The girls' study hall, 1949.
Guide

Guide to Archives online resources

This guide is designed to help researchers navigate the online platforms that Perkins Archives uses to provide access to our resources.

Introduction

The Perkins Archives has a variety of resources available on Perkins.org/Archives and on other digital platforms including the Internet Archive and Flickr. This guide is designed to help you navigate the platforms more easily and facilitate optimal research results. Still have questions or recommendations for this page? Please send them to [email protected].

Perkins.org/Archives

A great place to start researching is on the Perkins.org/Archives page. This home page provides links to resources organized by types, such as digitized text, finding aids, and policies and forms. The page includes resources related to the history of education, advocacy, and notable figures at Perkins and stories related to the Perkins Archives collections.

Searching on the site

To stay within the Perkins Archives search results once a resource is selected, be sure to click the buttons at the bottom of the pages to take you back to the resource page or back to the Perkins Archives page. You can also conduct your searches on the In the Archives page and use the filtering tools to limit by type, such as article or guide. This will only provide results for Archives related resources. The Archives page also has a helpful FAQs section answering our most common questions, a signup form for our newsletter, and the latest processed and digitized collection. 

Finding Aids

Finding aids are guides to the physical archival collections. These guides will let you know what is in a collection and link to any corresponding digitized resources. A list with links to these finding aids is located on the Finding Aids page. This page lists the finding aids alphabetically but also includes their unique archival group number (AG number). Conducting a search of the contents of finding aids, for example, a name that may come up in multiple finding aids, can’t be done on the main Perkins.org site. There is a link to the Finding aid search tool on this page which will provide results from within the collections. It also lets you filter by topic.

Digitized Collections on Flickr

The Perkins Archives Flickr site provides access to archival materials in our collections, which include digitized photographs and documents, as well as photographed artifacts. Most textual resources are transcribed in full. By creating or logging in to your own Flickr account you can comment or add additional information to our collections. Visit Perkins Archives Flickr site to explore our collections or use the links provided on the Digital collections on Flickr page to browse the collections by topic. The search bar allows you to select “search Perkins School for the Blind’s Archives Photostream” limiting your searches to our collections only. If you’re interested in using any of our images, please see our Image Use and Licensing page for more information. 

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive houses much of Perkins Archives’ digitized published works collections, including books, scrapbooks of clippings, publications, and pamphlets. It also includes a few manuscript collections. A guide to these collections, with direct links, can be found on the Digitized Text Collections page of the Archives website and is a great place to start a search or simply browse the resources available. The materials are searchable thanks to optical character recognition (OCR). We acknowledge that OCR is prone to errors, and cannot recognize graphics or handwritten text, thus creating barriers to some of these materials. It is our intention that by providing the materials as is, the resource is findable online to all. If any of Perkins Archives resources accessed online aren’t accessible in part or in whole, to a user because of a disability, we will create an accessible version upon request. 

You can conduct a search directly on the Perkins Internet Archive Homepage which will limit the results to only those materials in the Perkins Archives collections. The default search is “metadata”, selecting “text” will search within all the materials. Be sure to wrap multiple words in quotation marks to avoid pulling all words separately. Because the materials are relying on OCR try searching different variations of longer groups for more results. For example, search “owl,” then “night owl,” then “the night owl”. You can also search within a publication using the same search suggestions, once you open up that publication. Creating an Internet Archives account helps with searches and allows you to save resources.

PDF copies of these resources are available for research purposes by request. Accessible Daisy files can be downloaded directly from the site. 

Accessibility Statement

Our goal is to provide resources that are accessible to all. Most of Perkins Archives’ digitized text is available on the Internet Archive, which utilizes optical character recognition (OCR) and downloadable file formats, including Daisy, to provide access to users who are blind and visually impaired. We acknowledge that OCR is prone to errors, and cannot recognize graphics or handwritten text, thus creating barriers to some of these materials. It is our intention that by providing the materials as is, the resource is findable online to all. If any of Perkins Archives resources accessed online aren’t accessible in part or in whole, to a user because of a disability, we will create an accessible version upon request. Please contact us for more information.

Our Flickr collections are undergoing a reparative metadata update, and consequently, most of our older collections are not up to our current standards of accessibility. If you need more of an image description than what is provided please email the archives staff at [email protected] we will provide you with one. 

Research Questions

The Hayes Research Library at Perkins provides research support for a wide range of requests from Perkins staff and people around the country and the world. Researchers are welcome to search the catalog online, but a conversation with the library staff can often identify additional resources to explore. 

Please contact us with details about your research or questions by using our online contact form or emailing [email protected]. It helps us to know:

At this time, we are unable to schedule any visits to use materials on-site from the Hayes Research Library or the Perkins Archives due to COVID-19. You can request a virtual research visit by filling out the online form and we will get in touch to discuss what options are available for your specific question and research needs. The options available may vary based on staff availability, physical access to our collections, and other factors.

Many of our items are available digitally, including the most commonly used archives collections. We are glad to direct you to specific resources and to help with questions about Perkins or blindness and deafblindness.

Options for unprocessed or undigitized materials

On-demand scanning and access copy photographs are available for collections that aren’t digitized but are needed for research. Access copies are less expensive and a quicker means of getting materials. More information about both services can be found on our Digitization and scanning requests page.

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