Article: Deaf Culture – Deaf Collectibles

View original story here: by Jamie Berke

Don’t throw out those old Deaf Life magazines! Or that old photograph of Gallaudet University. Or those “I Love You” stamps. Or that first issue of the SHHH Journal. They may be worth quite a bit someday to future members of the deaf and hard of hearing community, if not a museum.It started years ago, but like the African-American community, the deaf and hard of hearing community is beginning to seriously collect deaf-related items.

There are deaf-related things that I remember from childhood that are probably collectors’ items today. I remember the early bulky yellow-paper TTYs, magazine articles on gorillas learning sign language, and early issues of the . I remember fondly the article on the gorilla learning sign language, from an early issue of World Traveler magazine (which was published by the AG Bell Association).

Already, early copies of Deaf Life magazine are scarce. Do you have a copy of that first July 1988 issue of Deaf Life, with King Jordan on the cover? It may someday be worth quite a bit to someone who collects things about King Jordan. As an alternative to Deaf Life magazine, one could collect back issues of Gallaudet Today or even the NTID Focus magazine.

The internet has made it easier to find deaf collectors’ items. A search on Ebay for deaf-related items turns up old photographs and postcards of deaf schools, and old deaf-related books.

Who knows? Maybe someday stuff associated with me will be of value to a collector of deaf paraphernalia. I myself wouldn’t mind having a framed copy of the first issue of the Buff and Blue.


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