Braille FAQ

Where can I find a picture of Louis Braille?

Photography was in its infancy during Louis Braille’s lifetime. The only known photographic image was a daguerreotype of his death mask.

The introduction to our Louis Braille biography A New Method: The Story of Louis Braille opens with a charcoal portrait of Louis Braille, based on early drawings derived from the original daguerreotype, and prepared especially for the Louis Braille School.

Where can I get a sample of real braille?

A free braille alphabet card in braille and print may be ordered from the US Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

What books were used by students at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth before Louis Braille invented the braille method?

In those early books the shapes of the print letters were raised and the reader had to feel the outline of each letter. The books were large and heavy and reading was very slow. Not many books were produced using this method.The books are in museums in Coupvray and Paris, France.

Where can I find copies of Louis Braille’s homework assignments, writings, letters and old newspaper articles?

We often hear this question from students who need primary resources for a report about Louis Braille.To our knowledge, Louis Braille did not write his homework assignments because there was no practical way for him to do so. At that time, students who were blind learned by listening to the lessons and memorizing them. Louis Braille was fifteen years old when he first presented his raised dot method of reading and writing to students and teachers at the school he attended. The students immediately recognized its value.The few writings by Louis Braille that we know of were primarily technical explanations of his raised dot method of reading and writing. A recent biography, Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius, by C. Michael Mellor, contains photos and text of some of Louis Braille’s letters.The braille method of reading and writing that Louis Braille developed did not become widely used until after his death. There was no mention of Louis Braille’s death in the Paris newspapers of 1852.