Special Collections and University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries

Clarke School for the Deaf Records, ca.1867-2010

130 boxes (195 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 742

With a $50,000 grant from the philanthropist John Clarke, Gardiner Green Hubbard founded the Clarke Institution for Deaf Mutes in 1867, a school predicated on the importance of acquiring oral skills for children with hearing loss. Opened in Northampton, Mass., under the direction of Harriet B. Rogers, Clarke differed philosophically from schools such as the American School for the Deaf where sign language was used for instruction, stressing speech-reading and speech as the primary methods of communication. With notable supporters such as Alexander Graham Bell, Clarence W. Barron, and Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace (a former teacher), the school became a pioneer in training teachers in auditory and oral methods and in recognizing the importance of early intervention and mainstreaming children into neighborhood schools. Working in partnership with Smith College, Clarke began offering a master’s degree in Education of the Deaf in 1962. Known as the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech since 2010, the school has opened additional campuses in Boston (1995), Jacksonville (1996), New York (1999), and Philadelphia (2001).

The records of the Clarke School offer rich documentation of the history of oral deaf education in the United States and insight into the experience of deafness in America. The collection includes extensive correspondence of school administrators and teachers, organizational materials, records of the school’s programs, and an essentially complete run of the school’s annual reports and other publications.


  • Deaf--Education
  • Deafness--Genetic aspects
  • Teachers of the deaf


  • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
  • Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922
  • Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957

Types of material

  • Minutes (Administrative records)
  • Photographs
Restrictions: Student records, medical records, and genealogical and genetic records generated by the research staff at the school are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© 2016 Special Collections and University Archives * UMass Amherst Libraries

Site policies