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Repository: Gallaudet University Archives Call No.: MSS 81Creator: Title: Collection of the National Association of the Deaf, 1880- 1991Quantity: 5.5 Linear Feet (11 document boxes) Abstract: Note: This document last updated 2006 January 5.
Acquisition Information: The National Association of the Deaf Collection was created when several items were donated to the Gallaudet University Archives at different times. Additions to the Collection are ongoing. Processed by: Nora L. McCabe. 1984 December 8.Processing Note: Updated on April 10, 1998. 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:See ALADIN
The history of the National Association of the Deaf dates back to 1850, when the New England Gallaudet Association of the Deaf was founded. It served as a predecessor for the National Association for the Deaf, which was established on August 25, 1880 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was later incorporated in Washington, D.C. in 1900. The first home office opened in 1950 in Chicago, and Halex House in Silver Spring, Maryland, where NAD has its headquarters, was dedicated in 1973.
Four men are given credit for founding the National Association of the Deaf. Robert P. MacGregor was its first president and the founder of the Cincinnati Day School for the Deaf. Edmund Booth of Iowa is known as the "father of NAD" but declined the first presidency in favor of MacGregor. Booth was a graduate of the Hartford school, where he studied under both Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. He later became the owner and editor of a successful newspaper, the Anamosa Eureka. Henry Rider and Edwin Hodgson, both of New York, were among the first to endorse a national association of the deaf through the printed pres. They both, at separate times, owned the "Deaf Mutes Journal."
The National Association of the Deaf has served in the best interests of deaf Americans for over one hundred years. It has made every effort to create a favorable social image of deaf culture. NAD has fought for compulsory education laws for deaf children and retention of the combined system (oral and sign language) in residential schools for the deaf. It also has successfully diminished impostors who solicit money from the public by pretending they are deaf. In addition, the NAD has protected basic civil rights of deaf Americans, such as the right to equal justice, the right to exercise franchises, assume the responsibilities of taxpayers, equal employment opportunities, and motor vehicle use.
The Miss Deaf America Pageant was established in 1972 at the 31st convention of the National Association of the Deaf in Miami Beach, Florida, and continues to this day.
Scope and Content
The NAD collection is extremely broad, covering a wide range of subjects. It is broken down into six series: Convention Proceedings (1880-1990), NAD Business Correspondence (1910-1915), Abbe de l' Epee Memorial Statue (1915-1930), Centennial Convention (1980), Miss Deaf America Pageant (1972-1974), and General (1880-1991). Convention programs make up the bulk of the collection although the years 1923, 1926, 1952-1962, 1966-1968, 1972-1974, and 1986. The Centennial Convention of 1980 is the most complete of all the conventions in the collection. In addition, not all of the Miss Deaf America Pageant programs are available. Programs for 1974, 1976, and 1978 are missing. Newspaper clippings related to all aspects of the National Association of the Deaf are included in the collection, particularly a scrapbook of clippings from the 1934 convention in New York. In addition, papers related to the de l'Epee memorial statue at St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo, New York are stored here. Overall the NAD collection provides a rich and insightful history into one of the most foremost deaf organizations in the United States.
Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
Researchers are encouraged to use microfilms for the Proceedings of the NAD. Two microfilms are located in a drawer in the Archives. The call numbers are as following: Deaf Rare Microfilm No. 131 v. 1 (1st Proceedings - 1880 to 13th Proceedings - 1920)Deaf Rare Microfilm No. 131 v. 2 (16th Proceedings - 1930 to 21st Proceedings - 1949)Note: The 14th (1923) and 15th (1926) are not included in the microfilms. To find the reports for the 14th and 15th:14th Triennial Convention, Atlanta, GADeaf Mutes' Journal: vol. 52 no. 41 (October 11, 1923) p. 4, andSilent Worker: vol. 36 no. 1 (October, 1923) pp. 11-19.
15th Triennial Convention, Washington, DCDeaf Mutes' Journal: Vol. 55 no. 33 (August 19, 1926) p. 3,Deaf Mutes' Journal: Vol. 55 no. 34 (August 26, 1926) p. 2,Deaf Mutes' Journal: Vol. 55 no. 36 (September 9, 1926) p. 1, andSilent Worker: Vol. 39 no. 1 (November, 1926) pp. 15-19.
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