Areas of Study

MSS 130

World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1975

Collection of the 1975 World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1949-1983

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 130


Title: Collection of the 1975 World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1949-1983

Quantity: 7 linear feet (11 document boxes and 1 oversize box)

Abstract: This collection consists of articles, booklets, bulletins, correspondence, entry forms, fliers, lists, magazines, manuscripts, minutes, newsletters, photographs, programs, public speaking notes, reports, Village of Lake Placid general information, and course designs.


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: The Collection of the World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1975, was donated to the Gallaudet University Archives by Simon J. Carmel on July 7, 1987.

Processed By: Jeffrey Peterson, 2009 February 11.

Processing Note: The collection was partly processed in 2008 and was completed on February 11, 2009.

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

Vertical Files

  • American Athletic Association of the Deaf. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Associations
  • American Athletic Association of the Deaf. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject
  • Comite International des Sports Silencieux. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject
  • Comite International des Sports des Sourds. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject
  • USA Deaf Sports Federation. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject
  • World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1975. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Subject

Historical Sketch

In the winter of 1975, the 8th World Winter Games for the deaf, commonly referred to as the “Deaflympics,” took place in Lake Placid, NY, from February 2 to 8, 1975, and was the first Winter Games for the deaf held outside of continental Europe. The Games were hosted by the American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD) under the parent organization of the Comite International des Sports des Silencieux (CISS, now known as the Comite International des Sports des Sourds, or translated into English the International Committee of Sports for the deaf), the oldest organization sponsoring sporting competitions for the deaf. A subsidiary organization under the AAAD, the United States Organizing Committee (USOC), was established to oversee the Winter Games’ planning and operations so that the AAAD could continue to focus on sports competitions within the United States. At the completion of the 8th Winter Games in Lake Placid, the USOC was disbanded.

The 8th Winter Games for the Deaf in 1975 was also the first Winter Games to feature other sports besides skiing and was the first to be held at a site before an Olympics-the Olympics that took place in Lake Placid in 1980. Fifteen nations and 268 athletes participated in the 8th World Winter Games for the Deaf in 1975. In 1997 the AAAD changed its name to the USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF). The AAAD was the first national group among deaf persons to eliminate discrimination based on a person’s race or creed.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 11 document boxes and one oversize box-approximately seven linear feet and 8,500 pages- with one box dedicated to photographs and one box containing posters and an oversized Russian magazine. The collection consists of material dating from 1949 to 1983. The earliest document contains the technical results from the previous Winter Games from 1949 to 1963; the most recent documents correspond and pertain to the closing of accounts and reproductions of medals. The bulk of the material is from 1971 to 1975. Documents contained within the collection include articles, booklets with competition results and the official program for the 1975 World Winter Games, CISS statutes and regulations, correspondence, entry forms, fliers, information about Lake Placid accommodations and course maps, news releases, and newsletters, publicity materials, reports from CISS Congress meetings and the US Organizing Committee. Also in the collection are photographs from the opening and closing ceremonies, sports competitions, social events at the Winter Games, Committee meetings, and award winners. The majority of content and strongest portion of the collection is correspondence, which is organized by date. One folder contains correspondence either without a date or without a specific date (i.e., “Monday”) and is located in the folder “Correspondence – No Date.” These documents are listed alphabetically based on who the letter was sent to.

Another significant portion of the collection includes final and preliminary entry forms for nations participating in the Winter Games and each of the athletes. Each form contains a small photograph of the athlete competing and which events they were scheduled to compete in. Newsletters also take up a large portion of the collection. The weakest portion of the collection is Committee minutes and memorandums. Only a few folders contain any material regarding meetings leading up to the 1975 World Winter games and the CISS, AAAD, and USOC procedures to ensure a successful international athletic event. Individual Committee reports took the place of meetings. Similarly, because the various Committees’ members varied in location, correspondence was more commonly used than memorandums. [Please see Archives staff for assistance with viewing photographs and objects.]

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Articles/Awards/Booklets

Boxes 1-2

This series contains articles specifically about the 8th World Winter Games, athletes, deaf-related subjects, and sign language pertaining to sports, general articles about winter games, and sports results from the Winter Games. Also in this series are samples of the various awards given out during the competition and samples of awards from previous games used for ideas. Lastly, there are booklets containing the results from the Games and CISS regulations.

Series 2: Correspondence

Boxes 2-5

The correspondence series has been organized by date-one folder contains correspondence where the date is unknown, or the specific date is unclear. The majority of correspondence is from the latter months of 1974 and January of 1975. Correspondence generally took the place of memorandums since members of the various committees were not in close proximity to one another. Correspondence following 1975 largely deals with the closing of accounts and reproduction of medals.

Series 3: Fliers/Forms/Invoices

Boxes 5-6

Within this series are various fliers varying from the AAAD National Basketball Tournament, where money was raised to help fund the 8th Winter Games, to different conferences for the Deaf. The series also contains entry forms for athletes and spectators. Invoices for equipment, apparel, souvenirs, bills for telephone and travel, and the US Organizing Committee’s stay at the Lake Placid Clubhouse complete series 3.

Series 4: Lists

Box 6

Series 4 contains lists that vary from listings of addresses of publications for the deaf, lists numerous contacts, lists of companies and individuals who contributed and donated to the 8th World Winter Games, and lists of participating nations.

Series 5: Manuscripts/Minutes

Boxes 6-7

This unit consists of manuscripts that would later be published in either flier regarding the Games and the official Games program and minutes from the US Organizing Committee and the United States Ski Association Alpine Course Approval Committee.

Series 6: Published Materials

Boxes 6, 7

This series contains numerous magazines and newsletters covering the 8th World Winter Games for the Deaf. Some of the newsletters are from different countries.

Series 7: Notes/Programs

Boxes 8-9

In this group are a few folders containing the notes from members of the various committees written during meetings. The majority of this series consists of programs. Some of the programs are from previous Summer and Winter Games for the Deaf, annual AAAD basketball tournaments, and other important sporting events in Lake Placid and for the Deaf.

Series 8: Questionnaires/Reports

Box 9

Series 8 contains questionnaires that were sent to member nations of CISS regarding their participation in the 8th World Winter Games for the Deaf, which events should be in the Games, arrival and departure dates, and post-games opinions and stories, to name a few. This series also reports from the various committees, previous reports from past Games, and other organizations involved in the 8th Winter Games.

Series 9: TTY Conversations/Posters

Boxes 10, OV 01

Within this last unit are printed TTY conversations. One folder consists of TTY conversations that do not have a date on them and are labeled so-the papers in this folder have been placed alphabetically according to the last name of whom the call was going to. One oversized box has posters for the 8th World Winter Games and a large magazine in Russian titled “Америка” (America).

Click Here to View the Folders List

Click Here to View the Photographs List

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