MSS 214

The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), 1924-

The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) Records, 1924-2011

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 214

Creator: The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), 1924-

Title: The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) Records, 1924-2011

Quantity: 130 boxes (70 linear feet)

Abstract: Records of the organization that sanctions and oversees deaf sports worldwide, including the Deaflympics. Includes minutes and agendas, correspondence, event records, posters and memorabilia, and photos and videos from events.

Note: This document last updated October 2016.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the Archives by ICSD, 2012.

Processed By: Christopher Shea, October 2016.

Processing Note:

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions, except for series marked as closed, which can be accessed only with written permission of ICSD or a court order. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives


  • Papers of Donalda Kay Ammons, 1965-1988. Gallaudet University Archives, call number MSS 112
  • Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS) Records, 1924-2001. Gallaudet University Archives, call number MSS 186
  • Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS) Records, 1983-2002. Gallaudet University Archives, call number MSS 187

Vertical Files

  • Ammons, Donalda Kay. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biography
  • Comitè International des Sports des Sourds. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject
  • Lovett, John M. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biographical
  • World Games for the Deaf 1997. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject
  • Deaflympics, 2001. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject
  • Deaflympics, 2005. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject
  • Deaflympics, 2009. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Subject

Organization History

These records mostly cover the history of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf from the mid-1990s to 2011, under the leadership of presidents John M. Lovett (1995-2003), Donalda Kay Ammons (2003-2009), and Craig A. Crowley (2009-2013). Founded in 1924 as the Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS), this organization has been the governing body of international deaf sports for almost a century. Its preeminent position in deaf sports was formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1955.

These records reflect a period of expansion and modernization for CISS. In 1995, an IOC-backed attempt to merge CISS with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was abandoned as unsuitable for both groups. In 2001, the IOC gave permission to change the name of CISS’s flagship event from the World Games for the Deaf to the Deaflympics. In the same year, CISS became a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF, now known as SportAccord.

A few years later, in 2003, CISS abandoned its original French name, becoming the ICSD. Due to this period of transition, the records include both the old and the new names for the organization and the Deaflympics.
Over this time, ICSD continued to expand, reaching 108 member countries by the end of the period covered by these records.

Finding support for the Deaflympics from national governments continued to be a challenge. The 19th Deaflympics (Rome, 2001), was marked by poor organization and financial difficulties, but later Deaflympics in Sundsvall (2003), Melbourne (2005), Salt Lake City (2007), and Taipei (2009) were much more successful. However, the 2011 Winter Deaflympics, which was to be held in Slovakia, had to be canceled when planning fell through.

In 2008, ICSD called an extraordinary session of the Congress to discuss reorganizing the organization more along the lines of the IOC, including the creation of National Deaflympic Committees and National Deaf Sports Federations to provide a more stable structure for funding and organizing the Deaflympics and other deaf sporting events. The ICSD continues to work to bring recognition and support to deaf sports worldwide.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the material here is from the Lovett and Ammons administrations; there is relatively little from President Crowley’s term. The records include a great deal of Lovett’s presidential correspondence, as well as Ammons’s correspondence from when she was CISS secretary-general and later president.

The records include material on several CISS / ICSD Congresses, including minutes, proposals, and attendance lists. It mostly covers the 38th-41st Congresses (2003-2008), with some fragmentary material from later Congresses up to the 43rd.

As regards the Deaflympics, these records cover mostly the 19th (Rome, 2001), 20th (Melbourne, 2005), and 21st (Taipei, 2009) Deaflympics, as well as the 16th (Salt Lake City, 2007) Winter Deaflympics. There are especially comprehensive records for the Melbourne and Taipei Deaflympics, including digital photos and video. There are some records for earlier Deaflympics / World Games, but MSS 186 and 187 should have more complete information on older events.

Some material on world championships sanctioned by the ICSD is also present, mostly program books, results, medals, and in some cases photos and/or video. These records also include ICSD paperwork on world records, as well as a variety of medals, awards, and memorabilia from the Deaflympics and other deaf sporting events.

Series Descriptions

Series 1. Constitution, by-laws, and other regulations, 1934-2011

Box 1

A small series including various editions of the CISS / ICSD constitution, by-laws, and handbooks. See series 7 for more on the constitution and by-laws. One unusual item is the sheet music for the “CISS Anthem” and “CISS Hymn” that served as the organization’s official songs.

Series 2. Congresses, 2001-2011

Boxes 1-4

Material from the 34th and 37th through 43rd Congresses of ICSD, held biennially. The bulk is from the 38th Congress (Sundsvall, Sweden, 2003), 39th Congress (Melbourne, Australia, 2005), and 40th Congress (Salt Lake City, USA, 2007). It also includes some material from the 41st Congress, an extraordinary session held in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2008 to discuss reforms of ICSD’s practices. Note also that the 43rd Congress, planned for Slovakia in 2011, was canceled.

Includes agendas, minutes, proposals, lists of delegates and powers of attorney, and biennial reports presented by the ICSD President to Congress. Ballots from voting at the 39th Congress are part of these records, but are closed to access (see series 27).

Series 3. Executive committee and other meeting minutes, 1971-2004

Box 5

Bulk from 1995-2004, with one set of minutes from 1971. Includes minutes and some correspondence related to the ICSD executive committee and management team.

Series 4. Commission reports and correspondence, 1998-2006

Boxes 5-6

Reports to the executive from ICSD’s various special commissions.

Series 5. Individual executive correspondence, 2001-2009

Box 6

Correspondence from various executive committee and other leading members of ICSD. Note that it includes some correspondence from Donalda Ammons, who is more fully represented in series 8. Series 6. Other administrative records, 1993-2009Boxes 6-8A collection of other correspondence, reports, and publications related to the administration of ICSD. Of particular interest is some material related to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s 2001 decision to allow the use of the name “Deaflympics,” as well as correspondence on a later conflict over sponsorships between ICSD and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). Also includes correspondence, sample designs, and standards for the design of the new Deaflympics logo and some correspondence and other material on the sudden death of President John M. Lovett in 2003.

Series 7. John M. Lovett correspondence, 1955-2004

Boxes 8-26

Correspondence of John M. Lovett during his term as ICSD president. Includes:

  • Correspondence with member countries (1997-2004), boxes 8-13. Alphabetical by country. See series 8 for further correspondence with member countries from Lovett’s successor, Donalda Ammons.
  • Correspondence on ICSD internal affairs (1985-2003), boxes 13-16. Including:
  • Correspondence and texts of constitution and by-laws (1998-2003), box 13.
  • Correspondence and reports to executive committee (1985-2002), box 14.
  • Correspondence with secretariat (1998-2000), box 14.
  • Correspondence with commissions (1997-2002), box 15.
  • Correspondence with individuals (1997-2004), boxes 15-16. Mostly correspondence with current and former CISS leaders and leaders of other deaf sports organizations.
  • Correspondence on Deaflympics (1995-2003), boxes 16-18. Includes general information on Deaflympics as well as material on 19th and 20th Deaflympics and 14th and 15th Winter Deaflympics.
  • Correspondence with TDs (1997-2003), boxes 18-19. Correspondence with technical directors for each ICSD-sanctioned sport. For more from TDs, see series 10.
  • Correspondence with regional federations (1991-2003), boxes 19-21. Includes correspondence with the deaf sports federations overseeing Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. See series 11 for more on these organizations.
  • Correspondence with International Olympic Committee (1955-2003), boxes 21-22. See series 6 and 11 for more on the IOC.
  • Correspondence with International Paralympic Committee (1989-2000), boxes 22-23. See series 11 for more on the IPC.
  • Correspondence with deaf sports federations (1995-2003), boxes 23-24. Includes both national sports federations and international federations overseeing specific sports. See series 11 and 12 for more on these organizations.
  • Correspondence with international sports federations (1997-2003), box 24. Mostly correspondence with sports governing bodies. See series 11 for more on these organizations.
  • Correspondence with other organizations (1997-2003), box 25.
  • Unclassified correspondence and memoranda (1995-2002), box 25.
  • Reports and correspondence on president’s expenses (1997-2002), box 26.

Series 8. Donalda Ammons correspondence, 1991-2011

Boxes 27-34

Correspondence of Donalda Ammons during her terms as ICSD secretary-general, interim president following John M. Lovett’s death, and president. Includes the following:

  • Correspondence with ICSD member countries (1991-2011), boxes 27-31. Alphabetical by country, but only goes up to S. See series 7 for previous president’s correspondence.
  • Correspondence on ICSD activities (1999-2009), boxes 31-32. Bulk is correspondence with vendors and contractors.
  • Member fees and lists (2001-2004), box 33. Lists of ICSD members, arranged by regional organization, with notes on fees due or unpaid.
  • Correspondence with regional and international federations (1998-2009), box 34. Mostly correspondence with regional deaf sports federations, and some correspondence with international deaf sport governing bodies. See series 7 and 11 for more on these groups.

Series 9. Ole Artmann reports and correspondence, 1995-2002

Boxes 34-35

Records created by Ole Artmann, CISS treasurer. Includes his correspondence and reports to the executive committee on the organization’s accounts.

Series 10. Technical director correspondence, 1991-2010

Boxes 35-37

Correspondence created by ICSD’s technical directors, who are responsible for creating and enforcing the technical regulations for each ICSD-sanctioned sport. Arranged by sport. Includes some notes and minutes from TD meetings. See the Deaflympics series (12-21) for more TD correspondence, reports, and regulations for each individual event.

Series 11. International organizations correspondence, 1955-2010

Boxes 37-41, 102

Includes correspondence, publications, and other material from international sports governing bodies, particularly the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The IOC material includes a copy of the 1955 letter in which the IOC sanctioned CISS as the governing body for world deaf sport, as well as later correspondence on the use of the Deaflympics name.
Also includes correspondence between ICSD and various international sports federations for both deaf and hearing sports. Box 102 includes an attendee kit for a regional confederations seminar in 2002.

See series 6 and 7 for more on relations between ICSD and the IOC, and series 7 and 8 for more correspondence with international governing bodies.

Series 12. General Deaflympics records, 1924-2001

Boxes 41-44, 111, 118, 121

A collection of Deaflympics-related material, mostly handbooks and regulations. Also includes scattered material, mostly results and programs, from pre-1997 World Games for the Deaf. Researchers interested in early World Games should see MSS 186 and 187 as well. For the Winter World Games for the Deaf, see series 17-20. Includes:

  • Handbooks, regulations, and other guides (1991-2007), boxes 41-42.
  • Results of early World Games (1924-1971), box 42.
  • Bulletins and results from 11th World Games (1969), boxes 42-43.
  • Results, programs, and clippings from 14th, 15th, and 16th World Games (1981-1989), boxes 43-44.
  • Results from 17th World Games by sport (1993), box 44.
  • Memorabilia from various World Games, box 111.
  • Photographs from the 15th World Games (1985), box 118.
  • Slides from the 16th World Games (1989), box 121.

Series 13. 18th World Games for the Deaf records, 1995-1997

Boxes 44-47, 118

Material from the 18th World Games for the Deaf (Copenhagen, 1997). Consists mostly of entry forms (preliminary and final) and results by sport. Also includes some correspondence, general information, a list of participants, and the official guide to the games. Box 118 includes photographs.

Series 14. 19th Deaflympics records, 1998-2005

Boxes 47-51, 122, 124, 126

Material related to the 19th Deaflympics (Rome, 2001), the first event to use the Deaflympics name. Bulk is correspondence, entry forms, and results. Note that the initially published results required errata to be issued, and the errata is also included in this series. This series also includes correspondence between ICSD, FISS (the Italian deaf sports governing body), and the Local Organizing Committee (COL) responsible for arranging the games. Boxes 122 and 124 include photos from the games, and box 126 has some Web site files and digital photos.

Series 15. 20th Deaflympics records, 1999-2006

Boxes 51-56, 101, 102, 111-113, 115, 117, 126

Material from the 20th Deaflympics (Melbourne, 2005). While this series has less material on the results of the games than series 13 or 14, it has much more correspondence and other material related to the behind-the-scenes work of planning and executing the games. Includes some correspondence from M2005, the local committee responsible for the games. Also includes entry forms, information on the game venues, and a letter from then Australian Prime Minister John Howard about the Deaflympics. An oversized scrapbook of newsletters, programs, and other materials from the 20th Deaflympics is stored in box 101. Boxes 111-113, 115, and 117 have flags, pins, and other pieces of memorabilia from the event, and box 126 has some photo CDs.

Series 16. 21st Deaflympics records, 2008-2009

Boxes 57-58, 102-108, 111-112, 115, 117, 122, 127-128

Covers the 21st Deaflympics (Taipei, 2009). Boxes 57-58 consist mostly of entry forms and results by sport. Boxes 102-108 include planning documents, technical handbooks, official results, official film DVDs, and memorabilia such as pins, buttons, medals, and flags. Boxes 111-112 have some award plaques, and box 115 has flags from the event. Boxes 127-128 have extensive photo and video CDs, mostly contributed by various national teams and sports federations.

Series 17. Early Winter Deaflympics records, 1953-1995

Boxes 58-59

Fragmentary material from the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 12th, and 13th World Winter Games for the Deaf, mostly results and regulations. See MSS 186 and 187 for more on early Winter Games.

Series 18. 14th World Winter Games of the Deaf records, 1995-1999

Boxes 59-60

Records from the 14th World Winter Games (Davos, 1999). Consists mostly of regulations, entry forms, and results, with some correspondence and material on planning.

Series 19. 15th Winter Deaflympics records, 1998-2003

Boxes 60-61

Records from the 15th Winter Deaflympics (Sundsvall, 2003). Includes entry forms, invitations, correspondence, programs, regulations, and results.

Series 20. 16th Winter Deaflympics records, 2005-2007

Boxes 61-63, 110

Covers the 16th Winter Deaflympics (Salt Lake City, 2007). Bulk is planning material, including correspondence, progress reports, news clippings and newsletters, and technical regulations. Also includes results, programs, maps, and a diploma. Box 110 has a large collection of medals from this event.

Series 21. AAAD handbooks and newsletters from Deaflympics, 1981-1993

Box 63

A small collection of material produced by the American Athletic Association of the Deaf, mostly covering “Team USA” at various Deaflympic events.

Series 22. Deaflympics and other event proposals, 1998-2011

Boxes 63-65, 100

Bids, proposals, and site inspection reports for past and future Deaflympics. Some oversized documents are stored in box 100. Of particular interest are the plans and proposals for the 2011 Winter Deaflympics, to be held in Vysoke Tatry, Slovakia. This event, which would have been the 17th Winter Deaflympics, was canceled, and no event was held that year. The actual 17th Winter Deaflympics was held in Russia in 2015.

Series 23. World championships records, 1982-2011

Boxes 65-71

Material from world championships sanctioned by ICSD, including the Dresse and Maere tennis cups. Consists mostly of programs, results, and correspondence. Arranged by sport, as follows:

  • Box 65-66: General and multi-sport events
  • Box 66: Athletics / track and field, badminton
  • Box 67: Badminton, baseball, basketball
  • Box 68: Basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, cricket
  • Box 69: Cross-country, curling, cycling, football (including indoor football and futsal)
  • Box 70: Golf, handball, ice hockey, martial arts, orienteering, shooting, skiing, swimming, table tennis, tennis (including Dresse and Maere cups)
  • Box 71: Tennis, volleyball, wrestling

    Series 24. Nominations and votes for awards, 1995-2010

    Boxes 71-73

    Bulk of this series consists of nominations and votes for ICSD’s Sportsman / Sportswoman of the Year Award, sponsored by the hearing aid manufacturer Widex since 1999. Also includes some material on the Rubens-Alcais award, given to deserving national sports organizations, and some lists of athletes of the year and athletes of the century.

    Series 25. World records, 2000-2011

    Boxes 73-79

    Material on world records recognized by ICSD, including application forms, correspondence, and diplomas. Also includes some material on junior records and rejected record applications, as well as a list of records from 1924 to 2001.

    Series 26. CISS Bulletin / E-News, 1973-2008

    Boxes 79-81

    Material for ICSD’s newsletter, originally called the CISS Bulletin but renamed the E-News in 2001. Includes clippings and correspondence used to create articles for the publication, and copies of the Bulletin / E-News from 1973 through 2004. For older copies, see MSS 186 and 187.

    Series 27. Closed files, 1984-2011

    Boxes 82-99

    Material in this series may not be accessed without written permission of ICSD or a court order. Note that audiograms, doping test reports, and doping exemption forms are considered personal medical records, and as such are also subject to any legislation governing access to and disclosure of medical information. This series includes: vv

  • Audiograms (boxes 82-96), 1984-2011, from the Deaflympics and other ICSD-sanctioned events.

    Arranged by country name. Includes some correspondence on audiograms and guidelines for audiological testing procedures.

  • Doping test forms (box 97), 1997-2011, including doping test results and exemption forms submitted by athletes.
  • Lawsuit records (boxes 97-98), 1997-2007.

  • Ballots from voting at the 39th Congress for president, vice president, and members-at-large (box 99), 2005.
  • Other correspondence (box 99), 2001-2003.

    Series 28. Medals, 1990-2011

    Boxes 108-110

    A collection of medals, some framed but most loose, from various deaf sporting events. Includes medals from the 21st Deaflympics and 16th Winter Deaflympics, as well as the Dresse and Maere Cups. Most other medals in this series are from world championships. One unusual item is an undated medal given for meritorious service to CISS; this item was no longer awarded after the organization changed its name.

    Series 29. Awards and memorabilia, 1965-2009

    Boxes 111-117

    Includes award plaques given to ICSD and/or its leadership by various deaf sports associations. Also includes caps, flags and banners, buttons and pins, and other items. Of particular interest is box 116, which holds a wide variety of banners from sports organizations around the world. See also series 33.

    Series 30. Photographs and slides, 1975-2002

    Boxes 118-125

    Photographs, slides, and photo albums from ICSD-related events, including the Deaflympics. Bulk of photos are from executive committee meetings and Deaflympics site visits. Includes two photo albums of images documenting ICSD’s history, extensive Deaflympics photos and slides including a collection of photo albums from the 19th Deaflympics and an oversized set of photos of the Swedish team at the 21st Deaflympics, and photos of ICSD staff.

    Series 31. Digital media, 1987-2011

    Boxes 125-130

    CDs, DVDs, and mini DV cassettes with photo and video files, mostly from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Deaflympics. The 21st Deaflympics, in particular, has extensive video and photo files contributed by national sports teams and local media. Also includes a small collection of photos and video from various world championships, and video recordings of the 38th ICSD Congress.

    Also present is a collection of 5 ¼” floppy disks, which could not be read but based on their labels appear to contain mostly word processing and graphics files for the CISS Bulletin newsletter.

    Series 32. Oversized items, 1985-2007

    A collection of large graphical items and memorabilia. Bulk is Deaflympics posters. Also includes a large CISS flag with gold fringe and flagstaff, an oil painting by Chuck Baird on the occasion of the 16th Winter Deaflympics, some framed medals, and a mounted torch from the 16th Winter Deaflympics.

  • Contact Us


    King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255

    (202) 250-2604


    Select what best describes your relationship to Gallaudet University so we can effectively route your email.
    By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.