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Dec 9, 2022
Manuscripts – MSS 57 – Anderson, Tom L., 1888-1966
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
MSS 57 – Anderson, Tom L., 1888-1966
Papers of Tom L. Anderson, 1907-1969
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 57
Creator: Anderson, Tom L.
Title: Papers of Tom L. Anderson, 1907-1969.
Quantity: 2.0 Linear Feet (4 document boxes) Abstract: The focus of this collection rests upon
Anderson’s presidency of the National Association of the Deaf and the Gallaudet College Alumni Association.
Note: This document last updated 2005 November 17.
Acquisition Information: The Tom Lewis Anderson Papers were given to the Gallaudet University Archives by his wife, Effie Weseen Anderson. The gifts were made in December, 1988 and in November, 1989.
Processed by: Michael Olson, 1993 April 1.
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:
Tom Lewis Anderson, known as “TLA”, was born on June 2, 1888 in Denison, Texas. He became deaf at the age of 12 from scarlet fever. In the fall of 1906, Tom entered the Colorado School for the Deaf. He passed the college entrance examination and the next year, he attended Gallaudet College. Tom graduated from Gallaudet in 1912. He worked various jobs: one was in Duluth, Minnesota where he was an editor of a magazine and agent of Acoustic Company; also he was a partner in a logging business; and he was a farmer. He married his college sweetheart, Anna Vaughn Johnson of Minden, Nebraska in 1912. They moved to Texas, and a daughter, Elizabeth and a son, John were born.
Tom got a job as a manual training teacher in a high school in Minden, Nebraska. In his spare time, he pursued outside studies and wrote a thesis on “Mental Training Through the Head” for which Gallaudet awarded him the Master’s degree in 1918.
A tragedy struck the Anderson family–Tom’s wife, Anna died as a result of the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1919. Tom placed his two children in the care of his sister in Dallas, Texas and started a new life. He met Effie Weseen, a native Nebraskan, at a banquet of the Mid-West Chapter of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association. Effie was a 1918 graduate of Gallaudet. In October, 1920, they got married and lived in Minden.
Mr. and Mrs. Tom L. Anderson, both got jobs as teachers at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs in 1921. The next year, Tom was appointed as a vocational principal of the school’s vocational department. He was an editor of the school publication, The Iowa Hawkeye. He founded and published The Vocational Teacher. They worked there for many years, until they moved to Texas where he worked as a vocational counselor in Austin for 6 years. He was credited with having placed 400 deaf war workers with the North American Aviation Company. His experience with human relations caught the eyes of California vocational authorities who lured him to San Francisco in 1948. His wife, Effie taught at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley. Tom retired in 1952. His hobby was woodworking, which kept him very busy.
Tom was President of the National Association of the Deaf from 1940 to 1946. He was also President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association from 1936 to 1943. In 1939, at its 75th anniversary convocation, Gallaudet College awarded him a honorary degree of Doctor of Pedagogy in recognition of his valuable service to his fellow men.
Tom died at his home in Oakland, California on September 16, 1966 and was buried in Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito on September 20.
Scope and Content
The Tom L. Anderson Papers consist of correspondence, clippings, printed materials, reports, speeches, articles, manuscripts, scrapbooks and yearbooks. Dr. Anderson was President of the National Association of the Deaf and was also President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association. He was a well-known in the field of vocational training for the deaf.
The collection, which consists of approximately 3,400 pages, dates from 1907-1969. The bulk of the collection consists of articles, correspondence and publications. The bulk dates are mostly between 1936 and 1948, which was during his presidency of both organizations. The strength of the collection is centered mostly on concerns for the welfare of deaf people.
The largest subject in the collection is focused on the National Association of the Deaf issues. Dr. Anderson worked tirelessly for employment opportunities for the deaf people, such as, vocational training for the deaf people. The significant subject in the collection is about the employment of deaf people during the World War II. Another significant aspect of the collection is about the clash of correspondence between Dr. Anderson and Paul A. Strachan of the American Federation of the Physically Handicapped. The biggest accomplishment of Dr. Anderson’s career life was that he was chosen to be on the National Rehabilitation Advisory Council.
The collection includes Gallaudet College Alumni Association correspondence, of which he was President, general articles written by Dr. Anderson; and personal correspondence from his friends and colleagues.
Dr. Anderson wrote a manuscript called, “Vocational Training for the Deaf” which was published about 1942. Also included in the collection are publications, mainly on deaf people and organizations. He wrote an interesting and informative article “What of the Sign Language?”, and an interesting paper called “Rules and Regulations for “Ducks” (for Preparatory students at Gallaudet) written in 1907.
Series 1: National Association of the DeafBoxes 1-2
Tom L. Anderson was President of the National Association of the Deaf from 1940 to 1946. In this series are correspondence, publications, reports, clippings and speeches. Most of the collection is mainly on the welfare of deaf people.
Series 2: Gallaudet College Alumni AssociationBox 3
Tom L. Anderson was President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association from 1936 to 1943. The bulk of the collection is mostly on correspondence. There are some publications and program books. Some of the collection are discussions on issues relating to Gallaudet College Alumni Association.
Series 3: GeneralBoxes 3-4
This series has articles written by Tom L. Anderson, as well as personal correspondence, clippings and printed matters. Manuscripts and speeches are included in this collection. Some items are from his early days as a student at Gallaudet.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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