In honor of Deaf History Month, we are offering a webinar showcasing photographs and prints of Deaf people, notable figures, education, careers, and activities found in the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections. The first half of the presentation will be in American Sign Language (ASL) with closed captioning and voice interpretation for non-signing viewers. The second half will be in English with an interpreter using ASL as well as closed captioning. The session will be offered twice.
Our two staff members who will be sharing their knowledge of Deaf history in ASL during the first half of the presentation offered a few images as a preview.
Digital Library Specialist Pete Richey selected the following two related items. The first is an 1881 lithograph of what is now known as The American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut. The print includes significant individuals connected with the school as well as images of sights around the campus arrayed around the main building. Founded in 1817, the school is the oldest permanent school for the Deaf in the United States.
Pete also shared this circa 1850 steel engraving of a prominent figure in the history of deaf education, Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. (The same pose of Gallaudet is shared in the above lithograph, top center.) Gallaudet was the founder of The American School for the Deaf.
Gallaudet University, the world’s only university specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, was founded in 1864 by an Act of Congress, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. The school was named in honor of Rev. Gallaudet in 1894.
Technical Services Technician Ellen M. Kays shared images of two Deaf individuals she will sign about in her portion of the presentation.
First, we have William “Dummy” Hoy, centerfielder for the Washington Statesmen baseball team, crouching to catch the ball in this photographic baseball card from 1887.
And second, Ellen will reference several Deaf artists during the webinar, including John Louis Clarke, shown below carving a bear sculpture. Clarke (previously known as Clark) was a Blackfoot artist from Montana.
Join us for one of the two sessions to learn more about the images above, and much more!
Finding Pictures: Deaf History
Tuesday, April 12th, 2022, 12 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern
Register for this session: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_DCJNtEVuQKyYMex9YSaT6g
Wednesday, April 20th, 2022, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
Register for this session: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_jKJLYluIQmqHq0g_0cijSw
- View images related to Gallaudet University (earlier Gallaudet College) in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
- Revisit a Picture This blog post: Celebrating Education during Deaf History Month.
- Explore videos on the Library of Congress website related to the Deaf experience.