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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.

Associate Archivist

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Jenny Swadosh
Telephone: 212-229-5942



Activism at The New School is a research topic that the New School Archives and Special Collections is increasingly asked about. This guide is assembled from information and resources we have provided to researchers over the years. It should not be considered a comprehensive guide, as we are always uncovering more histories, and there are numerous gaps in the publicly available documentary record.

This guide includes activism by students, faculty, staff, and the university administration. Please note that for much of The New School's history, a typical New School student was not a young person who had just graduated from high school. The New School was originally established for the education of adults.

We rely on donations of materials from students, alumni, faculty, and staff to be able to document the history of activism at The New School. If you have, or know of, the existence of any materials related to activism at The New School, please contact us at

We wish to acknowledge the great questions asked by Jasmine Rault and her students at Eugene Lang College, who set this guide in motion.

Basic Chronological Dates for Reference Purposes

The milestone dates below will help researchers interpret our collections. A more in-depth chart of chronological name changes and affiliations can be found at the following URL:

1896 - Parsons School of Design is founded as the Chase School of Art. It is the oldest of all New School divisions.

1916 - Mannes College of Music is founded.

1919 - The New School is founded as the New School for Social Research. Please note that this is the name used today by our social sciences graduate and doctoral division, but for most of The New School's history this was the name of the entire school.

1933 - The University in Exile is established. This became the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, and is now known as the New School for Social Research.

1970 - Parsons School of Design becomes affiliated with the New School for Social Research, and moves to Greenwich Village in 1972.

1985 - Eugene Lang College is established as its own division.

1989 - Mannes College becomes affiliated with the New School for Social Research.

1998 - The New School for Social Research changes its name to the New School University.

2005 - The New School University changes its name to The New School.