MSS 149
Lankenau, Robert O., 1919-2000.
Papers of Robert O. Lankenau, 1933-1998

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 149
Title: Papers of Robert O. Lankenau, 1933-1998.
Quantity: 22 linear feet (44 document boxes)
Note: This document last updated 2008 February 25.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information:
Processed by:
Michael J. Olson. 2004.
Processing Note: See MSS 93, Robert O. Lankenau Papers.
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:


  • Edward Miner Gallaudet Statue Dedication [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 139-4


  • Collection of the National Association of the Deaf, 1962-1979. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: MSS 93


  • Robert O. Lankenau, 1942. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS

Vertical Files

  • Robert O. Lankenau. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical

Biographical Sketch

Robert Lankenau was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He attended the Indiana School for the Deaf. He graduated from Gallaudet University in 1942 with a BS in Chemistry and Mathematics and worked at Firestone for over 42 years

He was the president of the NAD from 1968-1972. During his tenure as president, he purchased the Halex House where the NAD headquarters relocated. Lankenau was one of the founders of Ohio Association for the Deaf. He was one of the few people who helped established Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. He contributed to the effort to obtain automobile insurance for deaf drivers. He was a member of Telecommunications for the Deaf, Incorporated (TDI) and served as its president for eight years. He was involved in numerous of government commissions and different committees.

During the last five years of his life, he devoted his time to research and statistical analysis. Robert Lankenau died July 22, 2000.

Scope and Content

The Robert O. Lankenau Collection consists of 44 boxes; the dates range from the 1930's to the 1990's. The collection covers a broad range of subjects such as awards, bylaws and constitution, convention details, correspondence, various reports, notes, Minutes, Newspaper clippings, memos, letters and numerous other documents pertaining to running associations (Ohio Association of the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf and Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc. Overall, this collection provides a rich and insightful history of the establishment of Deaf Organizations in the United States.

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