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Deaf Rochester News collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITDSA-0136

Scope and Contents

The Deaf Rochester News collection is comprised of meeting minutes, correspondence, administrative documents, 35mm slides, and photographs related to the publication of Deaf Rochester News. Objects in this collection range from 1984 to circa 2000’s.

Included within this collection are 10 issues of the Deaf Rochesterians’ Newsmagazine (DRN), which was inserted in the Silent News publication issues and provided news about the Rochester Deaf community. With this dissolution of Silent News being based in Rochester, DRN publishing rights were given to RRCD and the publication was subsequently called Deaf Rochester News.

Itemized administrative reports of income and expenses for DRN as well as the by-laws of Silent News are included along with meeting minutes about the future of the magazine and the first 5 years of its existence. Correspondence and memorandums regarding the DAA’s and RRCD’s proposals for DRN as well as transferring the rights of DRN from Silent News, Inc. to RRCD are also included.

This collection contains an extensive collection of photographs that were featured in DRN issues or are from events that DRN attended. The photographs feature prominent individuals in the Rochester Deaf community and staff members of DRN as well as students, faculty, and staff of the National Technical School for the Deaf (NTID). Events photographed include, but are not limited to: the Rochester Consumer Show (Deaf Expo) of 1998, the Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) Festival in 2000, the Sixth World Deaf Magicians Festival in 1996, Rochester Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) in 2000, and DRN anniversaries and retirement parties.

There are also photographs of events hosted by Deaf Women of Rochester (DWR), RRCD, Deaf Elders Around Rochester (DEAR), and RSD. Photographs that feature RRCD often portray various activities and tournaments, such as bowling, golf, cheerleading, basketball, and baseball. Also included are photographs from a film set of deaf actress Terrylene Sacchetti and interviews with other prominent people in the Deaf community locally and nationally. There are 35mm slides from 1984 that document prominent organizations of Rochester’s Deaf community, such as RRCD, RSD, and NTID.


  • Creation: 1987-circa 2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1990 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Silent News was a leading publication founded by Julius and Harriet Wiggins in 1969. Silent News was based in Rochester, NY and this publication for the deaf reported on national and international news about deafness. During the 1990’s, the editors of Silent News were Tom Willard and later Valerie Nelson-Metlay. Silent News included an insert called Deaf Rochesterians’ Newsmagazine (DRN) in the publications of Silent News that went out to Rochestarian subscribers, providing news about the Rochester Deaf community.

In 1996, Wiggins relocated Silent News to Mt. Laurel, New Jersey in order to be closer to their family and to expand the business. With the turn of the century and the future of print media being unforeseen, Silent News created an online version of the news in addition to the physical publications. However, with many viewers reading the news online, subscriptions ceased for Silent News and the physical publication of the newsmagazine ceased.

With the move of Silent News, the fate of the DRN publication was up in the air. Tom Willard had been discharged as editor of the Silent News and Valerie Nelson-Metlay would remain as the editor of Deaf Rochester News until she could hand over editorship to a suitable person. There were various organizations that felt that news media about the Deaf was integral to Rochester’s Deaf community and that a publication focusing on it should continue in some capacity. Organizations such as Deaf Artists of America (DAA) and the Rochester Recreation Club for the Deaf (RRCD) competed for publishing rights of DRN.

Tom Willard, on behalf of the DAA, submitted a proposal to assume the responsibility of publishing DRN; however, this proposal was denied since Silent News felt that this was not the best fit for the publication. Paul Taylor, on behalf of the RRCD, submitted a proposal to assume the responsibility of publishing DRN. In 1996, this proposal was accepted by Silent News since RRCD was about to receive a tax-exempt status and Silent News realized that this could benefit DRN greatly.

DRN was in competent hands being a subsidiary of RRCD. The editor, Sally Taylor, and staff members were selected by RRCD to operate DRN. The publication was officially renamed Deaf Rochester News (DRN). The premiere issue of the renamed Deaf Rochester News was released in February 1997. In 2000, RRCD decided that DRN was ready to become an independent organization. DRN staff applied for a tax exempt status. In 2001, DRN was moved from the Deaf Club to Sally Taylor’s private office.

Today, the Deaf Rochester News is no longer in existence. During their respective runs as deaf news publications, Silent News and Deaf Rochester News contributed greatly to the Deaf community in Rochester as well as nationally.


1.88 Linear Feet (3 Half-Hollinger boxes, 2 lid boxes)




The Deaf Rochester News collection contains meeting minutes, correspondence, administrative documents, and photographs related to the Deaf Rochester News and Deaf community of Rochester. Records range from 1984 to circa 2000’s.


This collection is arranged chronologically and by series.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 224

Other Finding Aids

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

Deaf Rochester News collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Portions of this collection were donated to the RIT Archives Collections by Sally Taylor and Thomas Raco in January 2013 and June 2015 respectively.

Accession number(s): 2013:004; 2015:043

Related Materials

Separated Materials

Bound Issues of Deaf Rochester News can be found in the Wallace Library on the 2rd fl. PER HV2350.D458 1997-2007.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jenna Bossert in June 2015.

Deaf Rochester News collection
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Jenna Bossert
18 June 2015
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