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Sep 27, 2022
National Deaf Life Museum
Notes from the Museum Director and Curator Emerita
The story of our country’s deaf and hard of hearing cultural community is an important part of the larger narrative that is United States history. Since Gallaudet University was founded in 1864 by an act of Congress, the University has served as the unofficial conservator of American deaf culture and languages. With the establishment of this Museum, the title is official.
In March of 2007, Dr. Stephen Weiner, Provost of Gallaudet University and I met to discuss the concept of a permanent museum for the University. A museum that would work closely with the University’s Archives toward the goal to share cultural information, history, and stories though exhibitions, programs, courses, workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, art shows, student involvement on all levels including internships and lecture series.
Until now, there has been a prominent gap in the landscape of United States museums. The Gallaudet University Museum closes this gap by providing a national museum devoted to the history and culture of our University; deaf and hard of hearing people and the impact the University has on the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing people in the world. The Gallaudet University Museum is a member of both the Academic Association of Museums and Galleries and the American Association of Museums.
We exist to share deaf people’s story with the larger community and, in the process, ensure that the language and culture of the American Deaf Community are honored and preserved. The University community invites you to join us in this quest.
We hope you will return again and again to this website as we continue to grow. We welcome your suggestions and ideas for exhibitions.
Contact us. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, please come by and visit us. We look forward to visiting and learning from you. Together we will tell our story.
Dr. Jane Norman passed away on April 4, 2020. The staff of the National Deaf Life Museum is honored to continue to tell our story in her honor.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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