​Perkins Music and Theater Programs, and Other Material Finding Aid

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

Creator: 

Perkins School for the Blind

Date Range: 
1878-circa 1940, bulk 1880s-1900s
Call number: 
AG37
Abstract: 

Primarily embossed programs in Boston Line Type from plays performed by Perkins students in the 1890s-1910s. Includes programs from concerts performed for Perkins students and programs from school events and celebrations, including annual receptions for the kindergarten, and graduation programs. There are also some materials in braille, such as book catalogs, alphabet charts, and two tactile maps

Extent: 
3.25 linear feet, 6 boxes
Language: 
English
Processed by: 

Charlotte Lellman, 2016, updated 2017

Biographical/Historical notes: 

Music has always been an important part of education at Perkins. Samuel Howe believed that all students should study music and be given opportunities to hear professional music performances. The school’s location near Boston allowed students to attend concerts in the city or hear performances of musicians who came to Perkins. This was often made possible thanks to generous patrons who donated tickets to the school. The focus on music continued during the time that Michael Anagnos, Howe’s successor, was director (the time from which the majority of this collection originates). Students also performed plays, because it was believed that theatrical experience provided an educational benefit. Casts were all-male or all-female until 1913. In the Annual Reports, the students’ performances are praised, and particular attention is given to the difficulties they had to overcome due to their blindness. The English teacher, Miss Jessica L. Langworthy, was responsible for directing many of the plays in the late 1890s-1910s. During this time period, many of the plays were performed for the benefit of either the Kindergarten for the Blind, the Howe Memorial Club, or the World War I effort. The collection includes programs for many student plays, including Alice in Wonderland, Dido, As You Like It, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Pilgrim’s Vision, The Merchant of Venice, and others. There were also many performances that combined music, theater, and recitation.

Sources of information: 

McGinnity, B.L., Seymour-Ford, J. and Andries, K.J. (2004) Music. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.
 
McGinnity, B.L., Seymour-Ford, J. and Andries, K.J. (2004) Figures in Perkins History. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.
 
McGinnity, B.L., Seymour-Ford, J. and Andries, K.J. (2004) Founders. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.

Perkins School for the Blind. Annual Report of the Trustees of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind, vols. 47-92, Internet Archive. Web. http://www.perkins.org/history/archives/collections/perkins-annual-reports​

Restrictions: 
None
Credit line/Citation: 
Perkins Music and Theater Programs, and Other Material Collection, 1878-circa 1940, Perkins School for the Blind
Scope/Contents: 

The collection documents performances and events that took place at Perkins School for the Blind between 1878 and circa 1940. The majority of the collection consists of programs from plays performed by Perkins students, including many Shakespeare performances put on by the Howe Memorial Club. The collection also documents some student examinations and exercises, programs from school holidays and celebrations, Perkins graduations, Kindergarten Annual Receptions, memorial events, Kindergarten Christmas Carols, many concerts given for Perkins students, and some miscellaneous items.
The materials are written in Boston Line Type. There are also several printed sheets and some braille material. Braille material includes two catalogs of books, an alphabet and basic reading text, some programs, and a few other miscellaneous items including a graduation program and a braille reprint of a Christmas story from Harper’s Magazine. There are also two tactile maps, one of Asia and one of Massachusetts. Many of the programs are oversized sheets, while others are smaller paginated booklets with colored paper covers.

Arrangement: 

B1:F1 = Box 1:Folder 1
4 series; 2 series are arranged into subseries
Series are arranged chronologically, with the exception of materials that were packaged together when received for processing. In these cases, the packaging material is included and the original order is maintained.

Series 1: Theater Programs, 1878-1917
Subseries 1: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1878-1918
Subseries 2: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1892-1917
Subseries 3: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, bulk 1910s

Series 2: Concerts for Perkins Students, 1880s-1890s

Series 3: School Events, 1878-circa 1929
Subseries 1: Kindergarten Christmas Carol Booklets, 1900-1905
Subseries 2: Kindergarten Annual Reception Programs, 1900-1905
Subseries 3: Graduation Programs, 1878-1922
Subseries 4: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, 1879-circa 1929, undated

Series 4: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material
 

 

Container List: 

Series 1: Theater Programs

Subseries 1: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1878-1918

B3:F1: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1878-1895

B3:F3: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1895-1896

B3:F3: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1896-1898

B1:F1: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1899-1914

B1:F2: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1918

B1:F3: Girls’ Department Theater Programs, 1918

Subseries 2: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1878-1917

B3:F4: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1878, 1892-1899

B1:F4: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1896-1906

B1:F5: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1896-1901

B1:F6: Boys’ Department Theater Programs, 1906-1917

Subseries 3: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, bulk 1910s

B2:F1: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, 1907-1914 (Part 1 of 2)

B2:F2: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, 1888-1914 (Part 2 of 2)

B2:F3: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, 1911-1913

B2:F4: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, 1913-1915

B2:F5: Howe Memorial Club Theater Programs, 1916-1917

 

Series 2: Concerts for Perkins Students, undated, 1880s to 1890s

B3:F5: Concerts for Perkins Students, undated (1 of 3 undated)

B3:F6: Concerts for Perkins Students, undated (2 of 3 undated)

B3:F7: Concerts for Perkins Students, undated (3 of 3 undated)

B3:F8: Concerts for Perkins Students, undated, 1884, circa 1884-1885

B5:F1: Concerts for Perkins Students, circa 1885-1889

B5:F2: Concerts for Perkins Students, 1889-1896

 

Series 3: School Events, 1878-circa 1929

Subseries 1: Kindergarten Christmas Carol Booklets, 1900-1905

B2:F6: Kindergarten Christmas Carol Booklets, 1900-1905

B5:F3: Kindergarten Christmas Carol Booklets, 1902

Subseries 2: Kindergarten Annual Reception Programs, 1896-1909

B2:F7: Kindergarten Annual Reception Programs, 1896-1909

Subseries 3: Graduation Programs, 1878-1922

B5:F4: Graduation Programs, 1878-1922

 

Subseries 4: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, 1879-circa 1929, undated

B5:F5: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, undated, 1879-1885

B4:F1: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, 1882

B5:F6: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, 1889-1896

B4:F2: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs 1901

B4:F3: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs 1905

B4:F4: Perkins Celebration and Memorial Programs, 1912-circa 1929

Series 4: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, undated, 1878-circa 1940

B5:F7: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, undated, 1878-1894

B5:F8: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, circa 1914

B4:F5: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, 1915

B6:F1: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, 1921

B6:F2: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, 1921

B6:F3: Braille Manuals, Catalogs, and Other Material, 1924, circa 1939-1940

Provenance: 
Perkins School for the Blind
Subject Headings: 

Perkins School for the Blind.
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind.
Perkins School for the Blind--History.
Music for the blind--Massachusetts--Watertown
Drama in education--Massachusetts--Watertown
Braille--Catalogs