Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

American Sign Language

This guide provides starting points for research in American Sign Language.


Welcome to the American Sign Language Research Guide.  This guide will help you to identify resources (books, databases, websites, and more) that will help you research topics in ASL.

American Sign Language is American Sign Language?

       According to the Dictionary of American History, American Sign   Language (ASL) is a visual-gestural language used primarily by deaf residents of the United States and parts of Canada. It became a fully developed communication system only in the early nineteenth century, following contact between the American reformer Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and deaf Frenchman Laurent Clerc. In 1815, Gallaudet, an evangelical Protestant minister from Hartford, Connecticut, traveled to England and then to France to learn how to instruct deaf children. Gallaudet became acquainted with Clerc at the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris, where Clerc taught, and in 1816 invited him to return to the United States. The next year, Gallaudet, Clerc, and a group of philanthropists opened a school for deaf children in Hartford, today's American School for the Deaf. The American School became the incubator for ASL.

Image Source : American Sign Language oil painting. It spells out a ASL, the acronym for American Sign Language. By Robert Barney

Quick Search


Please Note: Click here for information on contactless pick up of library materials 

Try Also: Commonwealth Catalog | Choose HELM-BCC : Bristol Community College LRC.
Login in with 22777 plus your 900# (or the barcode on the back of your student ID) and PIN (typically last 4 digits telephone number). 

Find articles by:
Search A-Z List of Databases 

Try Also: Films on Demand
                Alexander Street Academic Video Online



Accessing BCC Library Resources from Off-Campus

When you are off campus (or in locations without a recognized IP address), you will be required to verify that you are a current BCC student by entering either your 900 number or your BCC Campus Card ID.