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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: Disability & American Heritage Center

About These Resources

The resources on the page showcase some of the available collections at the American Heritage Center related to Disability Studies. Visit the AHC's main LibGuide to learn more about how to use and search for more of our primary source materials. You can also check out our finding aids on ArchivesWest to find related resources. Get in touch with the AHC's Reference Services to look at collections and Toppan Rare Books at 307-766-3756 or

The American Heritage Center aspires to approach all areas of our work in ways that are respectful to those who create, use, and are represented in our collections. For a variety of reasons, however, users may encounter offensive or harmful language or content in some of our finding aids, catalogs, and collection materials. Note that the AHC does not censor or alter contents of the collections, as they provide context and evidence of a time, people, place, or event. Therefore, we encourage users to bring questions and concerns about descriptions in our finding aids to our attention via email or anonymous web-form. For more information, read our full statement on potentially harmful language and content.

AHC Archival Resources

Three people with a guide dog.

1956 photo from the Larry Kreimer Papers, Collection 4015, box 3.

Lambert Kreimer Papers, Collection 04015
Kreimer worked as a guide dog trainer during World War II for the U.S. Army. The collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, certificates, printed materials and miscellaneous other materials related to guide dogs and Kreimer's work with guide dogs for the blind after the war.

John H Hull Family Papers, Collection 10529
Hull enlisted in Company D, 120th Indiana Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. The collection includes correspondence with a law firm about a disability claim. Online content is available.

Ernest Tidyman Papers, Collection 09178 
Tidyman was a novelist, motion picture and television writer and producer known for his work on “Dummy,” a book and film about the real case of Donald Lang, a Black deaf man, who could not be tried for murder in the 1960s and 1970s because he could not communicate with his attorney. The collection includes letters, research, court transcripts, book drafts, screenplay drafts, newspaper clippings, and other documents related to “Dummy,” as well as legal research into the rights of and provisions for the hearing-impaired community in court. “Dummy” files can be found in boxes 16, 39, 40, 41, and 42.

Johanna Gostas POW/MIA Papers, Collection 05497
The collection includes correspondence, bulletins, newsletters, and reports about various POW/MIA issues, including disabled veterans.

Gregor Ziemer Papers, Collection 08176
Gregor Ziemer (1899-1982) was a journalist, educator, and writer during the twentieth century. This collection contains documents related to his work on the American Federation for the Blind in the 1950s and 1960s, found in boxes 22-24.

Hands in Harmony Records, Collection 12674
Hands in Harmony was a sign singing performance group established in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The collection contains performance/tour books, recorded performances, and a documentation history containing correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, printed materials, memorabilia, scrapbooks, and video.

Lester David Papers, Collection 10585
Lester David was nationally known freelance journalist and author. This collection contains research into topics such as blind drivers and recordings for the blind in the 1960s and 1970s, which can be found in boxes 9 and 74.

Garfield Merner Papers, Collection 04854
Merner was a businessman and philanthropist, as well as a trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind. The collection contains documents around the Helen Keller Award he received, as well as photocopies of a letter written by Helen Keller and first-hand memories about her life.

Stan Lee Papers, Collection 8302
Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. The collection includes comic drafts, published works, news programs, and DVD related to the X-men, a superhero comic series which includes Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, who is a paraplegic with powerful telepathic powers.

Eugenics and Disability

The eugenics movement, which is closely tied to racism and ableism, seeks to intentionally change the genetic makeup of the human population by selecting for “desirable” heritable traits and behaviors and excluding those that are “undesirable”. Laws and practices based on eugenics include forced sterilization, segregation, institutionalization, and death of those who are deemed to be physically and mentally inferior. The collection in this section focuses on disabilities through the view of eugenics.

Paul Popenoe Papers, Collection 4681
The collection contains case files and correspondence regarding the American Institute of Family Relations, which Paul Popenoe founded in 1929. Also included are printed columns, scripts from radio and television programs, and manuscripts of and articles authored by this prolific writer whose interests included biology, eugenics, heredity, social hygiene, family relations, marriage counseling, and sex education in schools.

Toppan Rare Books

“Blind Alice” in Aunt Kitty’s Tales – “Blind Alice” is a short story from an 1847 collection titled “Aunt Kitty’s Tales” by Maria J. McIntosh. The children’s stories are centered on Aunt Kitty and her young relatives who encounter situations that in the end are meant to teach some sort of moral lesson. In “Blind Alice”, one of Aunt Kitty’s nieces, Harriet, has a friend who contracts scarlet fever and goes blind as a result. Harriet learns to care for her friend Alice and Aunt Kitty strives to teach her lessons on compassion and selflessness through conversation about Alice’s situation. This story includes period discussion of blindness and disease and mentions schools for the blind from the time period as well as books for the blind. [Toppan Rare Books Library: Fitzhugh Collection: PN 6110 C4 C6x no. 37 1847]
Eighth Annual Report of the Managers of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind – A yearly report from 1841 on the financial status and other general information at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, now known as the Overbrook School for the Blind. The report includes information on school resources including books they published for the blind, methods for instruction, a list of students, sample forms for admittance to the school, and the daily school schedule. There are also samples of raised print writing and music. Bound as part of a collection of other books. [Toppan Rare Books Library: State Library Collection: Bull, Marcus A Defence of Experiments to Determine the Comparative Value of the Principal Varieties of Fuel… 1828]

Health Resorts of the South and Summer Resorts of New England – This book provides information on things to see, things to do, and the history of towns with notable heath resorts located in the South including Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Health resorts were especially popular during the wellness craze that emerged in the mid-19th century and were extremely popular in the late-19th through mid-20th century. Several of the towns highlighted include an essay written by a local doctor espousing the benefits of the town’s resources for treating a person’s various illnesses.  [Toppan Rare Books Library: Special Collections: RA 807 .S68 H43 1896]

Health, Wealth, and Pleasure in Colorado and New Mexico: a reliable treatise on the famous pleasure and health resorts and the rich mining and agricultural regions of the Rocky Mountains – This 1881 publication was printed and distributed by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. It includes information about the towns along the railroad.  The primarily purpose of the guide is to educate travelers who are either visiting or relocating to the western part of the United States many of whom are seeking the healthful benefits the mountains offer to those who suffer from respiratory problems. [Toppan Rare Books Library: Fitzhugh Collection: F781 .D412x 1881]

Mamma’s Lessons for Her Little Boys and Girls – An 1839 children’s book designed to help children learn to read. The text is framed as conversations between a small girl and boy and their mother about practical matters such as the weather, chores, people raising animals, and other things. Also included is a short conversation about a blind man and his dog who is walking by the children and their mother. [Toppan Rare Books Library: Fitzhugh Collection: PN 6110 C4 C6x no. 38 1839]

The Mustard Seed: Give God Glory English Braille Grade 2 – A book of religious text in Braille including extra materials such as Braille translated into written English and two Braille to English alphabets and punctuation guides. [Toppan Rare Books Library: Anne Marie Lane Collection: The Mustard Seed: Give God Glory English Braille Grade 2]

Corbett, Todd L. & Barbara Baumgardner Collection– A variety of books ranging from the 1950s to the 1970s on the subject of a deafness and hearing impairment. Included are reports from conferences as well informational/medically focused books. There are also several books with a particular focus on education strategies for children who are deaf or hearing impaired such as learning lip reading and other strategies for teachers and parents.

LibGuide written by Marcus Holscher.

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