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Betty G. Arneson Collection

Identifier: 28-28-C2010.7

Scope and Contents

The Betty G. Arneson collection ranges from the years of 1960 to 1979, which the material dates from the years 1962 to 1973. Arneson was a part of the National Braille Association that assisted the Red Cross in creating transcribed academic resources for the blind. Thus, the collection showcases the manuals Arneson used to transcribe printed material, the correspondence between her and other colleagues, newsletter and pamphlets with updates for Arneson as time progressed, Arneson’s work of transcribed stories, math questions and information for a textbook, and other transcriptions, and lastly the equipment she used during the process. Some of the materials in the collection are in print, while others are in Braille. All of the work Arneson did, such as the math problems, graphs, and so on are in Braille.

The correspondence section of the collection houses letters, reports, and a notebook Arneson owned showcasing the hours she dedicated to the process. The letters date from 1969-1973 where Arneson conversed with other individuals who assisted her in the process of transcribing academic material that was needed. There are reports in the collection that show a unique form that was required in order to successfully make a transcribed textbook accessible to the visually handicapped. Lastly, the notebook Arneson had detailed the amount of time she took in a month on transcribing a textbook. Thus, the notebook displays the demand that the task requires. Included in the collection are newsletters and pamphlets related to transcribers with information they would need and available equipment transcribers could use. A crucial part of the collection is the work Arneson made that either was not used in the textbook, Nemeth code Arneson wrote in Braille, a notebook of transcribing lessons Arneson did, and a short children’s story with the printed copy.

The transcription equipment Arneson used gives a glimpse at objects used in the past that are not used today. There are two main equipment objects in the collection, a drawing kit, stand, stylus, and wooden clipboards. Note these object should be handled with care because of their delicate state.


  • 1960-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1962-1973


Language of Materials

Materials mainly in English. Some materials are written in Braille.

Conditions Governing Use

The Jacobus tenBroek Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Archives staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Jacobus tenBroek Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Betty G. Arneson was a compassionate individual who made it her goal to make academic resources available to the blind, so they could have the ability to read printed materials. Primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a dire need for textbooks transcribed into Braille for students and Arneson wanted to help out in that process. In order to do so, Arneson became a member of the National Braille Association (NBA). The NBA consists of different groups of members from service, religious, and or humanitarian organizations across the US. At the NBA, Arneson participated in the organization’s conferences where they presented information on different workshops available, certificates given to selected individuals, and so on.

With the assistance from the NBA, Arneson learned skills from workshops and acquired manuals specifically for transcribing. Manuals Arneson collected were English Braille American Edition (two editions), Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing (three editions), Code of Braille Textbook Formats and Techniques (two editions), The Nemeth Code of Braille Mathematics and Scientific Notation (two editions), Lessons and Exercises on the Nemeth Code, and Transcriber’s Guide to English Braille. These manuals touch a lot of different mathematical techniques used in Braille, as well as ways to transcribe English into Braille. For instance, in Braille there are specific rules the transcriber has to follow regarding titles in a section and diagrams. While Arneson was a part of the NBA’s workshops and learned from manuals, she used a notebook that is full of lessons she did on things, such as content pages, words, contractions, and so on.

Because of those workshops and useful manuals, Arneson successfully transcribed three textbooks from print to Braille. The textbooks were Modern Arithmetic Through Discovery (Grade 6), Modern Mathematics Through Discovery (Book I), and Modern Mathematics Through Discovery (Book II). Because of those three accomplishments, the NBA awarded Arneson with three small certificates acknowledging her and the three books. In order to make these achievements, Arneson used specific equipment to create Braille that is no longer used today. For instance, the equipment Arneson used to transcribe mathematic diagrams, questions, etc. was a dated drawing kit. For other writings, Arneson used a clipboard, measuring device, and so on.


2.25 Linear Feet

1 legal carton, 3 hollinger boxes boxes


The Betty G. Arneson Collection consists of manuals, correspondence, newsletters, pamphlets, and transcribing equipment regarding her time as a Braille transcriber for the National Braille Association (NBA) and part of the transcribing team of the Red Cross. Also, within the collection is Arneson’s work that showcases example of her various work transcribing school textbooks and a short story.


The collection is organized into 4 series:

  • Series I: Manuals, 1962-1973
  • Series II: Correspondence, Notes, and Forms, 1966-1973
  • Series II: Correspondence, Notes, and Forms, 1966-1973
  • Series III: Newsletters and Pamphlets, 1969-1973
  • Series IV: Arneson’s Work, 1960-1971
  • Series V: Transcription Production Equipment, 1965, undated
  • All of the series are arranged in the same order as described. In the series, the folders are placed chronologically based on the dates corresponding to the items.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Some of the materials are written in Braille and there are no copies of the printed originals. A Braille reader will be required for access. Please contact the Archives staff for assistance.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed and described by Amber Kelley, archival intern from Misericordia University, during May and June of 2018. Finding aid entered into the Cane Tip by Anna Kresmer, August 23, 2018.

    Guide to the Betty G. Arneson Collection
    Amber Kelley
    May 2018
    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 Jacobus tenBroek Library, National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Repository

    200 East Wells Street
    at Jernigan Place
    Baltimore MD 21230 US
    (410) 659-9314