Jimmy Osborn Newspaper Clippings and Photographs Collection

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

Date Range: 
Call number: 

This collection documents how James Osborn, known as "Jimmy," performed for and befriended members of the American Ninth Air Force. It also documents their efforts to get him an education at Perkins. Jimmy would arrive at Perkins in 1945 and the collections documents this story, which got national attention. It also includes mention of his family's immigration to the United States. 

1 linear foot, 2 half-size document cases
Processed by: 

Jen Hale, 2013, updated 2019 Jen Hale

Biographical/Historical notes: 

James Osborn, known as Jimmy, became widely known in the United States as the British blind pianist who was “adopted” by members the American Ninth Air Force. While stationed in England during World War II, the 9th raised money so that 10-year-old Jimmy could get an education in the United States. In 1945, James was enrolled at Perkins School for the Blind. James was from Romford, England.In 1947, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Osborn moved to the United States, settling in Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

Credit line/Citation: 
Jimmy Osborn Clippings and Photographs Collection, Perkins School for the Blind.

This collection documents how members the American Ninth Air Force met Jimmy Osborn, sought out education for him, and his subsequent arrival at Perkins in 1945.  The bulk of the collection are clippings. The bulk of the photographs document Jimmy's initial arrival to the United States. The story got national attention.


2 Series, 2 boxes arranged chronologically

Series 1: Clippings, 1945-1951

Series 2: Photographs, circa 1945

Container List: 

Box 1: Clippings and photographs, 1945-1951

Folder 1: Collier’s clipping with handwritten note from the author, 1945

Folder 2: Clippings sent from Capt. John F. O’Connell of the United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF), 1945

Folder 3: Clippings, 1945-1951

Folder 4: Clippings, 1945-1951

Folder 5: Clippings, 1945-1951

Box 2: Photographs, circa 1945

Folder 1: Pan American Photographs, circa 1945

Folder 2: Photographs, circa 1945


Subject Headings: 

Perkins School for the Blind.

Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind.


World War, 1939-1945.

Blind musicians.

Copyright © Perkins School for the Blind