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National Fraternal Society of the Deaf collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITDSA-0025

Scope and Contents

The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf collection includes various iterations of the organization's constitution, general laws, and bylaws. Also included are print materials, mainly consisting of brochures, postcards, and training scripts for sales presentations. There is also a card file with insurance certificate records and a list of 1914 charter members.


  • Creation: 1914-1993


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf (NFSD) was founded in 1901 by a group of young deaf adults at the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, Michigan. Operated by the deaf for the deaf, NFSD offered insurance, advocacy, as well as scholarships and charitable support. NFSD services were pivotal throughout the twentieth century, in particular during the San Francisco earthquake, 1918 influenza epidemic, Great Depression, and both World Wars. At its height, the company managed $17 million dollars in insurance policies and had 13,000 members in North America.

Advancements in civil rights for the deaf and hard of hearing led to a decline in NFSD policy enrollment as accessibility to insurance from other agencies and sources increased. NFSD insurance policies were sold to the Catholic Order of Foresters in 2004. On March 6, 2010, the NFSD board met for the last time at Gallaudet University and the company ceased operations.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 Document box)




Materials related to the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf, an insurance organization operated by and for the deaf and hard of hearing.


Materials are roughly arranged by subject.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 203

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number(s): 2011:55

The National Fraternal Society of the Deaf collection was donated to the Deaf Studies Archive in 2011 by Paula Wollenhaupt.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in October 2011.

National Fraternal Society of the Deaf collection
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Amy Vilz
05 October 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA