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Deaf Education Collection

Date range: 16th-20th centuries

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 11,000 items.

The Library for Deaf Education, or Deaf Education Collection, is probably the most important collection on surdo-mutism in the British Isles.

It was established in Manchester University Library in 1919 with the aid of a grant from the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and out of this grant the Arnold Library was purchased from the National College of Teachers of the Deaf in 1922. Abraham Farrar donated to the Library his valuable collection of books relating to deafness, many of them rare, in 1932.

The collection as a whole comprises over 11,000 items, and includes works dealing with the various systems of teaching deaf people, lip-reading, speech therapy, the psychology of speech and hearing, phonetics, acoustics, and the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the ear, as well as sociological, historical and other works concerning deafness.

The bulk of the collection, comprising modern monographs and periodicals, is held at the Main University Library.

The Farrar Collection is located at the John Rylands Library, together with other rare material removed from the rest of the Library for Deaf Education or acquired since 1932.

There are approximately 1,000 items dating from the 16th century to the 19th century. Authors include Jan Conraad Amman, Thomas Arnold, Charles and Henry Baker, Alexander Graham Bell, Franz Hermann Czech, Daniel Defoe, Charles-Michel de l’Épée, Manuel Ramirez de Carrion, John Wallis and Paulo Zacchia, together with many early editions of classical authors who mentioned deafness in their works.

See also:

Further information:

  • Recorded in Library Search.
  • See also published catalogues: Abraham Farrar, An Annotated Catalogue of Books on the Education of the Deaf and Cognate Subjects (Stoke-on-Trent, 1932);
  • Charles W. E. Leigh, Catalogue of the Library for Deaf Education (Manchester, 1932).


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