Peet, Elizabeth, 1874-1961
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 24
Title: Papers of Elizabeth Peet, 1900-1958.
Quantity: 3.5 Linear Feet (7 document boxes)
Abstract: Elizabeth Peet (1874-1961), was a professor and Dean of women at Gallaudet College. Peet was considered one of the foremost experts on Sign Language and frequently interpreted activities on Kendall Green.
Note: This document last updated 2005 September 27.
Acquisition Information: Elizabeth Peet gave her papers to the library in 1958.
Processed by: Carie Lyn Kelly. 13 September 1984.
Processing Note: None.
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:
- Legends of Dr. Elizabeth Peet [videorecording]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf video 51
- [David Peikoff, Elizabeth Peet and Earl Maczkowke [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 161-4
- Classroom scenes 1949-1952 [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 46-4
- Gallaudet alumni reunion [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 210-4
- Address by Dr. Elizabeth Peet [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 292-4
- Dr. Elizabeth Peet ; Dean of Women, Gallaudet College [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 33-4
- 75th Anniversary celebration, Gallaudet College, June 1939 [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 132-4, 437-4
- [Scenes at Gallaudet College] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 20-8, 52-8
- The Philology of the Sign Language by Elizabeth Peet. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Rare
- Our Hall of Fame by Elizabeth Peet. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Rare
- Gallaudet College : Seventy-five Years of Higher Education for the Deaf by Elizabeth Peet. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Rare
- Papers, Elizabeth Peet, 1953. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS
- Elizabeth Peet. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical
- Peet Hall. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Gallaudetiana
- Hall of Fame. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Gallaudetiana
- Elizabeth Peet [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Portraits
- Golf Bag
- Graduation Cap and Gown
Peet was born on 26 March 1874 in New York City. In 1890, she passed the entrance exam at Harvard University then taught at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf for a year (1899-1900). In 1900, she was invited to join the faculty at Gallaudet College at the request of Edward Miner Gallaudet. At the time, she had no teaching certificate but taught sign language and Romance languages.
In addition to her teaching duties, she also frequently served as an interpreter and gave addresses both on and off-campus. She was considered an expert in Sign Language and published "A Dictionary of the Manual Alphabet." She also published "Our Hall of Fame," which appeared in the Gallaudet Alumni Bulletin.
By 1910, she had been appointed the Dean of Women at Gallaudet College and earned her B.A. degree from George Washington University in 1918. During the same year, she also won the Davis Prize for Speaking. She then earned a honorary M.A. from Gallaudet College in 1922 and spent time at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1923. In 1932, the Sorbonne awarded her the Certificat apres Examen, Cours speciaux d'Ete. In 1937, she earned an honorary doctorate of pedagogy from George Washington University.
Peet went on to serve as the assistant editor of the American Annals of the Deaf from 1942-1945. In 1950, she was appointed Deaf of Women of Mid Century by the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors. She earned her second honorary doctorate in Humane Letters, this one from Gallaudet College. She then retired in 1951 and died on 29 June 1961.
She was a member of American Association of the Deans of Women, American Association of University Women, American Convention of Instructors of the Deaf, Columbia Women of George Washington University, Daughters of the American Revolution, league of Republican Women, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, the Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority, and the Zonta Club.
Scope and Content
The Papers of Elizabeth Peet consists of approximately 5,950 pages of essays, addresses, publications, class notes, and correspondence, as well as museum artifacts. The bulk of the collection dates from 1900-1958, during which she was Dean of Women and a faculty member at Gallaudet College. This collection reflects her activities and responsibilities of both positions.
Included in the collection are some of her class notes from courses taken at George Washington University in Geography, First Aid and Home Nursing, Geology, and History. She also kept notes from the classes she taught at Gallaudet in Lip-reading and Speech Training, English Literature, Speech, and Spanish.
The collection contains the typed scripts of her addresses related to Sign Language, Gallaudet, and individual characteristics and qualifications. Speeches include; "Gallaudet College," "Personality," "The Philology of Sign Language," "The Sign Language," and "Co-Operation." The Davis Prize for Speaking is also in the collection.
Essays written by Peet in the collection include "The Art of Living," "The Sign Language," "The Importance of Personality in Everyday Living," "The Story of the Peets," and "Mary Toles Peet." Individual articles, miscellaneous information, and a copy of the completed "Our Hall of Fame" can be found in the collection.
Correspondence between Peet and Lucille Pendell, Percival Hall, Helen Fay, Leonard Elstad, Hugo Schunhoff, and Walter Peet is kept in this collection.
Among personal memorabilia are reports written as Dean of Women (1938-1941), and an ink drawing given by Mr. and Mrs. Fay, her honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, her golf bag, and her retirement banquet program.
In 1907, Peet traveled to Europe. During her trip, she kept a diary and collected over 150 postcards. In 1923, she again traveled abroad and collected 200 postcards. The Peet diary and postcards give an excellent description of European countries in the early 1900s.
Correspondence with Prominent Individuals:
Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
|Box||Folder||Title of Folder||Date|
|1||1||Correspondence - Josette Bardy to E. Peet||1932|
|1||2||Correspondence - Frederick R. Barnes to E. Peet||1941|
|1||3||Correspondence - Leah Bodie to E. Peet||1950|
|1||4||Correspondence - Joseph B. Deming to E. Peet||1930-1932|
|1||5||Correspondence - Leonard Elstad to E. Peet||1957-1958|
|1||6||Correspondence - Marcella Lembrick to E. Peet||1906|
|1||7||Correspondence - Cloyed Marvin to E. Peet||1958|
|1||8||Correspondence - Helen Murphy to E. Peet||1917|
|1||9||Correspondence - Lottie Riekehof to E. Peet||1948|
|1||10||Correspondence - Hugo Schunhoff to E. Peet||1957|
|1||11||Correspondence - Walter to E. Peet||1930|
|1||12||Correspondence - Boyce R. Williams to E. Peet||1957|
|1||13||Correspondence - Thomas Williams to E. Peet||1924|
|1||14||Correspondence - Gladys Wood to E. Peet||1926|
|1||15||Correspondence - Y. Yatabe to E. Peet||1925|
|1||16||Elizabeth Peet to Mrs. Barnett||1944|
|1||17||Elizabeth Peet to Helen Fay||1944|
|1||18||Elizabeth Peet to Thomas F. Fox||1927|
|1||19||Elizabeth Peet to Max Friedman||1951|
|1||20||Elizabeth Peet to Percival Hall||1915|
|1||21||Elizabeth Peet to Lucille Pendell||1958|
|1||22||Elizabeth Peet to Florence Schornstein||1943|
|1||23||Admission Exam - Grammar||n.d.|
|1||24||Class Notes - Archaeology||1905-1906|
|1||25||Class Notes - "Bell's visible speech as taught by Laura Richard, Rhode Island Institution,"||1899-1900|
|1||26||Class Notes - First Aid and Home Nursing||n.d.|
|1||27||Class Notes - First Aid and Home Nursing||1942|
|1||28||Class Notes - Geology and History||1917|
|1||29||Class Notes - Geography||1917-1918|
|1||30||Class Notes - German||n.d|
|1||31||Class Notes - English Literature||1903-1904|
|2||1||Class Notes - Latin||1916|
|2||2||Class Notes - Latin||1916|
|2||3||Class Notes - Latin||n.d.|
|2||4||Class Notes - Lip-reading and Speech Training||1900|
|2||5||Class Notes - Lip-reading and Speech Training||1900|
|2||6||Class Notes - Lip-reading and Speech Training||1900|
|2||7||Class Notes - Psychology||1917|
|2||8||Class Notes - Spanish||n.d.|
|2||9||Class Notes - Speech||1905|
|2||10||Class Notes on the Ear||1902|
|3||1||Davis Prize in Speaking||1918|
|3||5||Gallaudet College Auxiliary American Red Cross Minutes||1918|
|3||6||Hall of Fame - Miscellaneous Information||1954|
|3||7||Hall of Fame - Numerical List of Names||n.d.|
|3||8||Hall of Fame - Synopsis #9-33||n.d.|
|3||9||Hall of Fame - Abbe Sicard - Dr. Hall||n.d.|
|3||10||Hall of Fame - Cadwallader Washburn||1954|
|3||11||Hall of Fame - Olof Hanson||1954|
|3||12||Hall of Fame - Herbert E. Day||1954|
|3||13||Hall of Fame - Frank B. Smith||1954|
|3||14||Hall of Fame - Harley D. Drake||n.d.|
|3||15||Hall of Fame - Publication||n.d.|
|3||16||Notes - Miscellaneous||n.d.|
|3||17||Notes - Philology||n.d.|
|3||18||Poetry - Miscellaneous||1926-1934|
|3||19||Program - 1940||1940|
|3||20||Report Card -||1892|
|4||1||Address - "College Student as a Social Individual"||n.d.|
|4||2||Address - "Co-Operation"||1934|
|4||3||Address - "Gallaudet College"||n.d.|
|4||4||Address - "Gallaudet College - Its Work and Play"||1949|
|4||5||Address - "Highlights of One Hundred Years of Convention"||1949|
|4||6||Address - "Our Hall of Fame"||1933|
|4||7||Address - "Personality"||1940|
|4||8||Address - "The Philology of Sign Language"||1921|
|4||9||Address - "The Sign Language"||n.d.|
|4||10||Address - "A Unique College"||n.d.|
|4||11||Address - "Unveiling of Abbe de l'Epee Statue"||1930|
|4||12||Essay - "The Art of Living"||1937|
|4||13||Essay - "The Importance of Personality in Everyday Living"||n.d.|
|4||14||Essays - "Modern Miracles"||n.d.|
|4||15||Essays - "Prose and Poetical Writings of the Deaf"||n.d.|
|4||16||Essays - "The Sign Language"||n.d.|
|4||17||Essays - "Summary of Foreign Affairs During Last Month"||1935|
|4||18||Manuscript - "A Dictionary of the Manual Alphabet and the Language of Signs"||n.d.|
|4||19||Publications - "A Dictionary of the Manual Alphabet"||n.d.|
|4||20||Publications - "Gallaudet College Seventy-Five Years of Higher Education for the Deaf"||1939|
|4||21||Publications - "Mary Toles Peet"||1943|
|4||22||Publications - "Our Hall of Fame"||n.d.|
|4||23||Publications - "The Philology of Sign Language"||1934|
|4||24||Publications - "The Story of the Peets"||1931-1958|
|5||1||Automobile Insurance Policies||1940-1941|
|5||2||Automobile User's Guide||1940s|
|5||3||Banquet - International Congress on the Education of the Deaf||1933|
|5||4||Cash Account Book||1906-1908|
|5||6||Columbian Women of George Washington Univ.||1929|
|5||7||D.A.R. Museum Info.||n.d.|
|5||8||Dean of Women Association - Reports||1938-1941|
|5||10||Federation of Women||1941|
|5||11||Finger spelling Charts||1914-1958|
|5||12||Gallaudet College Alumni Association||1940|
|5||13||Gallaudet College - Memorabilia||1954|
|5||14||George Washington University||1905-1958|
|5||15||George Washington's Portrait||n.d.|
|5||16||Honorary Degree - Gallaudet College||1950|
|5||17||Ink Drawing (from Mr. & Mrs. Fay)||1907|
|5||20||New York Avenue Presbyterian Church||1931-1944|
|5||23||Programs - Duke University||1939|
|5||25||Social Register - Washington, D.C.||1954|
|7||2||Shakespeare Birthday Book||1876|