Ref no41332
TitleRecords of the Bristol Royal Society for the Blind
DescriptionThis collection includes records of the Bristol Blind Asylum, the School of Industry for the Blind, the Royal Blind Asylum Workshops and the Maytrees Residential Home for the Elderly Blind.
Administrative historyThe Bristol Blind Asylum was founded by two Quakers, Mr Bath and Mr Fox, to train visually impaired people for future employment. The asylum specialised in crafts such as basket and mat making, the best of which were sold to the public. Originally located in a disused Baptist meeting house in Callowhill Street, it opened on 4 February 1793, with the first admission on 18 February.
In 1803 the asylum moved to new premises in Lower Maudlin Lane (now Maudlin Street) where the Bristol Eye Hospital now stands. On 20 November 1838 it moved again to a building at the top of Park Street on Queens Road, where the university's Wills Memorial Building now stands. It moved again in January 1911 to a building bounded by Henleaze Road, Southmead Road, Hill View and Oakwood Road. It was closed in the late 1960s due to declining numbers, as improved medical care helped decrease visual impairments. The site was auctioned in 1970, to allow investment in Maytrees home, and the building was demolished in 1971 to build houses.
Access statusOpen
Custodial historyThe collection is comprised of two deposits made by the Bristol Royal Society for the Blind. The first was in November 1999 (AccNo 41332) and the second in February 2002 (AccNo 41879). This catalogue was completed in June 2009.
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