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Robert Panara literature collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0032

Scope and Contents

Robert Panara's collection of fiction, plays, mysteries, poetry, and romances featuring deaf characters was amassed as part of his research on "Deaf Characters in Fiction and Drama" and used extensively in his literature classes for deaf students. See "Other Finding Aids" for a collection inventory.


  • Creation: 1933-1997

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The first Deaf faculty member at NTID, and a key figure in its history, Robert Panara was hired in 1967 to assist in establishing NTID on RIT's campus. He was instrumental in planning NTID's curriculum and preparing RIT's staff with ASL classes. He taught English at NTID and founded the Drama Club in 1970, which has grown into a full performing arts program with numerous productions yearly in the theater at NTID named in his honor. It was at the celebration of NTID's 20th anniversary in 1988 that the Robert F. Panara Theatre was dedicated. Panara is recognized as one of the founders of the National Theatre of the Deaf. He was the only deaf member of the National Advisory Board, and the first NTID faculty member. He was also awarded the RIT Founders Award for his lifetime of achievement and devoted service to RIT. Panara retired from NTID in 1987.

Robert Panara died in 2014 at the age of 94.


3.75 Linear Feet (3 cartons, 1 Lid box)




Fiction, plays, mysteries, poetry, and romances featuring deaf characters and collected by Robert Panara, first Deaf faculty member of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Books are arranged alphabetical by author.

Physical Location

C.S. Mid-Range, Shelf 340 - Boxes 1-2

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Robert Panara literature collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number(s): 2009:028; 2011:087

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in October 2011.

Robert Panara literature collection
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Amy Vilz
10 October 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA