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Repository: Gallaudet University Archives Call No.: MSS 83Creator: Title: Papers of Chares R. Ely, 1870-1942Quantity: 1.0 Linear Feet (2 document boxes) Abstract: Note: This document last updated 2005 December 2.
Acquisition Information: The Charles R. Ely papers were given to the Gallaudet University Archives by Marian Stewart Wenzel in 1991. Processed by: Michael Olson and Staci Rensch. 1997 October 1.Processing Note: Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.
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Dr. Charles Russell Ely was born on February 20, 1870 in Columbus, Ohio. The family soon relocated to Frederick, Maryland when Ely's father, Dr. Charles Wright Ely was appointed superintendent of the Maryland School for the Deaf. Due to his father's affiliation with the Deaf, Charles Russell Ely quickly picked up sign language and became immersed in the local Deaf Community.
In 1891, Ely graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, continuing on to complete his master's degree in 1892 from Gallaudet College, and completing his PhD at George Washington University in 1900. Ely's interest in the Deaf Community remained strong; he started teaching at Gallaudet College in 1891, he employed positions as: instructor, assistant professor, professor in chemistry and vice president. Only briefly did he leave his busy post at Gallaudet when he took over his recently deceased father's position as principal of the Maryland state school for the Deaf (1912- 1913).
Dr. Ely was very involved in science, especially botany. He was actively a member of numerous organizations, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute of Chemists, the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf, the American Chemical Society and The Entomological Society of America and very involved in the local Washington DC ward.
December 25, 1897 Ely married Louise Day Crane of Orange, New Jersey. They later expanded their family to include 3 daughters: Elizabeth Day, Grace Darling, and Sylvia Louise. On February 22, 1939, Dr. Ely died suddenly at age 69 in his Kendall Green home, of a heart attack.
Scope and Content
The Charles R. Ely collection consist of notes, loose pages, receipts, advertisements, letters, correspondence, and membership cards.
The collection consists of approximately 100 pages, dates from 1890-1942. The bulk of the collection consists of articles, letters, pamphlets, notes, and loose pages. Included in the collection are his letters to his wife, Mrs. Louise Crane Ely, which Dr. Ely wrote when he was away on trips. Letters to both of his daughters were enclosed as well. This collection also included various letters from Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.
Various personal items of memorabilia are included in the collection, such as papers from the Maryland School for the Deaf, which obviously held sentimental value. A letter press book is in the collection which belonged to his father, Charles W. Ely. The most interesting item in this collection is Charles. R. Ely's grade book called Mr. Bowen's School for Boys report book of which he attended as a little boy.
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