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Dec 9, 2022
Manuscripts – MSS 61 – Peikoff, David, 1900-1995
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
MSS 61 – Peikoff, David, 1900-1995
Papers of David Peikoff, ca. 1940s-1960s
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 61
Title: Papers of David Peikoff, ca. 1940s-1960s.
Quantity: 4.5 Linear Feet (9 document boxes)
Note: This document last updated 2006 January 6.
Acquisition Information: David Peikoff donated his papers to the Gallaudet University Archives periodically from 1982 to 1988.
Processed by: Ulf Hedberg and Michael Olson. 1988 November 2.
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: Please see ALADIN for a complete listing.
David Peikoff was born in Poltava, Russia in 1900; he was a fifth child of fifteen kids. He lost his hearing in his pursuit for education. He snuck away from his home when he was five to follow two older sisters to school. He got lost in a blizzard, and then he became frozen and unconscious. Found hours later, he developed a fever afterwards and lost his hearing. A short while later, his family emigrated to Canada, Winnipeg to be exact. He attended Manitoba School for the Deaf in Winnipeg until he was 17, then he quit school to go to a linotype school in Chicago. After a series of jobs, he decided to attend Gallaudet College at the ripe age of 24, the oldest Preparatory student enrolled.
He was president of Gallaudet College Alumni Association when a Centennial Fund was proposed in 1960 before Gallaudet College’s 100th anniversary in 1964. Upon approval of the motion, a tireless worker was needed to campaign for the drive. They did not have to look hard to find one, as he was there, the President of GCAA, David Peikoff. He resigned as a president of GCAA to focus on the drive. He and his wife traveled thousands of miles for 6 years campaigning for pledges and cash donations. He succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations as he raised $500,000. On June 1967, the fund was officially given to Gallaudet College to build an Alumni House, financial assistance for deaf students of doctoral degrees, and promoting cultural activities for deaf people. Peikoff received two honorary degrees from Gallaudet College. In 1950, he got the Honorary Master’s degree. Then he got another honorary degree, Doctorate in 1957.
In 1961 he moved to the United States and lived in Maryland. During his residence, he worked at Gallaudet College until his retirement on June 30, 1970. He suffered a stroke in 1971, but he still worked hard. He co-wrote the Gallaudet Almanac with Jack Gannon and Hans Dieter-Baumert, published in 1974. He died in his sleep on January 28, 1995.
Scope and Content
The David Peikoff Papers, consist of approximately 6000 items. The majority of the papers are dated from mid 1940s to the mid 1960s and reflect Mr. Peikoff’s interests and activities in fund-raising and various associations. The collection includes articles and clippings he wrote, and correspondence with the Canadian Association of the Deaf, Ontario Association of the Deaf, Irving S. Fusfeld, Percival Hall, Joseph N. Rosnick, Cadwallader Washburn and others.
There are also diaries and notes from the 1920s. Mr. Peikoff was very active in the deaf community and was involved in the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf. The Western Canada Association of the Deaf, and the Ontario Association of the Deaf. There are reports on these conventions in his collection.
In 1970, David Peikoff retired as Director of Development at Gallaudet College. Included among his papers are the personal letters of appreciation from friends, faculty and staff. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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