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New School oral history program

Identifier: NS-07-01-01


The New School oral history program, initiated in 2012, consists of recorded sound interviews conducted by Archives and Special Collections staff and faculty partners to document aspects of university history that may not exist in other recorded formats. Interviewees consist of current and retired New School alumni, administrators, faculty, and staff. Topics cover different academic departments and disciplines, university offices, and affiliated institutes.

As of May 2020, there are twenty-six interviews in this collection. Recordings are all in English.


  • 2012 - 2020



19.72 Gigabytes (47 digital audio files; 30:23:48 duration; 26 transcripts)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The New School oral history program, begun in the summer of 2012, records the reminiscences of members of the New School community, including longtime faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni, with the goal of documenting New School history through personal accounts. Initiated by The New School Archives and Special Collections, librarian Carmen Hendershott selected and interviewed the earliest interviewees. While originally conceived as a limited project, it grew into an ongoing program, with other Archives and Special Collections staff members and faculty partners conducting interviews.

The New School oral history program aims to fill in the often-incomplete written institutional records of The New School with histories of positions (e.g., deanships), departments (e.g., Media Studies), divisions (e.g., the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music), institutes and centers (e.g., the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies), and memorable persons (e.g., Clara Mayer).

The interviews were originally recorded as digital audio files (Wave) and transferred to MP3 files for access purposes. The original Broadcast Wave files are maintained by The New School Archives and Special Collections as preservation files.

Additionally, The New School Archives and Special Collections financed the professional transcription of all interviews. Archives staff members then edited the transcripts for clarity and to identify personal names and organizations that the transcriber could not identify. With the exception of the Arien Mack interview, neither recordings nor transcripts have been edited for content.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment. Digital transcripts (PDF file format) for each interview are also available for research use.

Use Restrictions

To publish all or part of any recording or transcription from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Interviewer Biographies

Julia Foulkes
Julia Foulkes is a professor of history at the Schools of Public Engagement, a division of The New School. Foulkes’ scholarship investigates interdisciplinary questions about the arts, urban studies, and history. Her books include A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (2016), To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal (2011), and Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey (2002). With fellow New School Professor Mark Larrimore, Foulkes teaches a University Liberal Arts course on New School history and co-edits a vertical of the web journal Public Seminar dedicated to New School history. Professor Foulkes has been a lead faculty member of the Humanities Action Lab, an international hub where the humanities and design generate innovative curricula and public engagement on urgent social issues.
Carmen Hendershott
Carmen Hendershott is a librarian at The New School. She has worked at The New School Libraries and Archives since August 31, 1970 in a variety of capacities, including cataloging, reference, interlibrary loan, and collection development. Prior to joining The New School, Hendershott was a serials librarian at Pace University in New York City and a library clerk at the University of Pittsburgh and the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. She also served as a volunteer librarian for the Gypsy Lore Society from 1979 until 2012. Her degrees include a MLS from the University of Pittsburgh (1964, cum laude), an MA in philosophy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh (1972), MAs in anthropology and sociology from the New School (1977 and 1979, respectively), a PhD in anthropology from the New School in 1989, and a certificate in archival management from Queens College, City University of New York in 2012. She has been a book reviewer for Choice: A Magazine for College Libraries since 1990 and a columnist for the Gypsy Lore Society Newsletter since 2005.
Mark Larrimore
Mark Larrimore holds a BA in philosophy, politics and economics from Worcester College, Oxford University and a PhD (1994) in religion from Princeton University. Larrimore is a faculty member in religious studies at Eugene Lang College, a division of The New School, and has served as program director for religious studies. He has also co-taught with Professor Julia Foulkes a University Liberal Arts course on New School history. In 2005, Larrimore received the Distinguished Teaching Award from The New School. He is the author of The Book of Job: A Biography (Princeton, 2013) and the editor of The Problem of Evil: A Reader (Blackwell, 2001). He has served as co-editor with Sara Eigen on The German Invention of Race (State University of New York, 2006) and with Kathleen T. Talvacchia and Michael F. Pettinger on Queer Christianities: Lived Religion in Transgressive Forms (New York University, 2015).
Anna Robinson-Sweet
Anna Robinson-Sweet (b. 1988) is an archivist at The New School Archives and Special Collections. Prior to joining The New School Archives in 2018, Robinson-Sweet worked at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Robinson-Sweet has also worked as a community and union organizer, and continues to be an activist in the prison and police abolition movement. She holds an MLIS from Simmons University and a BA in art from Yale University.
Silvia Rocciolo
Silvia Rocciolo is director and senior curator of The New School Art Collection. Rocciolo has been at The New School since 2005. Previously she served as a specialist in American art at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg; was an art advisor curating modern American and European works of art for private and corporate collections with Guggenheim Asher Associates; and served as director of VonLintel and Nusser Gallery, a Munich-based gallery for mid-career and emerging artists.
Wendy Scheir
Wendy Scheir came to The New School in 2008 to direct the Kellen Design Archives for Parsons School of Design. In 2012, while continuing to lead the Kellen Design Archives, Scheir established the first ever university archives at The New School. Prior to starting at The New School, Scheir worked for the New York Public Library, where she was project archivist on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to process the records of the New York World's Fair Corporation, 1939-1940. She holds a BA in English Literature, an MFA in Film, and an MA in History and Archives, all from New York University.

Organization and Arrangement

Interviews are arranged alphabetically by the name of interviewee.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

All interviews were conducted by either staff of the New School Archives and Special Collections or New School faculty members using equipment provided by the Archives, and files were accessioned immediately upon download.

Existence and Location of Copies

Original Wave recordings have been converted to MP3 files for patron access. The New School Archives and Special Collections also commissioned transcripts and offers them as PDF files.

Related Materials

An oral history project undertaken by New School student Gerard O. Hemmerle includes additional audio interviews with university administrators, New School for Public Engagement faculty, and staff (NS.07.01.02). The Activism at The New School oral history program (NS.07.01.04) and The New You Peer Health Advocates oral history project (NS.07.01.05) consist of interviews with alumni and current students of The New School.

Multiple oral history projects and programs documenting Parsons The New School for Design are also available in the New School Archives and Special Collections.

Guide to the New School oral history program
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
September 13, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Collection guide in English.

Revision Statements

  • May 12, 2020: New School Archives staff added six new interviews to collection inventory and updated collection-level notes accordingly.