Thursday, March 26, 2009

Braille and Library Service to the Blind

This year (2009) is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, the creator of the Braille alphabet for the blind. A number of countries are issuing postage stamps to commemorate this occasion. The United States mint is issuing a silver dollar today (March 26) to commemorate the bicentennial of Braille's birth. As a collector of postal librariana, I have collected a variety of postal artifacts related to library service to the blind which are featured on the Library History Buff website. This envelope, containing Braille lettering, was mailed to the Free Library for the Blind of the Gospel Trumpet Company in Anderson, Indiana on May 7, 1921. According to Ed Morman of the National Federation of the Blind, an exhibit in conjunction with the issuing of the Braille silver dollar will feature examples of books written in Braille. Morman indicates that Louis Braille's 1829 Procédé pour Écrire les Paroles, la Musique et le Plain-Chant en Points á l'Usage des Aveugles et Disposé pour Eux which is on loan from bookseller Jonathan Hill will be on display at the exhibit. A description and photos of the book are located on Hill's website (

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