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Constitutions, annual reports, minutes, magazines, scrapbooks, photographs and other records of and relating to Deaf Action and its predecessor bodies.

Identifier: Acc.13643/1-138

Scope and Contents

Deaf Action is a deaf-led charity which has been operating in Edinburgh since 1835. The Deaf and Dumb Congregation in Edinburgh began meeting together in 1830 following the establishment in the city of schools for deaf children. Braidwood’s Academy for the Deaf was established in 1760 and the Edinburgh Institution [later the Edinburgh Royal Institution] for the Deaf and Dumb in 1810.

The Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society was established in 1835 to assist deaf people in distress. By 1870, two organisations of the same name were operating in Edinburgh and the Society was remodelled as the Original Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society. They merged in 1874 as the Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society, Established 1835 and Enrolled 1874. Minute Books survive from the merger.

By 1880, the Society was active beyond Edinburgh throughout much of southern and central Scotland. Missionaries were appointed from 1886 to serve local communities.

The Scottish Mission to the Deaf and Dumb was set up in 1886 as a result of dissatisfaction among many deaf-mutes on the activities of the Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Benevolent Society. The two organisations merged in 1887

In 1889, 49 Albany Street in Edinburgh was purchased as the Society’s headquarters. Albany Church for the Deaf at the back of the building was consecrated in 1890.

1923 saw the merger of the Society with the Edinburgh Deaf and Dumb Christian Association. In 1974, the organisation changed its name to the Edinburgh and East of Scotland Society for the Deaf and in 2003 it was rebranded as Deaf Action.


  • Creation: 1830-2007, undated.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


138 Consultation units

Language of Materials



1 Constitution

2 – 12 Annual Reports

13 – 35 Minute Books

36 Financial records

37 – 42 Church for the Deaf and Dumb

43 – 63 Societies and Clubs

64 – 81 Missions of the Edinburgh Benevolent Society for the Deaf and Dumb

82 – 84 Castleview Home for the Infirm

85 – 108 Magazines

109 – 118 Scrapbooks

119 -126 Photographs

127-129 Art work

130 - 132 Centenary publications

133 - 137 British Deaf and Dumb Association, Edinburgh Branch

138 Edinburgh Royal Institution

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 2014.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
06 01 2016
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700