The Finnish Museum of the Deaf was founded in 1907, and one of its first tasks was to collect material on Carl Oscar Malm, the founder of Finland's first school for deaf children. In 1915 part of this material was presented in the museum's first exhibition space, "the Malm museum room." The material was collected by deaf people, who, by doing so, defined both themselves and what was important to the Deaf community. Malm is the father of Finnish Sign Language, and his story is the account of the birth of the Finnish Deaf community. He is also a role model, and several leaders of the Finnish Deaf community have been strongly influenced by his work and ideas. For the general public, Malm's story provides both a historical account of a minority group in Finnish society and a chance to estimate their values.