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American Foundation for the Blind Inc. (New York, NY 10121-0101)
Helen J. Selsdon (Project Director: July 2017 to present)
Digitization and Metadata Creation for the Helen Keller Archive Press Clippings and Scrapbooks

The digitization of scrapbooks and news clippings, totaling 34,000 digital images, from the personal papers of Helen Keller, completing the comprehensive digitization and free online access of Keller’s archive, including for users with visual and hearing disabilities.

In 2015, the American Foundation for the Blind received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize a large segment of Helen Keller’s archive and to create an online collection that is free of charge and fully accessible to blind, deaf, deafblind, sighted, and hearing audiences alike. The site currently includes over 72,000 images, and by the end of 2017 will include over 160,000. Because of limitations in funding, the press clippings and scrapbooks were omitted from the 2015 project. AFB now seeks to digitize and disseminate these remaining materials. Approximately 34,000 digital images will be created during this phase of the project. These are the most fragile and difficult items to handle and have been closed to researchers and the public. Details of Keller’s life that are undocumented in other parts of the archive can be found here. The collection is an untapped resource for women’s history, American culture, and Disability Studies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$295,000 (approved)
$295,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 10/31/2021