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Gallaudet University: Institutional History   Tags: deaf, faq, research guide  

This guide is for those beginning to research Gallaudet's rich history of almost 150 years.
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Introduction & Selected Bibliography


In 1864 Congress passed the Enabling Act which granted the Columbia Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf, Dumb and the Blind to confer collegiate degrees.  In 2014 Gallaudet University will celebrate 150 years of existence.  Many student activities, sporting events, theatrical productions, development of organizations, and student traditions or customs have occurred during this time.  Unfortunately, most of Gallaudet's rich history is in a countless number of publications and film productions.  These primary resources are in various small collections within The Library Deaf Collections & Archives.  This guide attempts to identify and assist the researcher in their projects. 


The Gallaudet University Library and Deaf Collections & Archives has a wealth of information on its students and student life.  Some examples of various resources are:

  • Books on the institutional history: 
    • History of the College for the Deaf, 1857-1907 by Edward Miner Gallaudet
    • Our heritage: Gallaudet College Centennial
    • Voice of the deaf: a biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet by Maxine T. Boatner
    • Gallaudet College, its first one hundred years by Albert W. Atwood

  • Biographical books: 
    • Deaf in DC: a memoir by Madan Vasishta
    • Lessons in Laughter by Bernard Bragg
    • Moments of truth: Robert R. Davila, the story of a deaf leader by Harry Lang
    • My yesterdays; in a changing world of the deaf by Mervin Garretson
    • I knew Elizabeth Peet: Queen of Gallaudet by Frances M. Parsons

  • Dissertations or theses: Don't take any aprons to college by Nancy Carolyn Jones
  • Student publications: Buff and Blue, Tower Clock, History Club Journal, Knob Hill News, and North West Campus Yearbook.
  • Class research projects:  Herstory, Herstory Continues I and II and Deaf Women Faculty
  • Photograph albums: Photograph album of Frances Margaret Parsons
  • Film or video-recordings: My Prep Year with Agnes Sutcliffe and Gallaudet Experience with Tom Dowling

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