Deaf Heritage Centre

St. Joseph’s School  for Deaf Boys, Cabra, Dublin was established in 1857.  The school celebrated its 150 year anniversary in 1997, still functions today as a fully operational school for the deaf and is regarded as a flagship and model for the education of the deaf throughout the world.  St. Joseph’s Deaf Heritage Centre was established in 1998 by school management and a small group of deaf people and was officially opened in November 1999.  The main role of the centre is to protect the materials collated since the foundation of St. Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys.  The centre is also open to the public and seeks to promote the history of the Deaf Community in Ireland and to encourage the Deaf Community to take pride in their history.


Deaf students making their First Holy Communion on 29 September 1910 at St. Joseph’s, Cabra, Dublin

Eneclann Archivists carried out an archive project on behalf of the Deaf Heritage Centre in June 2011. This project involved the digital imaging of a collection of photographic material. At the conclusion of this project the Deaf Heritage Centre’s photographic archive collection was fully catalogued on a searchable database and the future preservation of the collection was ensured.

In September 2011, Eneclann were again contacted with the view to continuing this project as the Deaf Heritage Centre archive collection also consists of a substantial amount of audio-visual material on 16mm film as well as a unique collection of learning charts for deaf students. As a result of recommendations given by Eneclann archivists, the Deaf Heritage Centre have expressed a wish to digitise this material to ensure its preservation into the future and this work is on-going.

 Language class in progress at St. Joseph’s School c.1945-1948