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Helen Keller Archive

A fully accessible digital collection from
the American Foundation for the Blind

Search the Helen Keller Archive

Letter from Lister Hill, Washington, DC to Helen Keller, Westport, CT providing monetary figures for the appropriations for the blind.

The Simple Search and Advanced Search functions are very useful when you are looking for materials that include specific keywords, and then wish to refine your search.

Illustrating the Power of the Search Function

Helen Keller corresponded with many legislators and political figures in her work as an advocate. The “Simple Search” function can help you pinpoint your search for information about an individual. You can then search for correspondence about, from, and by this person. You can also select a date span and the physical type of item you are searching for – a letter, a speech, a photograph, a telegram, etc. For instance, does the archive contain correspondence from the 1950s from Lister Hill, the senator from Alabama, about blindness advocacy, to his good friend and colleague Helen Keller? Here’s the search you can undertake:

  • Using the Simple Search function, enter “Lister Hill” (244 hits as of July 2017)
  • Under “Refine search by” find “Decade” and select “1950-1959” (46 hits as of July 2017)
  • Under “Refine search by” find “Person From” and select “Hill, Lister” (8 hits as of July 2017)
  • Under “Refine search by” find “Subject” and select “Blindness – advocacy” (3 hits as of July 2017)
  • One of the items is a letter from Senator Lister Hill to Helen Keller with news of funding for medical research, including blindness, June 23, 1958.

Advanced Search Options

Using Advanced Search allows you to input a specific day, month, and year to gain search results for a very specific time period.

Another advanced search option is to restrict your search by “Category.” This option allows you to search specifically for letters, photographs, architectural drawings, maps, press clippings, etc. You can combine your date-range and category requirements to get very refined results.

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