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Introduction to Archival Research

An introductory overview of archival research at the Kellen Design Archives and other archives.


Inside this guide, you will find helpful tips and important terms that will enable you to feel comfortable and confident conducting archival research. We have tried to create a guide that is applicable to archival research everywhere, not just at the New School Archives.

Student research


Welcome to the New School Archives and Special Collections!


The Kellen Design Archives (KDA), a collection within the New School Archives, documents the history of Parsons back to its founding in 1896 by collecting materials produced by faculty, students, former students, and associates of Parsons. Because Parsons has been such an important design school for so long, and so many important figures in the design universe have either gone to school here, or taught here (or both), the KDA collections can open a window onto many 20th (and 21st) century design practices, trends and changes.

The New School Archives also collects and makes available to researchers the records of Mannes College of Music, the School of Drama, and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, which today comprise the College of Performing Arts.