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Dec 9, 2022
Manuscripts – The Joan M. Bates Papers, 1938-2005
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
Bates, Joan M. (Joan Macaluso), 1930-2006
The Joan M. Bates Papers, 1938-2005
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 223
Creators: Bates, Joan M. (Joan Macaluso), 1930-2006
Title: The Joan M. Bates Papers, 1938-2005
Quantity: 11 boxes (6 linear feet).
Abstract: Papers of Joan M. Bates, a deaf cataloger in the Government Printing Office and
cofounder of Gallaudet’s Delta Epsilon sorority. Includes correspondence, job reports, program books, Catholic religious materials, plaques, and more.
Note: This document last updated May 2018.
Acquisition Information: Donated by Randy and Roger Bates, 2010, along with some materials donated by Joan Bates in 1999.
Processed By: Begun by Corinne Palaia and Michael J. Olson, 2017, and completed by Christopher Shea, May 2018.
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions with the exception of series 7 (see series listing for details).
Born in New Orleans in 1930, Joan Macaluso received an oral education at the Chinchuba Elementary School for the Deaf and the Sacred Heart High School. She spent two years at Notre Dame Junior College in St. Louis before entering Gallaudet in 1952. She graduated with a BS degree in education in 1955. While a sophomore at Gallaudet in 1953, she became one of the founding members of the Delta Epsilon sorority, and was its first secretary. She remained closely involved in Delta Epsilon and its alumnae organization for the rest of her life.
Joan met Robert Bates, a graduate of the Indiana School for the Deaf, at Gallaudet, and they were married in 1955, moving to northern Virginia. She spent one year in the graduate program at Catholic University learning library science and then began a career with the federal government. Starting in 1955 as a typist and library assistant in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s library, she moved through positions at the Office of Personnel Management, the Naval Supply Systems Command, and the law library of the Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General. Finally, in 1982 she became a cataloger in the Government Printing Office and remained in that position until her retirement in 1997.
A devout Catholic, Ms. Bates was closely involved in the US chapter of the International Catholic Deaf Association (ICDA-US), including helping set up its first office. She was also a member of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales and taught sign language classes at her church. Joan M. Bates passed away in 2006.
Scope and Content
The emphasis in these papers is on Ms. Bates’s professional work at the GPO and her religious work with the ICDA-US and other organizations, and her religious studies and beliefs. In particular, the GPO material includes an in-depth study of some complaints that helps show the challenges faced by deaf employees in the federal workforce. There is relatively little about Ms. Bates’s family, but the papers do include a small amount of material on Robert Bates. Series 7 also includes a great deal of material from the founding and early years of the Delta Epsilon sorority that may be of interest to current or former DE members. However, access requires permission from Delta Epsilon officers (see series seven listing).
Series 1. Correspondence and personal documents, 1938-2000
A small collection of miscellaneous personal correspondence, photographs, clippings, and notes. Of particular interest are two notebooks that Ms. Bates wrote as a child, one with a list of books she’d read and the other a list of places visited. It also includes some household budget books from her early married life.
Series 2. Education, 1931-2004
Covers Ms. Bates’s education, including the Chinchuba Institute, Sacred Heart High School, and Gallaudet. Includes some papers and stories that Ms. Bates wrote in high school and college, her Gallaudet report cards, reports and histories of the Chinchuba Institute, and more.
See series 8 for a videotape from Ms. Bates’s 50th high school reunion.
Series 3. Religion, 1946-2005
Materials from Ms. Bates’s religious activities, including notebooks she compiled at workshops and education programs, flyers and programs from church events, and minutes and publications from her work with the International Catholic Deaf Association. Of particular interest is a report/travelogue on her trip to Europe to perform the St. Francis de Sales pilgrimage in 1999.
Series 4. GPO employment and EEOC cases, 1982-1997
This series covers documents from Ms. Bates’s time as a cataloging librarian at the Government Printing Office. It includes her resume and federal Personal Qualifications Statements forms, some correspondence and job assessments, and reports on her work at the GPO. Besides these records, this series also covers two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cases that Ms. Bates was a part of while working at the GPO. In the first one, from 1993-1994, a group of deaf GPO employees complained that the GPO provided them with an unqualified interpreter, impairing their ability to participate in meetings, workshops, and other events. In the second, circa 1992-1994, Ms. Bates was passed over for a promotion and felt that she had lost out to a less qualified applicant based on her age and disability. Documents include
legal filings (including material from the National Center for Law and Deafness), and
An investigator’s report on Ms. Bates’s discrimination claim.
Series 5. Deaf organizations, 1983-1999
A small collection of materials from deaf organizations that the Bateses were involved in, such as the Virginia Association of the Deaf, the American Society for Deaf Children, and others. It includes brochures, publications, event programs, and more.
Series 6. Robert Bates papers, 1936-1997
A small collection of materials related to Ms. Bates’s husband, Robert Bates (1930-1996). A graduate of the Indiana School for the Deaf and Gallaudet, Bates was a mathematician and the first deaf computer programmer to work for the federal government in the Navy Department. He was an active member of the Virginia Association of the Deaf, including serving a term as its president, and also the Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf. He sat on Gallaudet’s Research Board and the Navy’s Handicapped Advisory Board. This series includes some articles and obituaries about Bates, material from the Indiana School for the Deaf, and newsletters from the Association of Computing Machinery, where Bates was the chair of the deaf special interest group (SIGDEAF).
Series 7. Closed files, 1953-2004
These files require special permission to view. One of them consists of records of Ms. Bates’s audiology, including an audiogram; laws regarding medical records disclosure govern access to this file. The remainder of this series consists of files regarding Ms. Bates’s involvement in the founding and growth of the Delta Epsilon sorority, including correspondence, event programs, pins, photographs, documentation, and more. Access to these records requires written permission from the officers of either Delta Epsilon or its alumnae society.
Series 8. Artifacts, 1970-1999
Most of this series is award plaques given to Joan and Robert Bates by various groups they were involved in, such as the International Catholic Deaf Association, the Government Printing Office, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Indiana School for the Deaf Alumni Association. There is also a box of badges, keychains, a hat, and other items from conventions of groups that Joan and Robert attended, mostly from the ICDA and the Lions International service club. It also includes a 1999 videotape of the Sacred Heart High School Class of 1949 50th reunion and a couple of Gallaudet University memorabilia pieces.
Series 9. Additional materials, 1931-1969
A small collection donated by Joan Bates herself in 1999. Includes a library textbook she used while at CUA, a collection of business cards (mostly Robert Bates’s), some NFSD window decals, and a group photo from the 1951 International Catholic Deaf Congress in Buffalo.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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