The Horace Mann is one of the first schools for the Deaf in the United States and therefore holds a significant role in the history of Deaf Education. This history plays a significant role in the Deaf Community as well, where education maintain a very prominent place in Deaf culture. Because most deaf students come from hearing families, the schools become the place where students learn the language and the rich traditions and culture that comprises the deaf community. You can find students' reflections at

The story of the Horace Mann School is part of our nation’s heritage; important parts of it are already on-line in the Alexander Graham Bell papers of the American Memory Collection.  This website includes extensive correspondence with the Horace Mann School’s first principal, Sarah Fuller, and Alexander Graham Bell.  One point of this project will be linking the past work done by educators such as Bell and Fuller, with what is happening at the school today.

The school is fortunate to have many records and photographs that date from 1869, when it opened.  However, many of these, especially the photographs are fragile, and need preservation. This project will allow the school to purchase archival supplies to protect the originals and hire an archivist to both organize the collection and work with the students. The Horace Mann School has a long history of teaching its students new technologies to prepare them for careers and today’s students have been working on digital scanning projects.  Photographs and documents will be selected and scanned as part of this project, increasing access to them while preserving the originals.

The Brighton-Allston Historical Society will partner with twenty students, grades 9-12 at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the nation’s first oral, public day school for the deaf, which is part of the Boston Public School system.   The school opened in 1869 with Alexander Graham Bell as one of the school’s first teachers.  The students, working with an archivist, will review the school’s photographs and records and other historical materials that date from the opening of the school, to today.  Recent records and photographs will be included so that students gain an understanding of the dynamic changes deaf education has undergone and the realization that history is not something that happened 100 years ago, but could have happened today.  The students, who will be attending Tom Lally’s classes in Document Imaging I and II will choose historical photographs and documents, scan the photographs, write the text, and produce their own website about the school’s history.

The Horace Mann School for the Deaf is the oldest public day school for the deaf in the United States--in 2010, we will celebrate our 141st anniversary. We are proud of our school’s rich history and the many "firsts" that have occurred here —from our association with Alexander Graham Bell, to our present day work. Because we have many historical materials to share and the technology to do it, we have decided to create this on-line museum to showcase our history.

For the next few months, this website will be under construction. How did it come about? Several years ago, Tom Lally, who teaches vocational education, realized that scanning documents held that digitizing and scanning held many career possibilities for Horace Mann students, who have always excelled in areas where the visual arts were blended with craftsmanship.

Welcome to our on-line archives!

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