Nelson Coon Papers

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


Perkins School for the Blind

Date Range: 
1900-1971, bulk 1931-1962
Call number: 

A collection of Library Bulletins, Library Reports, Museum Reports, lectures, and other documents created by Nelson Coon when he served as the Librarian and Museum Director at Perkins School for the Blind between 1931 and 1962. Related documents from before, and following, Coon’s time at Perkins are also included.

1 linear foot, 2 boxes
Processed by: 

Susanna Coit, 2018

Biographical/Historical notes: 

Nelson Coon was born on March 26, 1895 in Rhinebeck, New York. He attended Union College in Schenectady, New York. He worked as a horticulturist before enrolling in the United States Army in 1917, and was discharged December 12, 1918.  Coon and his wife came to work for Perkins in 1931. Coon began his time at Perkins as the superintendent of buildings and grounds for 18 years before becoming the librarian and museum curator in 1949. He gave many lectures while serving as the librarian and museum director on topics related to blindness and the tactual museum. He also has many publications about Perkins history, prominent figures in blindness history and the education of the blind. After 30 years at Perkins, he retired in 1961 and moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he was an active member of the community until his death on January 10, 1988.

Sources of information: 
Credit line/Citation: 
Nelson Coon Collection, Perkins School for the Blind

This collection contains records and documents from Nelson Coon’s work in the Library and Museum at Perkins School for the Blind. It includes Library Reports, Library statistics and administrative information, Library Bulletins, as well as lectures given by Coon. Some reports prior to, and following, Coon’s time as Librarian are included in the collection. The collection includes one photograph.


The collection is arranged in one series, by type of document. When possible, items are arranged chronologically.

B1:F1 = Box 1: Folder 1


Container List: 

Box: 1

B1:F1: Photograph of Nelson Coon as a child, about 1900

B1:F2: Maps and Geography Material, 1955-1956, undated

B1:F3: Lower School Re-Cataloging, 1960

B1:F4: Reports to Director from N. Coon, 1924-1954

B1:F5: Reading list for Teacher Trainees, undated

B1:F6: Library Reports, 1907-1919

B1:F7: Library Reports, 1919-1949

B1:F8: Library statistics, financial reports, 1909-1924

B1:F9: Library Bulletin 1-17, 1949-1950

B1:F10: Library Bulletin 18-53, 1951-1955

B1:F11: Lecture - Moon Type, 1949-1954

B1:F12: Lecture - Libraries, 1952-1954

B1:F13: Lecture - Blind in Society, 1952-1955

Box: 2

B2:F1: Museum Reports, 1939-1964

B2:F2: Museum Reports, undated

B2:F3: Library of Congress correspondence and reports, 1956-1959

B2:F4: A brief history of guide dogs for the blind - drafts, 1958-1959

B2:F5: The Seeing Eye, Inc. correspondence, 1958-1959

B2:F6: Lecture - Museum, undated

B2:F7: Lecture - Perkins, undated

B2:F8: Lecture - Perkins, undated

B2:F9: Lecture - Smell, undated

B2:F10: Lecture - Types, undated

B2:F11: Lecture - Bells, undated

B2:F12: Museum, 1962, undated

B2:F13: Nelson Coon, 1960, 1962

B2:F14: Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, August 21, 1967

B2:F15: List of Deaf-Blind Children in New England, September 1, 1971

B2:F16: Circulation List

B2:F17: Library Administration, 1960-1970

B2:F18: Microfilms, Photostats, Xerox Prints, 1959-1961

B2:F19: List of reformatted movies from Perkins collection, ca. 1987

Subject Headings: 

Perkins School for the Blind.

Perkins School for the Blind--History.

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