MSS 109

Porter, Sarah Harvey, 1856-1922

Papers of Sarah H. Porter, n.d.

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 109


Title: Papers of Sarah H. Porter, n.d.

Quantity: 1.0 Linear Feet (2 document boxes)


Note: This document last updated 2006 January 6.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Unknown.

Processed by: Cheryl Collier Morris. 2000 June 6.

Processing Note: 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


  • Collection, 1888-1922. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: MSS 30


  • Sarah Harvey Porter, [191-?]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS

Vertical Files

  • Sarah H. Porter. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical

Biographical Sketch

Sarah H. Porter was born in Sutton, New Hampshire, on July 21, 1856. She took a teacher training course at the Salem Normal School in Salem, Massachusetts, and she taught for four years in a public school and became fascinated with deaf education. Later, she taught at the Clarke School in Northampton, Massachusetts. She wrote a book called The Life and Times of Anne Royall, which was a classic of early Washington life. She also wrote an article, “Society and the Orally Restored Deaf-Mute,” which drew Dr. E.M. Gallaudet’s attention. In 1885, he invited her to become a Kendall Schoolteacher. Ms. Porter taught as a teacher until the Normal Department was established in 1891, she became an instructor of the normal department. While teaching, she completed her college education at George Washington University and received a Master of Arts in 1901. Ms. Porter was an advocate of the combined system and wrote an article on the subject, “The Suppressing Signs by Force.” In 1911, she gave up teaching children and devoted her time entirely to lectures and training of the normal. In September of 1922, Ms. Porter was given a year’s leave of absence. She went to her summer home near Keene in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She was able to gather some materials about the psychology of the deaf but could not complete her writings. She died a sudden death with tuberculosis on October 1, 1922.

Scope and Content

Sarah Harvey Porter collection contains two boxes of notebooks with her handwriting. The collection, which consists of 26 notebooks, has no dates. The collection covers several subjects related to her research for Psychology of Deafness such as attention, bibliography, classes of the deaf, control processes in modified handwriting: an experimental study, desire, emotions, Galton’s Inquiries with Human Faculties, Imitation, Instincts and Tendencies, Professor Day’s language tests, Psychology monographs, random observation and quotations, rhythms, sight, signs, smell, and will.

Series Descriptions and Folder Lists

No Series

Box Folder Title of Folder Date
1 1 Notebook – Attention #22 n.d.
1 2 Notebook – Bibliography n.d.
1 3 Notebook – Catalogue of notebooks n.d.
1 4 Notebook – Chapter on ? n.d.
1 5 Notebook – Classes of the Deaf #2 n.d.
1 6 Notebook – Classes of the Deaf (before school) n.d.
1 7 Notebook – Control Processes in Modified Handwriting: An Experimental Study n.d.
1 8 Notebook – Desire #24 n.d.
1 9 Notebook – Desire for Expression #25 n.d.
1 10 Notebook – Emotions (primary) #5 n.d.
1 11 Notebook – Galton’s Inquiries with Human Faculties E.P. Dillon Edited by Ernest Rhys. n.d.
1 12 Notebook – Imitation #20 n.d.
1 13 Notebook – Instincts and Tendencies #4 n.d.
1 14 Notebook – No title n.d.
1 15 Notebook – Professor Day’s Language Tests n.d.
1 16 Notebook – Psychology Monographs n.d.
2 1 Notebook – Random Observation and Quotations #88 n.d.
2 2 Notebook – Random Observation and Quotations #89 n.d.
2 3 Notebook – Rhythm #13 n.d.
2 4 Notebook – Sight #7 n.d.
2 5 Notebook – Signs #28 n.d.
2 6 Notebook – Signs #29 n.d.
2 7 Notebook – Smell #10 n.d.
2 8 Notebook – The Sign Language #26 n.d.
2 9 Notebook – The Sign Language #27 n.d.
2 10 Notebook – Will #62 n.d.

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