Home Teaching Society for the Blind minute book

The Bible for the Blind. Home Teaching Society for the Blind, (Moon’s Type). Minute Book (London, 1877). Minute book. Dimensions: 192 x 321 x 34mm (open)

RNIB Collection Accn No: RNIB/1

The Bible for the Blind. Home Teaching Society for the Blind, (Moon’s Type). Minute Book (London, 1877). Minute book.

Credit: RNIB

About sixty home teaching societies for blind people were in operation in the UK by the 1870s, mainly concerned with the training and education of blind people. Societies also had an important role in educating adults with acquired sight loss, who were overlooked by School institutions, as suggested by the frontispiece here which shows an adult blind woman seated at a desk, a male teacher guiding her hand over a book. Until the Royal Commission for the Blind’s recommendations (1885-89) were carried out, there was limited state funding for the work of the societies, which had to attract funding from subscribers, often using sentimental images and narratives in their appeals.

Object Description:

This is a frontispiece to a minute book, consisting of a label made of green paper pasted onto a page. It contains both text and image. At the top of the page is written ‘The Bible for the Blind’. Below that is an engraved drawing of a cottage interior scene. On the left hand side of the image is a fireplace, towards the right is a window. A desk fills the space between fireplace and window. Seated at the top of the desk, nearest to the left hand side of the image, is an older woman, about forty years old. Both her hands are positioned on an open book resting on the desk. To the right of her, sat behind the desk, is a young man of about mid-twenties: his right hand is placed over the woman’s left, his left hand is pointing up. Another book volume rests on the desk to his right, and his hat is positioned at the furthest right front edge of the desk. A young boy of about ten is seated on a stool in front of the right hand edge of the desk. His head is upturned, and a book volume rests on his knees. His hands are positioned on the book, his fingers tracking the paper.

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