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Descriptive Summary Repository: Gallaudet University Archives Call No.: MSS 24Creator: 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.Administrative Information 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: Films
Biographical SketchPeet 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:Bardy, JosetteBarnett, Mrs.Barnes, FrederickBodie, LeahDeming, JosephElstad, LeonardFay, HelenFox, ThomasFriedman, MaxHall, PercivalLembrick, MarcellaMarvin, CloydMurphy, HelenPeet, WalterPendell, LucilleRiekehof, LottieSchornstern, FlorenceSchunhoff, HugoWilliams, BoyceWilliams, ThomasWood, GladysYatabe, Y.
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