Item #23010 Minutes of Evidence Given Before THE ROYAL COMMISSION by Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, Ph. D. of Washington D.C. U.S.A. on the 14th, 21st, 22nd, and 26th June 1888. Alexander Graham Bell.

Minutes of Evidence Given Before THE ROYAL COMMISSION by Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, Ph. D. of Washington D.C. U.S.A. on the 14th, 21st, 22nd, and 26th June 1888

London: Eyre and Spottiswoode for Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1889. First Separate Edition. [1]-66 pages plus 3 diagrams (1 folding). Original publisher's buff printed wrappers. 8 1/4 inches x 12 inches. Old paper tape spine repair, wrappers laid down on reinforcing paper when reattached. Closely trimmed on the bottom edge, with some minor impact to signature letters (textblock otherwise intact with no loss). Reprinted from the General Minutes of Evidence taken by the Royal Commission [on the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb, &c], and presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty. Good. Wraps. [23010]

"In 1880, the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf met in Milan, Italy, and passed several resolutions. No Deaf people were involved in preparing or approving the resolutions. Two of the declarations are of special note. In English translation they read: (1) given the incontestable superiority of speech over signs in restoring deaf-mutes to society, and in giving them a more perfect knowledge of language that the oral method ought to be preferred to signs; and (2) considering that the simultaneous use of speech and signs has the disadvantage of injuring speech, lipreading, and precision of ideas, that the pure oral method ought to be preferred. The result was the acceleration of a trend to abolish any kind of sign instruction in almost all countries in the world, with at best a significant reduction and at worst a complete elimination of the numbers and roles of Deaf professionals in the field. Not only were thousands of deaf children denied an effective means of communication, but access to a vibrant Deaf community was either delayed or eliminated." (American Annals of the Deaf Volume 155, Number 3, Summer 2010).

In reaction to this Congress, in 1888 The Right Honorable Lord Egerton in Britain caused a Royal Commission to be created to investigate the current knowledge of education of the Deaf, and the star witness was Alexander Graham Bell from the United States. Bell was an advocate as well of the oral method over sign language, and although he was recognized as an advocate for the community, his views in this matter were at best tolerated by the Deaf community. The report offered here includes the minutes of his deposition, conducted over 4 days, and includes a very detailed question and answer period (over 650 questions and their answers). The end result was the same as the Milan Conference, ensuring mandatory education for the Deaf but requiring the adoption of a oral only method of teaching. Francis Maginn among others as a result created a new organization to champion the rights and desires of the Deaf community, and the British Deaf And Dumb Association was created in July of the following year. Given the importance of this Commission and it's long standing impact on the Deaf community, it is remarkable to me that only 4 copies appear in OCLC (Rochester Institute of Technology, GALLAUDET UNIV LIBR, and 2 at the University of Wisconsin).

Price: $750.00

See all items by