Skip to main content

Alice L. Hagemeyer Papers

Identifier: 162

Content Description

This collection includes publications, photos, and letters that pertain to Alice Hagermeyer’s advocacy for deaf people and libraries.


  • 1974 - 2013


Conditions Governing Use

No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Ms. Alice Lougee Hagemeyer was born in 1934, and has spent the bulk of her life working and advocating for the deaf community. At the age of 3, Ms. Hagemeyer suffered hearing loss due to contracting spiral meningitis. She was the only deaf person in her immediate family. From 1939 to her graduation in 1952, Ms. Hagemeyer attended the Nebraska School for the Deaf (NSD), in Omaha, where she first learned to sign.

In 1952, Ms. Hagemeyer began classes at Gallaudet University, the private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing, located in NE Washington, DC. She worked part-time at the University library while attending classes. Graduating from the University in 1957, she began working at the Washington, DC Public Library (DCPL) as a clerk in the art division, and developed professional associations through enrolling in the American Librarian Association (ALA). Ms. Hagemeyer was soon transferred to the cataloging department, where she later became supervisor of preliminary cataloging.

Continuing her education, in 1974 she enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Maryland School of Library and Information Science, in College Park. She graduated from the School in 1976.

Her work at the DC Public Library continued. She helped found the Adaptive Services department, where she spent the last fifteen of her years of her career focused on the deaf community. She helped found Deaf Awareness Week at DCPL in 1974. Through Ms. Hagemeyer’s efforts, it was officially recognized by the mayor in 1976 to 1981, when it then became Deaf Heritage Week, with aspects of deaf culture and the community being incorporated into library programs. In addition to promoting library services among the deaf population in Washington D.C., Hagemeyer was also extremely active as a member of the American Library Association (ALA). Additionally, she served as President of Friends of the Library for Deaf Action. Hagemeyer used her influence to promote a Deaf Action Week and Deaf Awareness Month, which were recognized by DCPL, the mayor, and partnered with libraries and organizations in the DC Metro area.

Hagemeyer was employed by DCPL until her retirement in 1991.

Following her retirement, Hagemeyer founded Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA), and served as the organization’s president. FOLDA was created to help promote library access and deaf resources for the community. For a time she served as the organization’s president. Additionally, she formed Library for Deaf Action, a company that produced promotional materials to distribute at fundraisers for library groups and organizations serving the deaf community. Two FOLDA kits were published in 2013: Laurent Clerc and Gallaudet University, and George W. Veditz and the Preservation of Sign Language.

Ms. Hagemeyer, as a member of the graduating class of 1957 at Gallaudet University, was inducted into the University’s Emeriti Club during the 2007 Homecoming events.

Alice was honored on June 23, 2007 by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian Fenty, and staff at the DC Public Library. The Mayor proclaimed June 23, 2007 Alice L. Hagemeyer Day, and she was also honored by the Library of Congress, and the National Literary Society of the Deaf. She was inducted into the Nebraska School for the Deaf Alumni Association (NSDAA) Hall of Fame in 2004.

Hagemeyer married a fellow Gallaudet University classmate of the class of 1957, Ted Hagemeyer. As of this writing, they have two children, and three grandchildren.


0.5 Linear feet

1 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series 1: Events
Series 2: Organizations
Series 3: Photographs
Series 4: Printed Materials

Custodial History

Alice Hagemeyer donated the collection to DC Public Library.

Processing Information

Standard archival processing procedures were applied to the collection at the time of processing. Approximately 1 LF of material consisting of many professional publications related to deaf and hearing-impaired community, were transfered to the Gallaudet University Library. It is assumed Ms. Hagemeyer received the bulk of these materials through subscribing to these publications.

Alice L. Hagemeyer Papers
An inventory of the Alice L. Hagemeyer Papers at DC Public LIbrary.
DC Public Library, Special Collections
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 The People's Archive, MLK Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001