UPDATED! Treasures from the APH Libraries

The APH Barr Library supports research initiatives at APH, while the Migel Library is one of the largest collection of nonmedical information related to blindness in the world. Although the collections do not circulate, arrangements can be made to use the materials on-site. In addition, an ongoing digitization effort means APH will continue to make materials available through the online catalog at http://migel.aph.org.

This post describes some of the many "treasures" in the APH libraries!

From the Migel Library: Hastings, James R. Graduate Workshop for Industrial Arts Teachers of the Blind and Summer Workshop for Industrial Arts Instructors of the Blind. State University of New York, College of Education, Oswego. 1960-1961.

Created as reports for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, these workshop summaries offer an attempt to develop a curriculum guide for industrial arts teachers of the blind. It was hoped that the work would raise standards and correct discrepancies between blind and sighted students. Emphasis was placed on fully preparing blind students for vocational rehabilitation services that would further close this gap. Activities, evaluations, and recommendations are all presented. But of special interest are the black and white photos that have been mounted in the reports. Viewing the instructors, students, and projects in a format reminiscent of a photo album very much personalizes the workshop for the reader, and gives a very clear context to the report. Both of these reports are available digitally on Internet Archive, and are accessible through the Migel Library’s online catalog.

From the Barr Library: Computer Assisted Translation of Braille Music: Progress Reports. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1973.

With the number of braille music stenographers declining to a point that the production of braille music could cease completely, the Library of Congress Division of the Blind administered a grant in 1971. The objective of the grant was to continue braille music production at APH with the help of newly developing technology. These reports detail the research processes that were conducted on the then-current state of printed music production, which was a changing field in itself. There was discussion as to the development of an IBM music typewriter encoding device, or even using Optical Character Recognition to input information. Automated music engraving was also researched. Once an input device was settled on, further research was conducted on programming methods and skilled music editing. The reports are a detailed and interesting look at a seldom seen aspect of the emerging technologies of almost 40 years ago.

From the Migel Library: Der Kriegsblinde: Zeitschrift Für Verständnis Und Verständigung. Bonn: Organ Des Bundes Der Kriegsblinden Deutschlands, 1950-1952.

Still published today, The War Blind: Journal of Understanding and Communication is the official publication of the the Federation of German War Blind. The volumes held in the Migel Library reflect the immediate post-war era. Even if the reader does not know German, the Journal is a valuable tool. It is heavily illustrated with photographs that reflect attitudes and daily living during the early 1950s. The German war blind of the time are often shown wearing a yellow armband with three black dots and a German cross. A similar insignia is sometimes worn by blind civilians in Germany and Austria to this day. Additionally, some of the photographs of blinded veterans have been edited by having the eyes blackened out of the photograph. And, on one of the most interesting covers, a movie still of a blinded American G.I. is shown feeling the face of his "new girlfriend." It is especially important to preserve not only because of the information and photographs, but because it is printed on extremely brittle and acidic paper. Without proper care, the volumes could have been lost.

From the Barr Library: Caton, Hilda R. A Review and Evaluation of Research on the Literary Braille Codes, 1900-1986. Rep. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1987.

This comprehensive review of research on the literary braille codes includes all literary braille codes of English speaking countries. The report begins by organizing and synthesizing the current research, as of 1987. It then evaluates the quality of that research by decade, identifies trends in the 87-year period, identifies gaps in research, and prioritizes needs for further research in literary braille. The report concludes that a coordinated braille program should be developed among English-speaking countries that includes research on contractions in American braille, user error studies, difficulty of braille code categories, problems with speed and comprehension, and especially the efficiency of instructional procedures and materials.

From the Migel Library: Braille Book Review, Pre-Publication Manuscripts.

Still published bi-monthly by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Braille Book Review is an annotated list of braille works available through a network of libraries. It is distributed to those who participate in the Library of Congress Reading Program. The Migel Library holds unique, pre-publication manuscripts of the Review from the first issue in 1931 through 1952. The typewritten drafts include a large amount of handwritten editing that illustrates the thought processes and evolutions behind everything from the Review’s subtitle, to the word count of an annotation, to the differing opinions of a presented work. Just as interesting is the glimpse of the popular braille literature of the past that it gives the reader. The collection also traces the Braille Book Review’s collaborative publication history. It was originally printed by the American Braille Press for War and Civilian Blind for the New York Public Library. By 1935, the American Printing House for the Blind had taken over printing duties. Then, in 1941, APH continued to print the Review, but it began to be published by the American Foundation for the Blind and the Library of Congress. Manuscripts from 1931 through 1936 are available at the Migel Library’s Internet Archive page in digital format.

From the Barr Library: Hatlen, Philip H. Some Thoughts on the Current Status of Blind Youth. Illinois Instructional Materials Center, 1974.

Held in the Barr Library’s pamphlet file, this four-page work is dense with information. The paper begins its discussion of the assimilation of blind youth into society with the significance of Retrolental Fibroplasia (now called Retinopathy of Prematurity) on academic performance and daily living. The paper then suggests that educational priorities should be reevaluated. It states that independent living, recreational, and social skills should all be included in the education of blind youth, and that it begin as early as kindergarten. There is then a discussion of communal living versus independent living, and it closes with information about employment barriers to blind youth. The last line of the paper reads “…I will discuss at greater length when we are together,” suggesting that it may have been an introductory work for a meeting or conference that was sent in advance by Dr. Hatlen.

From the Migel Library: Hayes, Samuel Perkins. Contributions to a Psychology of Blindness. New York: American Foundation for the Blind, 1941.

The Migel Library holds one copy of Contributions to a Psychology of Blindness that bears this unique inscription in the front cover. "Not ethical but: Note of a reader: This book has been around the world – read by me (Merchant Marine Chief Cook) and by a crew member who was blinded by enemy shell explosion while passing ammunition. He can better understand his chances. It’s a pity he won’t be given anywhere near as much "pension" as the "armed" forces. He will be "pensioned" until $5,000.00 runs out. Army, Navy etc. are pensioned, well, for life. Tisk Tisk – democracy!?"

The inscription gives an interesting glimpse into the history of the book, and one might wonder if the Chief read this copy of the book to his blinded comrade. It seems to have been circulated to service members from the American Foundation for the Blind in the 1940s, and has no doubt traveled the world during the Second World War. But it is also fascinating to see that, even though he finds it unethical, the sailor feels that writing an inscription in a circulating book is a rare opportunity to speak out while serving during wartime. It is hard to imagine whether a more modern form of expression, like a blog or website posting, would have lasted as long as this inscription.

From the Barr Library: Wiener, William R., Richard L. Welsh, and Bruce B. Blasch. Foundations of Orientation and Mobility. New York, NY: AFB, 2010.

A crucial resource for reference and instruction since its original publication in 1980, the Barr Library has recently added the 3rd edition of Foundations of Orientation and Mobility to its collection. Now expanded to two volumes, the set contains works from 56 different contributors, including Hall of Fame inductees Warren Bledsoe and Robert H. Whitstock. The first volume, History and Theory, contains sections entitled Human Systems, Mobility Systems and Adaptations, and The Profession of Orientation and Mobility and its Development. The second volume, Instructional Strategies and Practical Applications, is broken down into four parts - Sensory Use and Psychosocial Function, Age-Related Instruction, Adapted Tools and Complex Environments, and Orientation and Mobility and Different Disabilities. With more than 30 years of work and development, the 3rd edition expands into several new areas that have emerged since the last edition.

From the Barr Library: Department of Educational and Technical Research. Annual Report of Research and Development Activities. Rep. Louisville: American Printing House for the Blind, 1959 - Current.

Housed in the Barr Library's pamphlet file, the Annual Reports of Research and Development Activities give a very unique glimpse into the history of APH. The reports present a broad history dating back to 1959. But they do so through brief, specific summaries that each give a year-by-year progression of the company, its research, and its products. It is fascinating to see projects evolve before your eyes as you follow their progression through each year of documentation. Even the project titles develop and change as the reports go forward. Research Reports are currently in the process of digitization through Internet Archive, and will be accessible at Internet Archive through our Migel catalog.

From the Migel Library: Minogue, Anna C. The Girl Stenographer: A Thrilling Story of the Dangers and Temptations that Beset a Girl in Public and Private Offices. Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger, 1922.

When "the girl with the sensible name of Agnes Duffy" sets out for the big city of Louisville for a chance at a better paying stenographer job, she is unaware of the potential dangers in store for her. Agnes' past catches up with her present as a complex web of characters populates her universe. Will the nefarious Mr. Duncan succeed in his revenge plot for having been refused? Will Ms. Duffy's blind confidant solve the mystery of his disappearing daughter? Will her mother succeed in pushing her to marry the successful lawyer, or will a truer love win out? And what is Agnes to make of the sophisticated woman with the changing identities? To enjoy one more quick summer read, click the full text link in the Migel catalog for "The Girl Stenographer," and be transported back to 1922 while enjoying the modern convenience of your choice of reading formats, including EPUB, Kindle and DAISY.

From the Barr Library: Stanford, Charles W. Art for Humanity's Sake: The Story of the Mary Duke Biddle Gallery for the Blind. Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, 1976.

This book describes the development and evolution of a gallery dedicated to allowing blind persons to experience original fine art in the context of culture and history. The author, in his role as director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, had cooperatively participated in developing an art program for students at the nearby Governor Morehead School. The success and satisfaction of this work led to the concept of a permanent gallery, which was eventually funded by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. The Gallery first opened in 1966. The collection includes periodic loans of original works from various sources, as well as its core materials. The book includes many fine quality black and white photographs of visitors enthusiastically enjoying the wide variety of pieces, as well as quotes showing how art affects everyone in different ways.

From the Migel Library: Abel, Georgie Lee, Philip H. Hatlen, and Berthold Lowenfeld. Blind Children Learn to Read. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1969.

With the recent naming of Phil Hatlen to the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field, all three authors of this book are now Hall of Fame inductees. Released in 1969, this was the first work to deeply examine how children learn to read braille since Kathryn Maxfield’s book The Blind Child and his Reading was released in 1928. Based on the U.S. Office of Education’s Braille Reading Study, it filled a 40-year void on literature on the topic. In addition to the Study, chapters on the history of Braille, literature review, Braille promotion in an educational environment, teachers and Braille, and problems in Braille reading are included.
The Migel library holds a unique copy of the book with an inscription from all three authors that reads, "To Josephine Taylor—In appreciation for all you have done, and continue to do, for the education of blind children. Georgie Lee Abel, Berthold Lowenfeld, Phil Hatlen"

Phil Hatlen, an annotated bibliography of items available from the Migel Library

Georgie Lee Abel

Berthold Lowenfeld

Phil Hatlen

Alan J. Koenig

Abel, Georgie Lee, Philip H. Hatlen, and Berthold Lowenfeld. Blind Children Learn to Read. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1969.

"The core of the book is the report of a study which explored the present status of Braille reading in local classes and residential schools for blind children… The book contains five more chapters which are essential for the purpose of giving as complete information as possible on the total challenge of teaching touch reading to blind children."
Bishop, Virginia E. Mini-steps and Milestones: A History of Services for Young Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind, 2006.

Foreword to the book is written by Phil Hatlen.
Hatlen, Philip H. A Needs Assessment Study of Visually Handicapped Children, Youth, and Young Adults, Ages 0-25 in the Nine Bay Area Counties. San Francisco: Lighthouse for the Blind, 1979.

"The purpose of this study is to identify unmet needs for visually handicapped children… A second purpose is to assist the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind in identifying one or more areas of unmet needs… The third purpose is to assist other agencies who may be interested in initiating or expanding services to visually handicapped children..."
Hatlen, Philip H., ed. Proceedings of a Special Study Institute. Conference for Teachers of Deaf-Blind Children, Southwestern Region Deaf-Blind Center, Berkeley. Sacramento: California State Department of Education, 1971.

Introduction and "A Final Word" authored by Philip H. Hatlen.
Hatlen, Philip H., ed. Proceedings of the Special Study Institute. Effects of Pre-School Service for Deaf-Blind Children, Canterbury Hotel, San Francisco, California. San Francisco: Department of Special Education, State College, 1969.

Introduction, "Are We Honest with Parents," "Implication for Teacher Preparation," and "An Emerging Curriculum" authored by Philip H. Hatlen.
Hatlen, Philip H. "The Role of the Teacher of the Visually Impaired : A Self Definition." DVH Newsletter 23.22 (1978): 5+.

"There is an emerging concern in our profession, that we are just discovering some areas of educational need for the visually handicapped pupils. We are looking at the process of expanding our instructional responsibilities so that visually handicapped children are better prepared to be visually handicapped adults."
Holbrook, M. Cay, and Alan J. Koenig. Foundations of Education, Volume I, History and Theory of Teaching Children and Youths with Visual Impairments. New York: AFB, 2000.

Chapter 1, "Historical Perspectives," is authored by Phil Hatlen.
Sacks, Sharon, and Rosanne K. Silberman. Educating Students Who Have Visual Impairments with Other Disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub., 1998.

Foreword authored by Phil Hatlen.
Contact Library staff: library@aph.org, 800-223-1839, ext. 705

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