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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Launches Online Access to Talking Book Archives and Celebrates 75 Years of Involvement with Talking Books

December 3, 2007 (New York, NY)— Today, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) launched its web-based Talking Book Archives (www.afb.org/talkingbook), celebrating the birth of the Talking Book. Thanks to a generous grant from the Carnegie Foundation, who funded AFB's first efforts to use audio technology for blind readers in 1932, an electronic finding aid to this historic collection is now available online. The archival finding aid is accompanied by a multimedia exhibit, including audio clips from celebrated narrators, letters, press clippings, and photographs from the collection. This exhibit was funded by The New York Times Company Foundation.

"AFB is grateful for the funds from the Carnegie Foundation and The New York Times Company Foundation, which have allowed AFB to preserve these important documents and create the new online resource," said Carl R. Augusto, President and CEO of AFB. "We hope that through this web site, visitors will come to understand and appreciate the rich history of the Talking Book."

Visitors to the web site will find various informative sections that focus on AFB's work with Talking Books over the past 75 years:

  • The AFB Talking Book Exhibit section uses images of letters, advertisements, and photographs, as well as audio clips, to explain how the idea of the Talking Book became a reality.
  • The AFB Talking Book Archives section offers a fully accessible electronic guide to the Talking Book archival collection and allows scholars, archivists, and other visitors to search the collection and view selected scanned images of items that are transcribed and fully accessible.
  • Visitors can help AFB honor 75 years of Talking Books by posting thoughts and memories in the Post Your Tributes section.

The development of Talking Books was a crucial step in providing access to books and information to people with vision loss. This invaluable service continues today through the work of the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

Visit the Talking Book Archives at www.afb.org/talkingbook.

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For more information, contact:
Caitlin McFeely
American Foundation for the Blind
212-502-7674
cmcfeely@afb.net

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