Blind, 1952

Folder 277: “New Seventh Sense for the Blind,” American Weekly. April 29, 1945

The Bay State Award Plaque, awarded to Gabriel Farrell in 1956

Series 7: Personal Library
Box 16
Nature of Creative Activity by Viktor Lowenfeld. Signed by the author, and inscribed to Gabriel Farrell, for his encouragement

Perkins Institution and its Deaf-Blind Pupils by Anna Gardner Fish

Perkins Institution for the Blind, Reports 101-105, Second Century Volume 1, 1932-1936

Perkins Institution for the Blind, Reports 106-110, Second Century Volume 2, 1937-1944

Perkins Institution for the Blind, Reports 116-120, Second Century Volume 5, 1947-1951

Survey: Social Aspects of Blind Children by Gabriel Farrell

The Education of Blind Youth by the International Conference of Educators of Blind Youth

Harvard Studies in Education, Published under the direction of the graduate school of education, Volume 19 by Ralph Vickers Merry

The Story of Blindness by Gabriel Farrell. Two copies, one signed by Farrell, 1956

The Civic Herald: Volume One: 1913-1914. Two copies, edited by Gabriel Farrell Jr.

Series 8: Daily Planners
Box 4-5
Daily Planner: 1898-1906, 1906-1907, 1907-1908 (two volumes), 1910-1915, 1917-1930, 1935, 1945

Series 9: Scrapbooks
Box 8-13
Box 8: Undated

Box 9: 1915-1918

Box 10: 1918-1919

Box 11: Newark 1919-1922

Box 12: Summer of 1921

Box 13: Newark 1922-1927

Series 10: Sound Recordings: Long-Playing Records and Stampers
Box 18
2 Metal Stampers: Contains the address by Gabriel Farrell at WNAC 4:00-4:15 pm, February 19, 1932, pressed on Newbury street in Boston, MA.

5 LP’s: Reflections of a Milestone, as read by Dr. Gabriel Farrell.

17 LP’s: A Story of Blindness, as read by Dr. Gabriel Farrell.

1 magnetic reel: Dr. Farrell’s Memorial Service, October 1, 1968

4 reels of safety film


Copyright © Perkins School for the Blind