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Oct 1, 2022
Manuscripts – Papers of Dr. Percival Hall, 1887-1958
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
Hall, Dr. Percival, 1872-1953
Papers of Dr. Percival Hall, 1887-1958
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 151
Title: Papers of Percival Hall, 1887-1958.
Quantity: 2.5 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)
Note: This document last updated 2005 December 8.
Acquisition Information: The collection of Percival Hall Papers was donated to the Gallaudet University Library by Percival Hall. The gift was made in 1948. Some years later, his family donated additional papers to the Archives.
Processed by: Michael Olson. 2005.
Related Material in the Archives:
Please See ALADIN for a complete listing
Percival Hall, 2nd President of Gallaudet University, was born in Georgetown, D. C., on September 16, 1872. His father was Asaph Hall, was a mathematics and astronomy professor at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D. C. Percival grew up in Georgetown and attended public schools. He entered Harvard University at the age of 16 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree at 19. His ambition was to enter the engineering field, but a twist of fate; he spent his Christmas vacation on Kendall Green with his Harvard roommate, Allan B. Fay, which resulted in his becoming interested in the education of the deaf. Percival entered Gallaudet as a Normal student, graduated in 1893. Following his graduation, he taught at the New York School for the deaf for two years. He was invited to accept as a secretary to President Edward Miner Gallaudet for a short time. He taught Latin and mathematics. Upon President Gallaudet’s retirement in 1910, Percival became the next President of Gallaudet, where he remained until his retirement in 1945. He was the President during the two world wars and the great depression. He was involved in public and civic interests in the metropolitan Washington, D. C. area.
Percival Hall was married to Carolyn Clarke in 1895; however, Carolyn was stricken with an illness and passed away within one year. In 1900, he married a deaf woman, Ethel Taylor, at the House One on the campus. They had three children. During Percival’s retirement, he and his wife remained on the campus until he passed away on November 7, 1953.
Scope and Content
The Percival Hall Papers consist of letters, clippings, certificates, diaries, newsletters, telegrams, poems, photographs, by-laws, thesis, sermons, and lectures. The collection, which consists of approximately 4,250 pages, dates from 1887 to 1958. The bulk of the collection consists of his lectures, speeches, and sermons. The next bulk of the collection consists of his biographical information. The bulk dates are mostly between the 1930s and 1940s. The largest subject in the collection is focused on the education of the deaf. Percival wrote many articles and speeches on deaf education. There are letters and greeting cards included in honor of President Hall’s anniversary of his employment and birthday celebration. One interesting item in the collection is an 1890 thesis that Percival wrote while he was a student at Harvard. The thesis is titled “Harmonoids.” It is about mathematics. Also included in the collection is a correspondence between Percival and the Como Orchard Land Company in the West, where he invested in stocks with the company.
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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