DEAF CULTURE CENTRE > Deaf Heritage in Canada Collection Date: 1830 – 1997
Deaf Heritage in Canada Collection Date: 1830 – 1997

Extent: 182 cm of textual records. – 24 photographs. – 7 postcards. – 8 maps. – 4 slides.

Administrative history: Forrest C. Nickerson (1929-1988), a Deaf artist of Richfield, Nova Scotia, was the Founder and President of the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (1970-1984). By 1981, he began to collect documentary materials to write a book, whose title would be Deaf Heritage in Canada. This book was intended to “introduce readers to the distinctive ethnicity of Deaf people through a glimpse into their history, language, and culture, and present it in a narrative historical book written by a deaf person” (pp. viii of the book). Nickerson was to be author of this book. As his health state was declining, he could not pursue his work and he died on June 16, 1988.

Shortly before Nickerson passed away, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf recruited Dr. Clifton F. Carbin to complete Nickerson’s work in 1985. Born in Espanola, Ontario, in 1946, Dr. Carbin is a Deaf researcher and writer. He is co-author of Can’t Your Child Hear? (1981) and author of Samuel Thomas Greene. A Legend in the Nineteenth Century Deaf Community (2005). He graduated from Gallaudet University (B.A.) in Washington D.C., USA, in 1971 and Western Maryland College (M.Ed.) in Westminster, Maryland, USA, in 1974. In 1989, he received an LL.D., honoris causa from Gallaudet University. From 1990 to 1991, Dr. Carbin was holder of the Powrie V. Doctor Chair of Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University. Dr. Carbin and his research assistants continued to collect documentary materials to write the Deaf Heritage in Canada book. Once Dr. Carbin finished writing the book containing 622 pages, this book was published in 1996 by McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Whitby, Ontario.

Scope and content: The Deaf Heritage in Canada collection contains book extracts, magazine extracts, records of correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, and photographs Dr. Carbin needed to write chapters 1 to 21 of the Deaf Heritage in Canada book.

The collection is divided into twenty-four (25) series:

A: The Early Days, 1859-1994;

B: The American Scene, 1851-1995;

C: Early Educational Efforts and Short-Lived Schools, 1830-1995;

D: Schools in Quebec and Ontario, 1848-1995;

E: Schools in the Atlantic Provinces, 1857-1997;

F: Schools in Western Canada, 1885-1995;

G: Organizations, 1894-1995;

H: Deaf Settlers in Western Canada, 1856-1995;

I: Occupations, 1868-1993;

J: Religion, 1870-1995;

K: The Printed Page, 1858-1995;

L: Sign Languages, 1884-1994;

M: The Visual Arts, 1960-1991;

N: The Performing Arts, 1922-1995;

O: Sports; 1895-1995;

P: Hobbies and Leisure Activities, 1901-1994;

Q: “Down Memory Lane,” 1862-1995;

R: Military Service and Training for Deaf People, 1912-1994;

S: Deaf People and Technology, 1928-1995;

T: “Silent No Longer,” 1893-1994;

U: A Few Things More…, 1886-1995;

V: Illustrated Documents Used for the Book;

W: Unused Documents and Photographs;

X: Deaf Heritage in Canada Project, 1981-1996;

Y: Deaf Heritage in Canada Books, 1996;

Slides, VHS, Panoramic Photographs.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on the documents in the collection.

Arrangement: Series A to U are arranged according to the chapter divisions used for the Deaf Heritage in Canada book. Records in each file are arranged in chronological order. Undated records are on top of dated records.

Language: The records are in English and French.

Originals and reproductions:  Most of the records in this collection are reproductions.

Restrictions on access: Only Deaf Culture Centre members have access to the records. Access to Series X is restricted due to confidential information. As the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf library has two Deaf Heritage in Canada books in its library, the two other Deaf Heritage in Canada books, which are in Series Y, are not available for consultation.

Finding aids: File list available.

Standard number: IBSN 0-07-551378-1.