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Sep 26, 2022
Manuscripts – Collection of Francis Cole Higgins, 1783 – 1996
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
Francis C. Higgins, 1913-2000
Collection of Francis Cole Higgins, 1783 – 1996
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 167
Title: Collection of Francis C. Higgins, 1783 – 1996.
Quantity: 4.5 Linear Feet (9 document boxes).
Note: This document last updated 2008 July 2.
Acquisition Information: Francis C. Higgins donated his papers periodically between 1995 and 1996.
Processed by: Michael J. Olson, 2008.
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.
Related Material in the Archives:
See ALADIN for a full listingFilms
Francis Cole Higgins was born on September 23, 1913 in Flemington, New Jersey. He became deaf at 3 years old due to an unknown cause. Francis Higgins attended the Flemington, New Jersey Grammar School. He completed his studies there in 1927 and then attended the New Jersey School for the Deaf until 1931. Higgins then earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Gallaudet College in 1936 and then his Master of Science from Rutgers in 1938. He spent the next nine years teaching at the Kentucky School for the Deaf then taught Chemistry and other science courses at Gallaudet College until his retirement in 1983. He taught for 3 more years at the Northwest Campus on a volunteer basis.
Higgins married in 1939 to Catherine Bronson of Alabama. They had five children, including a set of triplets. He was actively involved in the Baptist Church of the Deaf in Washington, DC where he served as lay leader for more than forty years. He has also been actively involved in the Kentucky Chapter of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association as well as the GCAA itself. He has earned numerous recognitions including Man of the Year Award from Alpha Sigma Pi, Man of Merit from Delta Epsilon, awards from the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf, Tower Clock, and religious organizations. He died on February 14, 2000.
Scope and Content
The Collection of Francis C. Higgins consists of letters; copies of documents related to deaf people; booklets; notebooks; program books; poems; articles; minutes of meetings; and certificates.
The collection, which consists of approximately 7,650 pages, dates from 1783 to 1996. The bulk of the collection consists of copies of documents related to the history of deaf people, especially on deaf artists. Francis C. Higgins spent his free time research on the history of deaf people. The bulk dates are mostly between 1980 and 1986 during at that time Higgins researched and wrote to different historical societies and libraries for inquires information on deaf people. In this collection there are several folders related to religion that Higgins was involved in. He wrote a history of Calvary Baptist Church of the Deaf and also included in this collection there are two minutes books related to the church.
Series I: General Files
Box 1 (Folder 1) – Box 7 (Folder 5) 1783 -1996
Francis C. Higgins collected many copies of documents related to the history of deaf people and wrote some articles. There are copies of information on deaf artists. Included in this collection are two minutes book of the Calvary Baptist Church of the Deaf from 1916 to 1980; and letters and program book of the National Association of the Deaf Convention held in Kentucky in 1946.
Series II: Gallaudet University Files
Box 7 (Folder 6) – Box 8 (Folder 11) 1864 -1990
There are copies of documents related to the history of Gallaudet University. Higgins was a faculty member of Gallaudet University and there are some faculty papers included. He wrote interesting questions about the history of Kendall Green. The minutes and letters related to the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund are included in this collection.
Series III: Personal Files
Box 9 (Folders 1 – 22) 1931-1987
There are some letters Higgins received from several writers related to the history of deaf people. A biography of Higgins is included. In this collection, Higgins wrote his journals of his journey to some counties with Gallaudet students.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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