MSS 142
Auerbach, Leon, 1916-1991
Papers of Leon Auerbach, 1930-1986


Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 142
Creator: Auerbach, Leon
Title: Leon Auerbach Papers, 1930-1986
Quantity: 13.0 Linear Feet (26 document boxes)
Abstract: Auerbach was an educator and the focus of this collection is on the education of the deaf.
Note: This document last updated 2005 November 17.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: The collection of Leon Auerbach Papers were donated to the Gallaudet University Archives by Leon Auerbach in 1986. His wife, Hortense Auerbach gave additional papers on April 14, 1992.
Processed by: Michael Olson, 2005
Processing Note:
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives:


  • Leon Auerbach, 1961-1967. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS


  • Dedication of Hughes Memorial Gymnasium (I) [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 402-4
  • 250th anniversary of Abbe de L'Epee's birthday, Paris, 1962 [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 21-4, 429-4
  • A day at Gallaudet [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 10-8
  • Double Wedding at Chapel Hall [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 141-4
  • [Library Building] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 144-4
  • Life on campus [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 1-4
  • Classroom scenes 1949-1952 [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: 46-4


  • Leon Auerbach [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Portraits
  • Photograph album of Reuben I. Altizer [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Photograph Album AL 50

Vertical Files

  • Leon Auerbach. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical

Biographical Sketch

Leon Auerbach, a long time Gallaudet professor, was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 16, 1916. He attended the New York School for the Deaf at Fanwood and graduated in 1935. He enrolled at Gallaudet University in the fall of 1935. He graduated in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He also attended the Catholic University of America and received a Master's degree in mathematics in 1947.

Auerbach taught at the Arizona School for the Deaf from 1940 to 1942. In 1942, he was offered as a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the World War II. In 1944, President Percival Hall, 2nd President of Gallaudet University, wrote a letter, asking him if he would be interested to join the faculty at Gallaudet. He accepted the offer to teach mathematics. He taught at Gallaudet for over 40 years.

Auerbach was involved with many deaf organizations serving the deaf community. He also served as a vice president and treasurer of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association. He was a vice chairman of the 1965 International Games for the Deaf. He also was a President of the Metropolitan Washington Association of the Deaf and President of the Maryland Association of the Deaf.

In June, 1941, Auerbach married his classmate, Hortense Henson of Arkansas. They had three children: Deborah, Michael, and Susan.

In 1989, Auerbach received an honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree from Gallaudet University. His retirement from Gallaudet in 1984 did not rest him. He spent his time as a volunteer at the National Association of the Deaf. He died on March 19, 1991.

Scope and Content

The Leon Auerbach Papers consist of letters, class notes, certificates, minutes of faculty and mathematics departmental meetings, and newsletters. Also included in the collection are letters, reports, and memorandums of the International Games for the Deaf which was held in Washington, DC in 1965.

The collection, which consists of approximately 22,100 pages, dates from 1930 to 1986. The bulk of the collection consists of letters, reports, memorandums and minutes of meetings. They are related to his employment as a professor at Gallaudet and also his activities as a chair for the mathematics department. The bulk dates are mostly between 1960s and 1970s.

The largest subject in the collection is focused on the education of the deaf where Auerbach was employed as a mathematics professor. Auerbach was a chair of the departmental and he wrote many of his memorandums, letters and class notes related to his teaching. He was involved in many committees at Gallaudet, such as Alumni House Committee; Collegiate Faculty Committee; Committee on Honorary Degrees; and Hall of Fame Committee. He was actively involved in several deaf organizations such as the Maryland Association of the Deaf; Metropolitan Washington Association of the Deaf; International Games for the Deaf; Alexandria-Potomac Lions Club; National Association of the Deaf; and National Association of the Deaf. These organizations contain reports, letters, and memorandums.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Gallaudet College
Boxes 1 - 14 1936-1986

Leon Auerbach was a professor of mathematics department at Gallaudet for many years. Mostly of this collection are reports, memorandums, and minutes. Some are general information about Gallaudet activities and events.

Series 2: Mathematics Department
Boxes 15 - 19 1930-1985

Leon Auerbach taught Mathematics for 40 years. The bulk of the collection is mostly focused on mathematic department of which Auerbach was a chairperson and he wrote memorandums, letters and reports.

Series 3: Organizations and Clubs
Boxes 19 - 22 1938-1983

Auerbach was involved in many activities related to the deaf community. He involved as a officer for each organizations such as American Athletic Association of the Deaf, International Games for the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, Motion Picture Committee, Maryland Association of the Deaf and World Congress of the Deaf. All of the collections are reports, letters, and memorandums.

Series 4: General
Boxes 23 - 24 1958-1980

There is some general information such as activities in the deaf community of which Auerbach involved. He was involved in the Captioned Films for the Deaf and other small organizations. 

Series 5: Personal
Boxes 24 - 26 1936-1985

There are some interesting items in his collection: Los Angeles Dodgers baseball scorecard, some certificates, his driver's licenses, Gallaudet football program books, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory materials, his writings on the history of his alma mater, Fanwood, his speeches and his thesis. Also included in the collection is a World War II ration booklets.

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