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Researching Activism at The New School

This guide provides suggestions for approaching historical research concerning activism at The New School throughout its history.

Archival Collections

There is no "Activism Collection" in the New School Archives. Researchers will need to consider parameters such as date range, specific New School division (Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College, etc.), role of the activists in the university community (staff, students, faculty) or area of activism to select an appropriate group of records to consult. Additionally, we encourage researchers to conduct secondary source research prior to conducting research in the archives. This will help researchers understand the context in which the primary source records were created, as well as help researchers identify potentially relevant folders.

Below are a selection of collections that past researchers have consulted while creating histories of activism at The New School. A title in red means that you can click on the title to access a collection guide. This list is not comprehensive. We are able to expand the list when researchers share with the New School Archives relevant information they've uncovered in the course of their work with the collections.

Below are archival collections that may be useful is researching the general history of activism at The New School throughout the university's history. For more archival sources relevant to specific eras, see the chronological pages on the left menu.

Contact for assistance with accessing any of these collections.

New School press release collection 

Press releases issued by the university, largely covering the mid-1940s through the late 1970s. This is a good resource for investigating The New School's official stance on political and social issues of the day and seeing how events and courses were planned in response to local, national and international issues.

New School central administration collection

This collection brings together material related to the overall administration of The New School from 1928-2008. It includes documentation on diversity planning, reports on activities by various high-level administrative units, and reports submitted to Middle States for accreditation purposes. While many of these documents may on the face of it seem dull and uninformative, intrepid researchers will learn a lot about the university from such documentation.

Exhibitions and public programs collection

Includes fliers, event programs, and posters from activities that occurred on campus, primarily from the 1990s to present. While not every event or protest is documented in this collection, it does include many fliers from the 1990s Mobilization. here is currently no collection guide available, but researchers are welcome to consult the files in this collection.

New School photograph collection

Photographs from throughout the school's history. Includes photos of the 1970 student occupation in protest of the Vietnam War. Many of the items in this collection have been digitized and can be browsed on the Digital Collections site.

For researchers unfamiliar with archives, we suggest reviewing our Introduction to Archival Research guide.

How to the Access New School Archives

An appointment is required to access the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact us to make an appointment, or to ask a question.

  1. You can call us at 212-229-5942.
  2. You can e-mail us at

Please be aware that we may not be able to respond to your request immediately, but we do reply to all requests.

Appointment Basics

All collections must be used in the New School Archives, located at 66 Fifth Avenue. We are open to researchers Monday through Friday, typically from 10 am until 5 pm. 

The collections may not be checked out, like in a library.

Only one researcher is permitted at a time due to space and staffing limitations. However, group research is permitted if group members are using the same collection.

If you are a New School faculty member and would like to use the Archives' collections for a course, please contact us.