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College of Performing Arts course catalogs

Identifier: MM-05-01-01


Consists of course catalogs with information about the policies, faculties and courses of Mannes School of Music. Collection includes a limited number of catalogs focused exclusively on the Extension Division, Preparatory Division, Summer School, and Jazz and Contemporary BFA Program, while most cover a broad range of courses.


  • 1916-2011



3.9 Cubic Feet (3 boxes; 2 folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of course catalogs with information about the policies, faculties and courses of Mannes School of Music, as well as the school of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

It is organized into five series:

Series I. General consists of published course catalogs with information about a variety of programs at Mannes, including Preparatory and Extension Divisions, as well as courses for undergraduate credit.

Series II. Preparatory Division consists of catalogs exclusively geared toward the program of the Preparatory Division.

Series III. Extension Division consists of course catalogs geared toward adult students and would be considered an adult education/continuing education program by contemporary definitions. For many years, it was the third of Mannes' divisions, the other two being Mannes Classical and Mannes Preparatory Division.

Series IV. Summer School consists of catalogs issued for courses held between spring and fall semesters. According to the earliest catalog in the collection (1977), the Mannes Summer School served both the Preparatory Division and the Extension Division. At some point in the 1990s, the Summer School came under the direct supervision of the Mannes Extension Division.

Series V. Jazz and Contemporary BFA Program consists of only two catalogs. It is unclear if these were the only printed catalogs ever issued for the program.

Access Restrictions

Originals unavailable for General series. For catalogs available in digital form, researchers must consult the digitized versions, which are publicly accessible online. Researchers wishing to consult the originals should write to, stating the reason for the request.

Remaining three series are open for research use. Please contact 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:

Historical Note

Mannes School of Music was established in 1916 by David and Clara (Damrosch) Mannes, professional musicians and educators. Prior to establishing Mannes, David founded one of the first music schools for black children, the Music School Settlement for Colored People in Harlem.

In 1940, David and Clara's son Leopold, a pianist who was also one of the first inventors of Kodachrome film, become first the director and then president of the school. In 1953 the school was granted a charter from the State of New York and became a degree-granting college. The name of the institution was changed to the Mannes College of Music.

In the 1950s and 60s Mannes became known for its signature curriculum called the "Techniques of Music." During this time, many eminent faculty and students passed through the school's doors. In 1970s the school experienced a financial crisis that brought it to the brink of collapse. Under the leadership of Charles Kaufman, the school survived this crisis. In 1989, Kaufman negotiated the merger of Mannes with The New School, in large part to gain greater tuition revenue through access to The New School's continuing education program. Kaufman served as dean until 1996.

In 2005, the school was renamed Mannes College The New School for Music. In 2015, as part of a university-wide reorganization, Mannes became a division of The New School's College of Performing Arts and the name changed to Mannes School of Music. From 1996-2011 Mannes was led by John Tester. As of 2018, the dean of Mannes is Richard Kessler, who has served in that role since 2011.


Grimes, William. "Mannes School Says Thank You." The New York Times, April 17, 1995.

The New School. "History." Mannes. Accessed October 25, 2018.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in chronologically in 5 series: 1. General; 2. Extension Division; 3. Summer School; 4. Jazz and Contemporary BFA Program; 5. Preparatory Division.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The staff of the New School Archives and Special Collections assembled this collection from multiple office transfers.

Processing Information

This collection was formerly titled Mannes College of Music course catalog collection. New School Archives staff retitled it in 2018 to represent the presence of Jazz and Contemporary Music catalogs in the collection.

Guide to the College of Performing Arts course catalogs
Cami Halladay
January 14, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • June 9, 2016: New School Archives staff revised to reflect additional series added to collection.
  • March 19, 2018: New School Archives staff renamed this record group "College of Performing Arts course catalogs" and added catalogs to Series V.