Residential Schools for the Blind Taken Over by Troops

1938 Report from a mission school in Bombay, India

APH Museum Director Micheal Hudson shares some interesting information.

Last week I was researching a curious event in our local history. When Confederate soldiers invaded Kentucky in 1862, Federal authorities seized the Kentucky School for the Blind, kicked out the kids and teachers, and converted it into a military hospital for a few months. I used the Museum's collection of annual reports from the nation's residential schools to determine that this was not an isolated event. Schools in Tennessee, Virginia, and Mississippi suffered a similar fate. In Tennessee, in fact, soldiers decided the school building threatened the Union trenches and had the building torn down! APH is the repository of probably the largest collection of school reports in the U.S., with examples from every state school for the blind, including a number that have closed or been consolidated, and many from overseas.

If you are researching the early history of schools for the blind, these beautiful and detailed reports contain an amazing wealth of detail. For more details on our exact holdings, contact Museum Collections Manager Anne Rich at or 502-899-2364.

Photo: 1938 Report from a mission school in Bombay, India. The recently acquired AFB Migel Library Collection contained many reports from overseas.


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