Grace M. Hill Esperanto Collection

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

Creator: 

Grace M. Hill

Date Range: 
1909-1938
Call number: 
AG64
Abstract: 

The collection includes books, pamphlets, correspondence, and clippings belonging to Grace M. Hill, who was a faculty member at the Perkins School from approximately 1924 to 1931.  Materials in the collection date from 1909 to 1938.   The bulk of the collection includes textbooks for learning or teaching Esperanto and books and plays in Esperanto.  The collection includes material from the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) co-founded in 1924 by Alice Vanderbilt Shepard Morris, great-granddaughter of the tycoon, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt as well as an Esperanto play by Alice Morris and Alice Morris 2nd sent to Grace Hill (circa 1927).

Extent: 
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Language: 
English, Esperanto
Processed by: 

Erinn Rhodes, 2018

Biographical/Historical notes: 

Miss Grace M. Hill was a member of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind Teachers and Officers of the Upper School Literary Department (Girls’ Section) from approximately 1924 to 1931.  Upon her retirement, she was noted in the 1931 Annual Report of the Trustees of Perkins as a “sometime teacher of geography, Esperanto, and nature study” and to have “taught not only inspirationally but with an originality and consecration which won her pupils completely.”

Esperanto is a constructed language created in 1887 by Dr. Ludwig L. Zamenhof, a Polish Jewish doctor, as a means to bring together people of different cultures, religions and ethnicities.  The first Esperanto society in the United States was founded on February 16, 1905 in Boston, and Perkins was home shortly thereafter to the second Esperanto Society. The 1920s, following World War I, served as a particularly active period for the teaching and spread of Esperanto.  In 1924, the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) was established to promote research and discussion about an auxiliary language.  It was co-founded by Alice Vanderbilt Shepard Morris, great-granddaughter of the tycoon, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt. However, although Esperanto never gained widespread popularity in the U.S., today Esperanto is spoken by more than 2,000,000 people around the world. Esperanto Braille was developed by Théopile Cart and Harald Thilander.  This was followed by the founding of the first Esperanto braille magazine, Esperanta Ligilo, in 1904 and, in 1923, the Universal Association of Blind Esperantists was created. A second Esperanto braille magazine, Aŭroro, has been published since 1920.

Sources of information: 

Clark, Walter J.  International Language: Past, Present, and Future with Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar. London: J.M. Dent & Company, 1907.

Falk, Julia S. Women, Language and Linguistics. Three American Stories from the First Half of the Twentieth Century.  London: Routledge, 1999.
 
Garvía, Roberto. Esperanto and Its Rivals: The Struggle for an International Language. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Mass Moments. “February 16, 1905 First Esperanto Society Formed.” Accessed March 30, 2018. 

Owlcation. “The Wonderful Horrible History of Esperanto, the Universal Language.”  Accessed March 30, 2018.

Unpublished reference resources on Esperanto and Esperanto and Perkins developed by Perkins School for the Blind Reference Librarian, Jennifer Arnott.

Wikipedia. “Esperanto Braille.” Accessed March 30, 2018. 

Restrictions: 
None
Credit line/Citation: 
Grace M. Hill Esperanto Collection, Perkins School for the Blind
Scope/Contents: 

The collection includes books, pamphlets, correspondence, and clippings belonging to Grace M. Hill, who was a faculty member at the Perkins School from approximately 1924 to 1931.  Materials in the collection date from 1909 to 1938. The collection contains textbooks for both learning and teaching of Esperanto. Several include English-Esperanto dictionaries. Most books have written notes on the cover, inside front cover, or in the front matter with dates, information about the author, and origin of the book.  The Esperanto books and plays date from 1909 to circa 1932 and most originate from the American Esperantist Company or Esperanto Association of North America. The collection includes a series of materials related to the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) in the United States. These include membership pamphlets, publications, annual reports, course flyers, and conference proceedings.  Correspondence with Perkins related to Esperanto include two copies of an Esperanto play by Alice Morris (aka Alice Vanderbilt Shepard Morris) and Alice Morris 2nd that were sent to Grace Hill (circa 1927) and a handwritten manuscript entitled “The Value of Esperanto to the Blind” with accompanying notes that indicate that it was sent to Mr. Allen in 1935 by William J. Sharp.  There is an accompanying envelope labeled “Harald Thilander” and Thilander’s work in the development of Esperanto Braille is detailed in the manuscript. The clippings include information about Esperanto courses (e.g. Boston University College of Business Administration 1928) and newspaper clippings (e.g. Netherland railways to include Esperanto in menus 1938).

Arrangement: 

The collection is housed in one box and is arranged in five series. The content in each series has been arranged chronologically.  

The following abbreviations are used:

B1:F1 = Box 1: Folder 1

The Series are arranged as follows:

Series 1: Dictionaries and language courses, 1923-1930

Series 2: Books and plays, 1909- circa 1932

Series 3: International auxiliary language association, 1924-1935

Series 4: Esperanto and Perkins, correspondence, circa 1927-1935

Series 5: Clippings, 1922-1938

Container List: 

Box: 1 Series 1: 
B1:F1: Dictionaries and language courses, 1923-1925
B1:F2: Dictionaries and language courses, circa 1929-1930

Series 2: 
B1:F3: Books and plays, 1909- circa 1932

Series 3: 
B1:F4: International auxiliary language association, 1924-1935

Series 4: 
B1:F5: Esperanto and Perkins, correspondence, circa 1927-1935

Series 5: 
B1:F6: Clippings, 1922-1938

Provenance: 
This collection was donated to Perkins Archives by Grace M. Hill in October 1946.
Subject Headings: 

Esperanto

Esperanto Braille

Perkins School for the Blind.

Perkins School for the Blind--History.

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