Deaf Museum are an important part of preserving Deaf Heritage and educating new generations about Deaf History.
History & Cogswell Heritage House
ASD’s founders were well aware of the groundbreaking importance of their
new endeavor, and they and their successors saved a great many letters, teaching
aids, illustrations, books, and other objects. These items remained in the school’s
possession and now form a rich collection that has become a credible base for
research among graduates, historians, genealogists, authors, editors, and scholars.
The school’s first museum was organized in the Historical Room of the Gallaudet
Building in 1967, and expanded in 1977. When renovations to the Gallaudet Building
were planned in 2008, the archives were relocated to the former Principal’s House on campus. Since that time, ASD’s archival inventory has been significantly enriched by generous donations from friends and alumni. Collaboration with other historical societies, research, and new discoveries have also broadened the school’s collection.
This carefully organized collection includes the histories of deaf education, religion, Hartford, and the United States. It also links ASD’s heritage and regional impact with its contributions to the Deaf Community as a whole.
Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
The papers consist of correspondence relating to the founding of the American School for the Deaf and Dumb
in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817 by Laurent Clerc at the invitation of Thomas H. Gallaudet. Included also is a
diary in English kept by Clerc during his voyage to the United States from France (1816) together with
transcriptions of newspaper accounts of his first address in the United States, newspaper clippings, legal and
financial documents, student papers, and memorabilia. There are a few family and personal papers and
autobiographical notes by Clerc (1857-1869). Principal correspondents are John Louis Cheverus, Thomas H.
The Wilton Library: History Room
In 2021, while visiting the history room to research a Laurent Clerc relative we
discovered a treasure trove of original Laurent Clerc family documents. In
conjunction with, Julie, the library historian and the Wilton Historical Society
these documents were reunited with others at the History and Cogswell Heritage
House at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, CT.
The Wilton Historical Society
In 2021 the Wilton Historical Society, home of Francis Clerc Ogden, helped arranged to permanently loan the their Laurent Clerc family papers to the History and Cogswell Heritage House at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, CT. Their director, Nick, established a collaborative relationship with the ASD museum to develop future historical works based on the material.