Browse the Helen Keller Archive
The Helen Keller Archive is organized and arranged by the naturally occurring groups of materials that make up the collection—these are called “series”. The visitor can either browse by these series, or choose to browse by an extensive list of subjects.
Illustrating the Power of the Browse Function
The Browse by Series function allows you to take a virtual walk through the archive as if you were there physically. You can open a box, a folder, and an item as if you were in the archive exploring a specific shelf (series) of materials. For instance, are you looking for letters written to and from Helen Keller in her work as an advocate for equal access to literature for those with vision loss? Here’s a Browse by Series function that you can do:
- Select Series 1: General Correspondence
- Select Sub Series 2: Advocacy & Work
- Select Box 36: Legislation to Travel: 1932
- Select Folder 2: Legislation: Federal – Library services for the blind
- One of the items found is a letter written on March 3, 1931 from Congresswoman Ruth Pratt to Helen Keller thanking Keller for a congratulatory telegram on the passing of a bill to provide library books in braille.
The visitor can also Browse by Subject. Here you can explore the topics covered in the Helen Keller Archive using Library of Congress subject headings, as if you were flipping through an old card catalog! Do you want to learn about the dogs Helen had as pets throughout her life? Here’s a Browse by Subject function that you can do:
- Select Animal - dog
- One of the items found is a photograph of Helen Keller with a large dog (possibly Sieglinde), circa 1925.
A third browsing option is to Browse User-Created Collections. "User-Created Collections" are topics that may not correspond easily to Library of Congress subjects, that the archive administrators have added to create an additional way of browsing the Helen Keller collection. For example, if you were working on a National History Day project, you could browse to "Taking a Stand: National History Day 2017" for materials that relate to that year's theme.