Rich in heritage and always striving to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, The Indiana School for the Deaf has developed into one of the leading deaf schools in the nation. Its success is captured in the publications that have been digitized through funding by the Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund. 204 volumes with 18,000 pages of publications include school newsletters, senior numbers and yearbooks.
This collection has the potential to impact students from universities and schools, parents and individuals searching for their genealogical heritage, researchers and educators seeking information for professional papers.
Over the years, the paper collection has gained increased interest from people in Indiana and from other states sending e-mail requests for genealogical information and personal research. Several researchers have visited the school to meet their research needs. By providing online access, researchers can gather information without coming to the school. ISD will curate the collection via e-mail.
Our mission is to stimulate appreciation of the unique history of Deaf citizens of Indiana; to conduct historical research, preservation and education; and to provide the public with significant Deaf Heritage experiences.
The Museum connects to the community by researching and developing museum exhibits, as well as bringing Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) history to Deaf Community events. We manage an extensive collection of documents, photos, publications and artifacts that date back to the 1840s. The Museum also partners with IUPUI Museum Studies students and professors on projects that will help us develop skills that align with national museum standards. We communicate and cooperate with the Indiana Historical Society. In 2014, we presented at the American Association for State and Local History annual conference and in 2017, we participated in a Deaf History panel discussion at the National Conference for Public History annual meeting in Indianapolis. We will also continue to test new educational programs designed to be used by middle school and high school history/social studies teachers in their classrooms.
Please contact the Museum Director, Kris Johnson to schedule an appointment to visit the museum or use the archive. **Due to COVID-19 - the museum is closed.**
The Board and Museum Director are responsible for following appropriate procedures for receiving and documenting donations of historical artifacts or archival materials. We must also be in compliance with Indiana property laws.
If you would like to donate something to the Indiana Deaf History Museum, please contact the Museum Director. If possible, please also include a description and photo of each item being donated.
Donations are greatly appreciated, but items may not be dropped off at ISD unless the Museum Director has agreed to that arrangement.
Individual student records are state property, and held by the state archive. The museum does not have any student files. You can search ancestor names on the website.
Indiana Deaf History Museum consistently works on projects to make our collection available online. We encourage educators and fans of Deaf history to browse and enjoy the many publications and photos shared.