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Help Topics

How do I navigate the site?

How do I search for materials?

What should I know about phrasing my searches?

How can I filter my search results?

How do I access materials I find on this site?

What if I have questions?

How do I navigate the site?

  • Collections: Complete alphabetical list of guides to all cataloged collections. This site does not include collections in the Archives that have not yet been cataloged. If you cannot find the information you are seeking here, contact us at and we will gladly check our internal database for you.

  • Subjects: Alphabetical list of subjects associated with each collection as defined by staff of The New School Archives to connect researchers with material of interest.

  • Names: Alphabetical list of people and organizations associated with collections. Note that these are names assigned by staff of The New School Archives and may not include all names that appear in a collection.

  • Digital Collections: Our database for all digital material publicly available from The New School Archives. Collection guides will also link to this database if digital material is available within a given collection.

  • Archives Home: The main Archives website, where you will find information about our services, policies, and more.

How do I search for materials?

  • Begin a basic search by entering your search terms in the search bar on the home page, or click on the magnifying glass icon. You may limit the search by searchable fields, record type, and date.

  • The searchable fields are:

    • Keyword: Searches the entire text of the collection guide.

    • Title: Searches titles of the collection guides and the titles of series and files within collection materials described. If you know the precise title or part of the title of what you're looking for, searching by title can be very helpful.

    • Creator: Searches names of the persons and organizations who created the collections.

    • Subject: Searches by subject headings assigned to collections by archivists, e.g. Fashion design.

    • Notes: Searches text found in any of the note fields.

    • Identifier: Searches the alphanumeric identifier for the collection, e.g. NS040101 (identifier for the New School Photograph Collection).

  • Record types allow you to customize the type of records you want a search to return. For example, selecting ‘limit to collections’ will only return records for collections, rather than people, subjects, series, and files.

  • You may select a date span to limit the search results chronologically. Searching by date is approximate, and results may fall outside the date span you enter.

  • You may construct a more complex search by selecting the + icon and adding additional search parameters.

  • To continue searching from a search results page, click on New Search or Refine Search buttons in the top right.

What should I know about phrasing my searches?

  • Searches are not case sensitive. It will not matter if you use upper or lower case in your search: the results will be the same.

  • You may search for phrases by including quotation marks (e.g. "Graphic Design").

  • By default, searches with two or more search terms return results containing all of your terms. If you wish to get results that include at least one of your terms, insert the word OR between terms (e.g. Belafonte OR Piscator). To limit your results to exclude a particular term, enter the word NOT between terms (e.g., Belafonte NOT Piscator).

  • You may add a tilde (~) to search for search terms within a specified number of words of one another (e.g. "fashion illustration"~5 will return results where the term fashion occurs within 5 words of the term illustration).

  • "Wildcard" symbols ? and * help return a greater number of relevant results by searching for variant spellings and forms of search terms simultaneously.

    • ? replaces a single letter in a search term (e.g. searching wom?n will return both women and woman, and searching modern? will return both modernist and modernism).

    • * replaces any number of letters at the end of a search term (e.g. searching photograph * will return photographs, photographers, and photography).

    • ? and * may not be used as the first character of a word.

    • To use a wildcard in combination with another search term (e.g. wom?n designer), use the + icon to create another row and enter each search term in a separate row.

How can I filter my search results?

  • Once you've done a search and are on the search results page, you can use the filter pane on the right side of the page to further limit and customize search results.

  • You may use the filter pane to filter by record type, subject, language, and names.

  • You may also use the search bar at the top of the filter pane to create additional searches within the search results.

How do I access materials I find on this site?

If the material you are interested in is available online, you will see a link to that collection or item on our Digital Collections database. For all other material, please contact us at

Suggestion: Please be as specific as possible when emailing us about information you find in a collection guide. In your message, cite both the title of the collection, the series if applicable, and the box and folder number if they appear in the guide. This will help us to more quickly answer your question. You may also supply us with a screenshot.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions, please contact us at

We will continuously update this help page based on user feedback. By contacting us with your questions, you will be helping to improve the site for future visitors.

The New School Archives staff gratefully acknowledges the University of Kansas Archives whose language we adapted in creating this Help page.