History of British Sign Language



This clip consists of the following:

  • Film clips from 1930s to 1970s of Deaf Club outings, sports events, church gatherings. From the BDA Film Archive project (www.bda.org.uk)
  • Earliest known film of BSL (c.1927). This signer was around 60 years old at the time the recording was made, so he was probably born in the 1860s. He is using the dialect of London and the Southeast. We do not know his name. Perhaps you can identify him.
  • Slides of sign 'dictionaries' published in pamphlets and Deaf community magazines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.