Blog - Sunderland Museum

Early Photos of Blind People Seeing a Museum Collection

  The Walrus, A group of blind children feeling the stuffed walrus at Sunderland Museum, so they can 'see' what it looks like. Courtesy Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Visiting a museum usually means we are going to experience objects by seeing them with our eyes. But what if you are blind? In 1913, a remarkable curator, John Alfred Charles Deas, at the Sunderland Museum in England, wanted blind children to be able to experience objects in the museum's collection - he wanted to create a museum of touch for those who could not see. "To them, their fingers are eyes," Deas said. He started a program in which blind children were able to touch taxidermied animals including polar bears, crocodiles, birds and lions. They also heard lectures on different parts of the museum's... Read more Sunderland Museum, Vintage photographs