Archives & Special Collections

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Parsons School of Design ⇐ New York School of Fine and Applied Art

Please use this Chronology of Major Name Changes chart to determine which division to select.

Casey Danson student work

Creator : Danson, Casey Coates

1972-1975, 2 linear ft
The collection documents projects completed by Casey Coates when she was a student in Parsons School of Design's Environmental Design program between 1972 and 1975. Materials consist of sketches on tracing paper, site plans, land use, climate, and systems studies for three building projects, as well as a silent, color super-8 film capturing street life in Danson's neighborhood on the upper west side of Manhattan. Danson created the film in response to an assignment to study the effect of a man-made environment upon the people who live in it.

Melvin Dwork papers

Creator : Dwork, Melvin

1933-2012, 3.2 linear ft
Named one of Architectural Digest's top 100 designers in 1990 and 2002, Melvin Dwork (1922- ) attended Parsons School of Design in the 1940s, and later served on the Parsons Advisory Committee. The collection (1930s through the 2000s) includes student work, slides and photographs of professional work, news clippings, press releases and publicity materials.

Parsons School of Design Graphic Design Department student work

Creator : Gruda, Katarzyna

1996-2010, 10.9
The items in this collection represent work created by students enrolled in Parsons School of Design's Graphic Design program. Screen-printed posters constitute the majority of the collection, with other examples including books, cards, jewel cases for compact disks, plastic mats, and a thematic sculpture series documented in color photographs and one sample. The majority of the work was produced for classes taught by Katarzyna Gruda.
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Patrick Michael Hughes students' work and teaching records

Creator : Hughes, Patrick

circa 2007-2010, 1 linear ft
Student work and a syllabus from two fashion design courses Patrick Michael Hughes taught at Parsons School of Design between 2007 and 2010. The courses, History, Culture, Society and Themes in Men's Fashion are repesented through notebooks, drawings, and papers. Additionally, the collection includes an independent study project based on the men's suit and a project created in a class taught by Hughes's colleague, Lisa SantaAndrea.

Margaret Lange student notebook

Creator : Lange, Margaret

1938-1939, 2 linear ft
Margaret Louise Lange's notebook, produced while a student of Costume Design and Illustration at Parsons School of Design, 1938-1939, includes lecture notes, sketches, color studies and fashion clippings.

Michael Kalil oral history project

Creator : New School

2011, 0.1 gb
The Michael Kalil Oral History Project consists of recorded sound interviews with colleagues, collaborators, and friends of interior designer Michael Kalil (1943-1991). Jean Gardner, Karyn Issa Ginsberg, and Marty Speigel discuss Kalil's education, career, and ideas with project archivist Jennifer Larson. Kalil's work—incorporating varied and diverse principles of architecture and philosophy—was considered by many to be revolutionary in the 1970s and 1980s. Recordings are all in English.
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Parsons School of Design Centenary oral history project

Creator : New School

1994, 13 audiocassettes
The Parsons School of Design Centenary Oral History Project consists of recorded sound interviews with twelve individuals as well as two audio monologues by the project's manager, Martica Sawin. These interviews, all recorded in 1994, cover the history of different academic departments and design disciplines over the course of the twentieth century as experienced by leading former and then-current instructors and administrators. Recordings are all in English.

Parsons School of Design oral history program

Creator : New School

1994, 2010-2014, 8.86 gb
This ongoing oral history program documents the lives and work of designers, artists, and others active in the fields of art and design. Interviewees include Parsons alumni, faculty, and professionals without a direct Parsons connection.

Designer files collection

Creator : New School Archives and Special Collections

circa 1994-2008, 3.2 linear ft
The Designer files collection was assembled by Kellen Design Archives staff between approximately 1994 and 2008 from a variety of sources (on occasion new files continue to be added). Subjects are typically Parsons School of Design graduates, visiting critics, lecturers or faculty. Folder contents may include clippings, work samples, ephemera, slides, and such printed materials as business cards, postcards, and pamphlets. Information about the designers in these files ranges from as little as one item to multiple folders. For each letter of the alphabet, general folders contain information about multiple designers by last name or common business name.
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New York School of Art reference index (1896-1912)

Creator : New School Archives and Special Collections

1996-2006, 1.1 linear ft
Compiled by the Kellen Archives staff between 1996 and 2006, this index lists publications that discuss the New York School of Art, which later became Parsons School of Design, and artists associated with the school either as students or instructors between the time of its founding in 1896 until 1912. Photocopies of the relevant pages from the indexed publications are available upon request.

Parsons Table research files

Creator : New School Archives and Special Collections

1923-2006, 0.4 linear ft
The Parsons Table research files consist primarily of work conducted and assembled by the director and staff of the New School Archives in 2002 to support a Parsons School of Design's Design and Management Department project in which students would construct and market a version of the Parsons Table. Archives staff prepared a questionnaire for alumni to gather information about the origins of the table and its design. Several responses include sketches of the table. While furnishing no conclusive evidence, these files will be useful to researchers investigating the history of the table, its relationship to the school, and the stories that have been told about it.

Fashion Focus Workshop audio recordings

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1984-1985, 21 interviews
Offered annually during spring semester throughout the 1980s, the Fashion Focus workshops offered advanced photography students an opportunity to meet and hear from fashion photographers, editors, agents, makeup artists, and hair stylists. The 21 recordings in this collection include lectures from 1984 and 1985. Lecturers include Rebecca Blake, Ann Blevens, Dan Brennan, David Brown, Knut Bry, Christiaan (Christiaan Houtenbos), Antony Clavet, Wendy Goodman, Bethann Hardison, Douglas Hopkins, Lucille Khornak, Klaus Laubmayer, Linda Mason, James Moore, Xavier Moreau, Helmut Newton, Johno du Plessis, David Seidner, Walter Thomas, Albert Watson, and James Wojcik. In addition to the Fashion Focus workshops, Advertising, Fine Art, and Photojournalism workshops were offered. These workshops were primarily targeted at continuing education students, rather than undergraduates, and predate the formation of the Photography master's degree program at Parsons.
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Focus Photography lecture series audio recordings

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1982-1985, 38 lectures
The Focus Photography lectures consist of presentations by working photographers at Parsons School of Design, often showing slides while offering anecdotes about their experiences in the field, highlighting techniques employed, personal and professional challenges, and career trajectories. Lecturers include Dmitri Baltermants, Ross Baughman, Harry Benson, Arthur Deresian, Harry Dawson, Dan Dry, John Durniak, Claudio Edinger, David Eitlinger, Charles Gatewood, Leslie Goldman, James Hamilton, Charles Harbutt, Gregory Heisler, Walter Heun, Abigail Heyman, George Holz, Jose Lopez, Mary Ellen Mark, Keith McManus, Susan Meiselas, Michael O'Brien, John Loengard, Sylvia Plachy, Arthur Rothstein, Richard Sandler, Chiang Ning Sheng, Douglas Vann, and Alex Webb. In addition to the lectures by individual photographers, there are several panels, including a panel on Afghanistan led by Jim Sheldon, a street photography panel led by Ben Fernandez (who started the Photography Department at Parsons and founded the Focus series), with Angel Franco and Helinda; and a panel on Roy Stryker held at the International Center for Photography.

Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions)

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1914-2009, 26 linear ft
Collection contains materials created by academic departments of Parsons School of Design. In addition to documentation of Parsons' main campus in New York City, Includes materials originating from overseas facilities and affiliate schools, such as Otis Art Institute (California), Paris Ateliers/Parsons Paris, and Altos de Chavon (Dominican Republic).

Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (pre-2008 accessions)

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1909-2007 (bulk 1973-1999), 17 linear ft
Predominantly comprised of records produced by the Development Office, these papers document fund raising initiatives, special programs, events, and alumni reunion plans. Other offices represented in this group are Admissions, Alumni Relations, Career Services, Public Relations, and Publication Design, Special Events, and Student Council publications. Also includes provisional charter for the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, 1909.
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Parsons School of Design course catalog collection

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1896-2012, 9 linear ft
The Parsons course catalogs collection consists of publications from Parsons New School of Design and its affiliate programs, including catalogs for overseas schools, and continuing education and AAS programs. Catalogs include information regarding pedagogy objectives, school policies and admissions requirements, departmental and course descriptions, faculty and administration rosters, facilities, fees, and examples of student work. Materials for the years 1896-1912 consists primarily of photocopies of print advertisements for the Chase School of Art (which became the New York School of Art, then the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, and, later, Parsons School of Design).

Parsons School of Design course description collection

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1984-2006, 1.4 linear ft
Consists of photocopied course description packets produced by the Registrar's Office for classes offered at Parsons School of Design. Packets include information regarding class schedules, instructors, credit hours, degree requirements, and curriculum.

Parsons School of Design handbooks and orientation materials collection (pre-2008 accessions)

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1968-2007, undated, 3.3 linear ft
Contains handbooks and guides issued by the administration of Parsons School of Design and The New School to familiarize Parsons faculty, students, and students' families with school regulations, policies, and procedures. Also includes materials designed to acquaint students with aspects of living and studying in New York City.
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Parsons School of Design marketing and promotional materials collection

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1913-2011, 3.2 linear ft
Printed publicity materials including but not limited to circulars, mailers, promotional booklets and pamphlets, and postcards generally advertising Parsons School of Design, or a particular course or program of study not connected to a specific department.

Parsons School of Design photograph collection (pre-2008 accessions)

Creator : Parsons School of Design

circa 1920s-2003, 3.2 linear ft
Includes 1,425 photographs, contact sheets and negatives documenting Parsons student and campus life, including exhibitions, award and fashion shows, guest lectures, field trips, and campus construction projects.

Parsons School of Design poster collection (pre-2007)

Creator : Parsons School of Design

1927-2006, 22.3 linear ft
Contains 236 posters created for academic departments and administrative offices of Parsons The New School for Design, including promotional posters for summer sessions and study abroad programs, recruiting by specific departments, and publicity for exhibitions, public programs, and internship fairs. With the exception of a 1927 poster advertising a dance, the series does not contain any material created prior to 1956.
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Parsons School of Design slide collection

Creator : Parsons School of Design

circa 1961-1996, 7 linear ft
Consists of thousands of slides (primarily 1970s through the '90s) documenting Parsons student and campus life, including exhibitions, award and fashion shows, guest lectures, field trips, and campus construction projects. Approximately one third of the slides represent the Fashion Design Department-related activities. (Inventory available -- please contact archivist@newschool.edu)

Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Alumni Association.

1920-1970, 16 linear ft
The Parsons School of Design Alumni Association was incorporated in 1952 and continued until Parsons School of Design merged into the New School for Social Research in 1970. Records contain correspondence, financial records, minutes, photographic materials, printed materials, scrapbooks of clippings and subject files. Also includes documents generated by earlier alumni associations that the Alumni Association incorporated into its working files.

Charles S. Olton records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Office of the Dean

1974-1997, 6.4 linear ft
Consists of records created and received by Charles S. Olton, dean of Parsons School of Design from 1989 until 1997. Contains subject files on committees, departments and programs, events, individuals, international projects, and general administrative issues. Some files are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.
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David C. Levy records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Office of the Dean

1952-1990, 7 linear ft
David Corcos Levy served as dean of Parsons School of Design from 1970 until 1989. The bulk of these records were generated between 1970 and 1984, after the merger of Parsons and the New School for Social Research, and consist of memos, correspondence, reports, and subject files related to Levy's administrative tenure. Correspondents include a range of New School and Parsons administrators, including New School president John R. Everett; New School dean Allen Austill; Albert Landa; Oscar Kolin, chair of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation and a member of the Parsons Board of Overseers; and Neil Hoffman, dean of the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. Frequent faculty correspondents include Martica Sawin, Mary Ann Scherr, John Russo, and Irwin Touster. Categories and subjects represented herein include developing and implementing new degree programs; the process of merging academic institutions, including the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles; faculty relations and unionization; accreditation; program and department establishment and design; and fundraising activities. Also found here are materials created by the Parsons Board of Trustees and, after the merger, the New School Board of Overseers.

Lesley Cadman records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Office of the Dean

1976-2007, 3.3 linear ft
Consists of records created and received by Lesley Cadman, vice dean of Parsons School of Design, 1981-2007. Contains subject files on committees, departments and programs, policies, events, individuals, and general administrative issues.

Francis A. Ruzicka records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Office of the President

1953-1970 (bulk 1963-1969), 1.2 linear ft
Consists of records created and received by Francis A. Ruzicka, president of Parsons School of Design from 1963 until his resignation in 1969. Contains correspondence, financial records, handwritten notes, minutes and reports, primarily circulated between President Ruzicka and the Parsons School of Design Board of Trustees.
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Sterling A. Callisen records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Office of the President

1955-1963, 0.8 linear ft
Consists of records created and received by Sterling A. Callisen, president of Parsons School of Design from 1959 until 1963. Previously, Callisen served on the Parsons School of Design Board of Trustees. Contains correspondence, minutes, reports, proposals, and financial records on administrative matters.

Parsons School of Design Product Design Department records

Creator : Parsons School of Design. Product Design Dept.

1986-1998, 6.6 linear ft
Produced during Richard Yelle's term as department chair of Product Design (as well as its predecessor names: Clay, Fiber, Metal Design; Clay, Metal, Textile Design; and Clay, Metal, Textile, and Product Design). Includes administrative records, information regarding competitions and exhibitions, student work, course descriptions, evaluations, and curriculum development materials. Also includes examples of Yelle's professional work, and a poster for an exhibition by Constantin Boym.

Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons (1955-1985) oral history project

Creator : Parsons the New School for Design

2010, 5.2 gb
The oral histories comprising this collection were conducted in the fall and winter of 2010 in preparation for the exhibit, Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985, with the goal of recording a range of perspectives on the interior and environmental design departments at Parsons School of Design in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, Parsons' longstanding and famous interior design program completely transformed, adopting a more experimental and socially engaged program of study in the newly-created Environmental Design Department.
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Parsons School of Design Fashion Design Department records (pre-2008 accessions)

Creator : Parsons the New School for Design. Fashion Design Dept.

1941-2008, undated, 148 linear ft
Contains the records of the Fashion Design Department of Parsons The New School for Design. Records include course syllabi and descriptions, look books, clippings scrapbooks, student work, and annual fashion benefit planning records, photographs, and programs. A name index for searching Parsons alumni and faculty in the clippings scrapbooks may be found at http://guides.library.newschool.edu/index.

Parsons School of Design Illustration Department zine collection

Creator : Parsons The New School for Design. Illustration Department

1983-2011 (bulk 2000-2011), 3 linear ft
The Parsons School of Design Illustration Department compiled this collection of approximately 175 zines, little magazines, and other illustrated limited run publications.

Frank Alvah Parsons lectures on art and prints of period rooms

Creator : Parsons, Frank Alvah

1917-1922, 1.8 linear ft
Frank Alvah Parsons (1866-1930) began as an instructor at the New York School of Art in 1904. In 1911 he became director, renaming the school the New York School of Fine and Applied Art to reflect his reorientation of the institution's focus toward the practical design disciplines. The school was later renamed to honor Parsons' leadership. The collection is comprised of published editions of 21 of Parsons' lectures on art, and includes prints of period rooms he used to illustrate his lectures.
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