Oral History Project

The bulk of the oral histories document cottage life in the 1930s-1950s. They feature the personal stories of 21 former Perkins' students and staff most of which were recorded during Alumni Weekend in 2004. Other oral histories were recorded in 2005, 2008, and 2019. 

Student Oral Histories

Barbara Dustin, 23 minutes
Former student. Attended Perkins from 1942-1957.


Esther Connelly, 13 minutes
Former student. Enrolled in 1932.


Albert K. Gayzagian, 1 hour
Former student (enrolled 1931) and member of the Perkins Board of Trustees from 1976.


Grace Toth, 12 minutes
Former student. Enrolled at Perkins around 1927 at age 6.


Guillermo Bustamante, 23 minutes
Former student and teacher. Attended Perkins from 1954-1957, and took the Teacher Training course in 1960-1961.


Helen Gerges Raschi, 22 minutes
Former student. Attended 1941-1950.


Kimberley Kingsley, 9 minutes
Former student. Attended 1972-1983


Majorie Awalt, 16 minutes
Former student. Attended in the 1940s.


Mary Coffey, 18 minutes
Former student. Left Perkins in 1936.


Paul Nadeau, 15 minutes
Former student. Enrolled in 1952 at age 6.


Richard Chapman,17 minutes
Former student. Attended 1950-1964.


Robert Branco, 16 minutes
Former student. Enrolled in 1969.


Sabra Oulton, 13 minutes
Former student. Born in 1919, enrolled in 1931.


Terry Dufault, 13 minutes
Former student. Enrolled in 1939


Thomas Berry, 20 minutes
Former student. Attended in the 1960s.


Staff and Descendant Oral Histories

Helen Fernald, 21 minutes
Former member of the Perkins Board of Trustees from 1971-1989. Former trustee of Overbrook School for the Blind


Leon Murphy, 37 minutes
Howe Press employee beginning in 1960.

Margaret McRory, 49 minutes
Descendant of Samuel Gridley Howe and Julia Ward Howe. Born in 1921.


Mike Cataruzolo, 57 minutes
Perkins teacher, coach, volunteer manager, and volunteer from 1960-2020.


Marge Abraham Lamen, 1 hour 16 minutes
Daughter of David Abraham, designer of the Perkins Brailler.


Teacher Trainee Class Deaf Blind Program 1967, 1 hour 4 minutes
Participants: Peter Binns, Marylou Williams-Rowe, Karen Andersen, and Lorraine Jones-Spenciner.


William Heisler, 1 hour 28 minutes
Former staff member. Hired as the director of the New England Plan for the Education of Blind Children in 1953. Worked at Perkins for 28 years.

Transcripts of Oral Histories