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Oral History Interview: Mary Ellen Jernigan

Identifier: 05-C2016.1

Scope and Contents

1 audio recording, 1:40:09 in length. An interview log with time stamps has been created, but the recording has not been transcribed. 0:00 Disclaimer/Introductory Statements. 1:07 Where did you grow up? 1:14 What was your upbringing like? (Childhood, family, schooling, etc.) 2:45 What did you plan to do with your degree? 5:00 Why did Kenneth Jernigan reach out to you personally? 5:45 What was your first meeting like with Dr. Jernigan? 6:16 What did you know about blindness? 8:33 Did Dr. Jernigan offer you a job at that time? 9:22 When did you start working for the commission in Iowa? 9:50 This was your first job out of college then? What were your job duties? 13:29 So what was your job title? 14:30 Did you have to undergo training to teach the skills of travel? 16:06 What was that like for you? 17:15 When did you attend your first convention? 17:30 What was your reaction to the convention? 19:55 How was the convention different to back then till now? 22:02 What is the problem of blindness? 25:08 Superficial changes in the federation/ convention. 30:09 If affiliates wanted to sell they just walked around as we still do now? 32:15 Reorganizing affiliates. 37:53 How long did you live in Kansas? 38:22 What was your plan after you left graduate school? 40:52 Did you work at the affiliate there? 43:50 How long did you stay in each state? 45:50 Helping those who never heard of the federation and those who had. 47:00 The “civil war”. 52:42 Iowa commission. 55:10 Perinatology. 1:01:08 How many years did you spend reorganizing affiliates? Were you able to reorganize them all in that time? 1:04:29 When did you get the job of organizing the National Conventions? 1:13:15 Opening of the Baltimore office. 1:30:00 How long did that first remodeling take? 1:35:15 What has kept you working here?


  • Created: 2016
  • Other: Majority of material found in 2016
  • Other: Date acquired: 08/04/2016


Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Jacobus tenBroek Library. Consult the Archives staff for further information.

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 or Historical Information

[url=]The Lobby of the Anaheim Hilton: The Third Dimension of the National Convention[/url], Braille Monitor, April 2016

Note written by Mary Ellen Jernigan


1.00 items

1 digital audio recording, 94MB other_unmapped

Language of Materials



Oral History interview with Mary Ellen Jernigan, conducted by Julie McGinnity on June 21st, 2016, in the Recording Studio at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.

Source of Acquisition

Julie McGinnity

Method of Acquisition

Submitted to the Jacobus tenBroek Library.

Other Descriptive Information

Interview Log prepared by Gina Coticchio, June 2017

Archon Finding Aid Title
Anna Kresmer
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