Celebrating Education during Deaf History Month

Gallaudet, Prof. Edward M. Established in Wash. D.C., 1857, an institute for the deaf. Photo, Brady-Handy Collection, between 1870 and 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpbh.04009

Gallaudet, Prof. Edward M. Established in Wash. D.C., 1857, an institute for the deaf. Photo, Brady-Handy Collection, between 1870 and 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpbh.04009

Just across town from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., stands Gallaudet University, an institute for higher learning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the law that allowed the school to begin issuing college degrees, a milestone for deaf people seeking higher education. Edward M. Gallaudet (right) was the first principal of what was then referred to as the Columbia Institution for the Deaf, and advocated for the institution to become a college.

D.C. Washington--Gallaudet College--1897--Exterior. Photo, copyrighted by R. Douglas, 1897. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b38769

D.C. Washington–Gallaudet College–1897–Exterior. Photo, copyrighted by R. Douglas, 1897. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b38769

 

The Gallaudet family had a storied history in deaf education. Edward M. Gallaudet’s father, Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, was part of a trio of men who founded the first permanent school for the education of the deaf in the United States back on April 15, 1817 in West Hartford, Connecticut. The school, known today as the American School for the Deaf, is depicted in this 1881 print which includes portraits of important figures, including Dr. Gallaudet at top center.

American Asylum for Deaf and Dumb, Hartford, Conn. / copyright & lith. 1881, by H.P. Arms Jr., Phila., Pa. Lithograph by H. P. Arms, copyrighted 1881. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.01650

American Asylum for Deaf and Dumb, Hartford, Conn. / copyright & lith. 1881, by H.P. Arms Jr., Phila., Pa. Lithograph by H. P. Arms, copyrighted 1881. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.01650

Take a visual journey through images related to deaf education over the years from our collections as we mark and celebrate National Deaf History Month!

Alumni reunion, "Ladies' Group", Indiana State School for the Deaf, June 6, 1908, old Institution grounds named "Willard Park", May 29, 1908. Photo by C. F. Bretzman and Orson Archibald, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pan.6a25523

Alumni reunion, “Ladies’ Group”, Indiana State School for the Deaf, June 6, 1908, old Institution grounds named “Willard Park”, May 29, 1908. Photo by C. F. Bretzman and Orson Archibald, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pan.6a25523

Art class. Training School for Deaf Mutes. See 4843-4851. Location: Sulphur, Oklahoma. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, 1917 April. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.05256

Art class. Training School for Deaf Mutes. See 4843-4851. Location: Sulphur, Oklahoma. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, 1917 April. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.05256

Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb / artist, James S. Reider, assisted by his teacher. Lithograph by James S. Reider, copyrighted 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.00045

Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb / artist, James S. Reider, assisted by his teacher. Lithograph by James S. Reider, copyrighted 1880. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.00045

Deaf & dumb children of St. Rica's School, Cincinnati, singing Star Spangled Banner. Photo by National Photo Company Collection, between 1918 and 1928. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.33373

Deaf & dumb children of St. Rica’s School, Cincinnati, singing Star Spangled Banner. Photo by National Photo Company Collection, between 1918 and 1928. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.33373

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