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Parsons School of Design marketing and promotional materials collection

Identifier: PC-05-03-01


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. Also includes a small number of audiovisual recordings in various formats, presumably made for promotional purposes.


  • 1913 - 2011



3.1 Cubic Feet (8 boxes, 12 16mm film reels, 6 videotapes)

12 16mm Film

6 VHS Cassettes

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The collection includes printed publicity materials for evening and weekend continuing education courses at various campuses, Parsons Pre-College Academy and earlier programs for high school students, and summer programs, including those held at Otis Art Institute of Parsons (Los Angeles, California), Bank Street College (New York, New York), Lake Placid Center for the Arts (New York), Westchester (two White Plains, New York locations), Huntington (New York), Great Britain, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, and West Africa. Also included are more general advertisements for Parsons, as well as announcements regarding particular adult education classes, such as those taught by Alexey Brodovitch and Frank Alvah Parsons in the early and mid-twentieth centuries.

The collection also includes a 16mm silent film depicting students at the Patis Ateliers (later, Parsons Paris) in 1948 and a number of promotional films and videos from the 1980s.

The collection does not include bound course catalogs, which will be found in PC.05.01.01, nor does it contain posters advertising Parsons, which will be found in PC.05.07.01.

While the early twentieth century is well-represented, the bulk of materials here dates from the 1980s and 1990s, when Parsons greatly expanded its educational programming and its print advertising and marketing efforts.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use, but no access copies of most audiovisual recordings are currently available. Researchers desiring access and willing to pay a digitization fee may do so upon consultation with The New School Archives. Please contact for further information.

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

Parsons School of Design was established in 1896 as the Chase School of Art. While founded as a school of fine arts instruction, it soon added courses in "applied arts," which became the primary focus under the direction of Frank Alvah Parsons. The name of the school changed several times, to the New York School of Art in 1902, then to the New York School of Fine and Applied Art in 1909. In 1940, the Board of Trustees voted to change the school's name to Parsons School of Design in recognition of Frank Alvah Parsons' leadership and to differentiate it from other, similarly named institutions.

In 1921, Parsons' European School opened with headquarters in France called the Paris Ateliers. The Ateliers closed in 1939 due to the escalation of World War Two, and never reopened in its pre-war form. Parsons' summer study tours of Europe resumed in the late 1940s. When Parsons affiliated with The New School for Social Research in 1970, students could for the first time earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New School (before the merger, students earned either a certificate for a three-year program of study at Parsons, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree granted by New York University, by taking courses at both schools). A more robust, year-round overseas program resumed at Parsons in the late 1970s under the leadership of Dean David C. Levy. The 1970s also saw the growth of continuing education programs at Parsons, and the introduction of an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree track. In the 1980s, Parsons developed a number of partnerships with international schools, and launched a short-lived merger between Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The first Parsons graduate program was established at Parsons in 1978, in Fine Arts, with masters programs in other areas added in subsequent years, including a Master of Architecture program begun in 1989. The 2000s have seen an increase in the number of graduate programs at Parsons, with new programs introduced nearly every year.

Organization and Arrangement

Arrangement is chronological by year of publication and within each year by program if there is a substantial amount of material associated with a particular year.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was created by the staff of the New School Archives.


This collection is closed, and no new materials will be added. All marketing and promotional materials received by the university archives will be filed under academic division in The New School marketing and promotional materials (NS.05.08.01).

Processing Information

Processed by Ari Spool, 2013.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design marketing and promotional materials collection
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
April 16, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • September 18, 2018: New School Archives staff added description of audiovisual materials and updated extent.
  • February 24, 2023: New School Archives staff updated box and folder numbers, after transferring the collection into new boxes.