About the APH Library

The APH Library began as a collection of materials used or authored by the Research Department at APH. As a result, many of its 4,500 items are unique manuscripts that were researched and created at APH. Today, the Library primarily supports the research, business, and educational needs of APH staff. It secondarily supports visiting researchers and those pursuing careers in the education of the blind. The collection provides research services and resources related to Tactile Graphics, Braille, Low Vision, Early Childhood Development, Assistive Technology, Tests and Assessments, Multiple Disabilities, Accessibility, and Professional Development. 

Additionally, the APH Library also provides access to several online journals and research databases. Materials cover a range of topics in the field of blindness and visual impairment and support the informational and professional development needs of APH staff. 

The APH Library houses approximately 25,000 print, audio, video and other resources, including 9,600 items digitized at Internet Archive and Open Library, covering subjects related to

  • The AFB Migel Memorial Collection

Named after philanthropist Moses Charles Migel (1866-1958), the M.C. Migel Memorial Collection is an archival preservation collection containing manuscripts, published fiction, academic research, and many other media. The collection contains one of the largest known collections of non-medical materials related to blindness and visual impairment in the United States.  

The collection holds over 20,000 items ranging in scope from original research to fiction with characters or authors who are visually impaired. While the majority of the collection is historical, we continue to acquire new and relevant items in various formats. The collection includes journals, agency reports, proceedings, organizational newsletters, and a large amount of non-English language materials. The collection is also unique in that it contains thousands of individually cataloged periodical articles not thought to be organized by the subject of visual impairment anywhere else. 

  • The Blind Musicians Collection 

The Blind Musicians Collection, the only known collection of its kind is dedicated to preserving the works of visually impaired and blind musicians regardless of genre, period, or notoriety, the collection has grown to include 130 artists and 350 albums and includes an onsite listening station and public access via a Spotify playlist. 

  • APH Library Digital Collection  

APH is dedicated to digitizing significant materials and providing free, open access within the allowances of copyright law through collaborative partnerships. The AFB Migel Memorial Collection has approximately 9,900 items digitized at Internet Archive and Open Library available in a variety of accessible formats, including DAISY, Kindle, EPUB, PDF, and read-aloud.  

APH Library Contact 

Appointments or inquiries may be made by calling 1-800-223-1839 ext. 705 or emailing resource@aph.org.

  • The Migel-Barr Libraries will automatically search common keyword fields such as title, author, ISBN, publisher, publication year, format, table of contents and descriptions.

    The APH Libraries maintains a subject list, which can be searched in both the basic and the advance search options.  

    Note: As with searches in Louis, 10- and 13- digit ISBN numbers should be entered without hyphens to increase search relevancy.

  • The APH Library provides research services and resources related to Tactile Graphics, Braille, Low Vision, Early Childhood Development, Assistive Technology, Tests and Assessments, Multiple Disabilities, Accessibility, and Professional Development. Emphasis is on current literature, and requests for new titles are accepted. Older material with historical significance is held in the APH Migel Library for long term preservation. 

    The APH Library primarily supports the research, business, and educational needs of APH staff. It secondarily supports visiting researchers and those pursuing careers in the education of the blind. 

    Collection

    The Barr Library holds approximately 4,500 volumes consisting of a monographs, pamphlets, journals, and audio/visual materials. The Barr also provides access to several online journals and research databases. Materials cover a range of topics in the field of blindness and visual impairment and support the informational and professional development needs of APH staff. 

    The APH Library Mission

    The Barr Library supports the mission of APH by providing the tools, resources, and services to support the development of APH products and the delivery of high-quality services.  

  • Prospective patrons of the APH Library might want to download a Patron’s Guide to APH Barr Library. In addition to tips about how to use APH Library in professional research, we advise patrons: 

    • Items digitized by the Barr Collection can be made available upon request to non-APH employees as appropriate by law and relevant. 
    • Access to Barr Collection materials will be governed by APH policies and procedures and supervised by the APH Resource Services Librarian. 
    • Beyond physical access, material can be pushed-shared electronically within copyright laws. 

    Materials from the APH Library are restricted to use on-site, except by APH employees on a case-by-case basis or by special arrangement, under the supervision of an APH Librarian. No materials should be accessed outside of the collection space without the knowledge of an APH Resource Services’ Librarian. The public is welcome to visit to view its materials. Patrons are responsible for the safe return of library materials.   

    Barr Materials may be checked out from a Resource Services Librarian in person or through email for three weeks at a time, with three additional renewals. If another user is waiting for a book to be returned, renewals might not be available. Please do not take a book without first checking it out. Materials should be returned to the librarians. Any item that is damaged or lost while checked out is the responsibility of the individual who checked out that item. They or their department will be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of that item. If a book is needed for the duration of a project, it should be purchased with project funds.  

    Current and bound periodicals cannot be checked out. Please use these items in the library or on-line. Exceptions may be made by special arrangement with the librarians. Patrons are responsible for the safe return of library materials.  

    Reference Services and Interlibrary Loan 

    The library offers reference and inter-library loan services to supplement the collection. If you have been unable to find a specific piece of information, please contact Resource Services for further assistance.