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Guide to the Institute for Retired Professionals collection, 1967-2012

Collection Overview

Repository

New School Collections

Collection Identifier

NS.02.21.01

Creator

New School (New York, N.Y.). New School Archives and Special Collections.

Title

Institute for Retired Professionals collection, 1967-2012

Extent

0.4 linear ft: 1 box

Language of Materials note

All materials in English.

Summary

The Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP) was founded in 1962 by a group of New York City schoolteachers who sought to continue their intellectual development after retirement.The creation of courses and their delivery is entirely member run and depends upon members’ interests. New courses are offered each term. The collection consists mainly of printed matter, such as fliers, publications and course catalogs.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Institute for Retired Professionals, NS.02.21.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical Note

The Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP) was founded in 1962 by a group of New York City schoolteachers who sought to continue their intellectual development after retirement. The IRP was developed to address the problem of retirees adjusting from full time work to “total idleness” (Hirsch 1978, 368). It responded to the need for “a new type of adult learning program” which integrated the “skills, experience and talents of the educated retiree in an atmosphere of learning” (Hirsch 1978, 368).

The IRP’s innovation lay in its peer-learning model under which members organize and teach courses themselves. This model persists to this day. The creation of courses and their delivery is entirely member run and depends upon members’ interests. New courses are offered each term. This peer-learning model inspired similar programs for retirees at institutions such as Harvard University, Duke University and Brooklyn College (Unknown Author 1986). In this way, the IRP has had a significant impact upon the life-long learning movement across the country.

Membership of the IRP was originally limited to the retired educated professional. It was considered especially necessary for them “to find a substitute for the previous challenges and absorbing interests provided by their work” (Hirsch 1978, 368). However, since its founding the IRP’s membership has extended to anyone with “a desire to be academically challenged, a commitment to continued intellectual exploration, and a willingness to actively participate in the organization” (IRP 2015).

Since 1962, the IRP has had four directors: Hyman ("Hy") Hirsch, 1962-1979; Henry Lipman, 1979-1988; Michael Markowitz 1988-2016; Elizabeth Weinmann (interim director), 2017.

References

Hirsch, Hyman. “Higher Education in Retirement: The Institute for Retired Professionals.” The International Journal of Aging and Human Development 8, no. 4 (1978): 367-374.

Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP). 2015. “Institute for Retired Professionals.” Accessed March 23, 2016. http://www.newschool.edu/institute-for-retired-professionals/

Unknown Author. 1986. “At the New School, Retired Adults are Educating Each Other.” New York Times, December 18. Accessed March 23, 2016: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/12/18/garden/at-the-new-school-retired-adults-are-educating-each-other.html

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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists primarily of printed matter, such as event fliers, promotional materials, study group guides, anniversary publications, annual reports, press clippings, course catalogs, and newsletters. The bulk of the collection is program information directed at the public. A notable exception is a 1994 report summarizing the work of the Commission on Older Students at The New School for Social Research. There are a few internal memoranda, but aside from these the collection does not contain any correspondence.

Of particular note are pamphlets commemorating the 40th and 50th anniversaries of the Institute for Retired Professionals. The collection also contains an artist book created by Alfred Lowenberg in 1984 titled Interesting Retired People with photographs of IRP students, and a history of The New School written by IRP member Jean Goldsmith.

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Organization and Arrangement

Folders are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Historical note by Heather Anderson.

Publication Information

New School Collections - June 25, 2018

66 Fifth Avenue
lobby
New York, NY, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Institute for Retired Professionals, NS.02.21.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Custodial History note

Materials collected by staff of Raymond Fogelman Library prior to the establishment of The New School Archives and Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The New School Archives and Special Collections created this collection in 2015 by removing pertinent files from an artificial collection formerly titled, "Programs and Learning Centers."

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Related Materials

Publications issued by the Institute for Retired Professionals, including its annual journal of student writing, Voices (1996-2009), and the IRP's newsletter (1963-1998) will be found in The New School periodicals collection (NS.05.06.01).

Former IRP director Michael Markowitz is interviewed in the New School Oral History Program (NS.07.01.01).

Administrative files on the IRP, including its founding, will be found in New School Office of the Dean records (NS.02.01.02).

Photographs of former IRP director Hy Hirsch will be found in The New School Marketing and Communications records (NS.03.01.04).

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Institute for Retired Professionals.

Genre(s)

  • Catalogs.
  • Fliers.
  • Newsletters.
  • Photographs.
  • Reports.

Subject(s)

  • Adult education.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Institute for Retired Professionals collection, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NS022101.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder
Program information and publicity, 1967-2010 
1 1-3
Interesting Retired People photographed by Alfred Lowenberg, 1984 Mar 
1 4
History of The New School by Jean Goldsmith, after 1986 
1 5
Commission Report on Older Students at the New School, 1994 
1 5
The Institute of Retired Professionals at 40, 2002 
1 7
Health Outreach Newsletter, 2003 
1 8
Annual reports, 2003-2006 
1 9
White House Conference on Aging, 2005 Jun 16 
1 10
Institute of Retired Professionals 50th Anniversary, 2012 
1 11

Collection Guide Last Updated: 06/25/2018

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