Skip to main content

Mills College of Education records

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-02-03-02


Collection includes office records from Mills College of Education from the years 1956 to 1972. The institution was a four-year college awarding Bachelors of Education degrees, formerly located at 66 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The college merged with The New School in 1972, and closed in 1975. Materials include correspondence, event and promotional materials, student statistics, memoranda, policies, and minutes.


  • 1955 - 1971
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1969



1.3 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

Collection includes administrative office records from Mills College of Education from the years 1956 to 1972. Most of the material is from the 1960s, a period of time in which the college was already established and began sharing its buildings with The New School. Materials include internal and external correspondence, event planning, promotional materials, student statistics, lists of participants for programs and events, memoranda, policies, and minutes. This collection was created by the administrative offices of Mills College. This collection is not a comprehensive record of the history of the college and does not include information regarding the closure of the college, the merger with The New School and New York University, or the transfer of property to the New School.

Access Restrictions

Collection is 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

Mills College of Education was founded as the Harriette Melissa Mills Training School for Kindergarten and Primary Teachers in 1909 and established as a college in 1952. Amy Hostler was elected the first president of Mills College in 1952, along with Margaret Devine as dean. The college specialized in progressive approaches to early childhood education with an emphasis placed on the students receiving a well-rounded education in the liberal arts. Due to financial difficulties, the college closed in 1975.

Integral to the curriculum at Mills College was practical, out-of-classroom training. Students were involved in research, teaching, and volunteer programs. These out-of-classroom programs helped the students gain experience working with children but also allowed students to develop and pursue interests in other areas. For example, in 1957, forty students participated in a research trip to study the integration of public elementary schools and, during the 1956 election season, every student was tasked to help with election activities.

Mills College occupied several buildings in the lower Fifth Avenue-Greenwich Village area. The college owned 66 Fifth Avenue and, in 1963, bought 70 Fifth Avenue and 45 West 11th Street, which served as a residence hall. Mills College was also involved in a property development venture called Village View. Village View was a middle-income housing development project in the East Village was sponsored by the Gramercy-Greenwich Association. Mills College, along with The New School and other institutions were members.

In September of 1972, a merger between Mills College, the New School for Social Research and New York University took place. Mills was struggling financially and the merger enabled enrolled Mills students to finish their degrees; liberal arts courses were taken at the New School for Social Research and teacher training courses were taken at New York University. During the same year, the New School for Social Research took over the mortgages for 66 and 70 Fifth Avenue and assumed occupancy of the entire 66th Fifth Avenue building later that year. Once Parsons School of Design became affiliated with The New School in 1970, it occupied 66 Fifth Avenue.

In 1975, Mills College closed permanently. This was part of a wave of closures of private institutions during the 1960s and 1970s. According to a New York Times article from 1977, private colleges in New York were facing a financial crisis due to increasing competition with more affordable public institutions. Mergers between universities became common to allow students to continue to take classes and graduate.

Sources :

"A Fiscal Crisis Seen in Private Colleges." The New York Times (New York, NY), February 7, 1977.

Berger, Meyer. "Fifth Ave. College Gets Along without a Campus--Swimming Pool in Back Yard." The New York Times (New York, NY), June 3, 1955.

"College Students Aid in Election Activities." The New York Times (New York, NY), November 4, 1956.

Fiske, Edward B. "Private Colleges in Peril." The New York Times (New York, NY), February 29, 1976.

"Integration Study." The New York Times (New York, NY), October 27, 1957.

Stevens, William K. "Merger Planned by Mills College." The New York Times (New York, NY), September 3, 1972.

"2 Parcels Bought By Mills College." The New York Times (New York, NY), April 30, 1963.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was part of an accession from the The New School Office of the President, and was transferred from storage to The New School Archives in 2015.

Related Materials

According to the New York State Education Department listing of closed degree granting institutions (, other records generated by Mills College reside with the Bank Street School of Education and the Office of the Registrar at Adelphi University.

Nine photographic prints depicting Mills College will be found in the Parsons School of Design photograph collection (PC.04.01.01). Additionally, a file in the Allen Austill records (NS.02.01.03) in The New School Archives documents the relationship between The New School and Mills College in its final decade.

Processing Information

Processed by Regina Retter and Lena Hansen.

Guide to the Mills College of Education records
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
December 14, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note