Skip to main content

Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection

Identifier: PC-03-01-01


Predominantly comprised of records produced by the Parsons School of Design Development Office, this collection documents fundraising, special programs, events, and reunion plans. Other offices included are Admissions, Alumni Relations, Career Services, Public Relations, Publication Design, Special Events, and Student Council. One series, Dean of Students correspondence, is restricted. Please email for details.


  • 1917-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1973-1999



11.2 Cubic Feet (7 boxes, 1 map case drawer, 6 oversize folders; 2 discs)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

This collection contains records from a number of administrative offices at Parsons School of Design including Admissions, Career Services, Development, Alumni Relations, Public Relations, Publication Design, Special Events, and the Student Council. The majority of the papers are from Development and include documentation of capital campaigns from the 1980s-1990s and special fundraising initiatives.

Records from the Alumni Relations office include lists of Parsons graduates from 1912-1983 and a list of notable alumni from 1956-2000. There is also material from reunions for classes from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1970s. The Special Events papers also contain documentation of reunions as well as receptions and exhibitions held in the 1980s-2000s.

Material from Admissions and Career Services includes class profiles, statistics, reports, handbooks, and promotional materials, mostly from the 1980s and 1990s. Notable exceptions are class profiles from 1927-1929 and 1955-1970, as well as registration guides and fliers from 1917-1923. Also in the collection are press releases from the 1960s-1990s, Student Council publications from the 1970s, and material from Publication Design in the 1980s-1990s, including original illustrations.

Correspondence from Dean of Students Vieri R. Salvadori is also found in this collection. The files in this series primarily consist of photocopies of outgoing letters and memoranda that Salvadori generated during his appointment as dean of students and as associate dean of Parsons. Arranged chronologically, the files address student, faculty, and Parsons institutional issues as well as plans for new degree programs, building facilities, and special programs. This series is restricted, email for details.

Special Events Office files include a CD of a radio play about the designer, Adrian, as well as a DVD documenting an award luncheon, with a speech by Ann Pyne.

The staff of the Kellen Design Archives, The New School Archives's predecessor unit, closed this collection to new additions in 2008, and established a new collection with the same title (PC.03.01.02) for further internal office transfers.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Files containing student records are restricted for 120 years after person's known or estimated birth (or that estimated for a group of persons, like a class). Please contact for further information. Electronic files migrated from optical media may be accessed on The New School Archives Digital Collections site at

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. 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 II, 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 merged with the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The first 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.

This collection contains correspondence from the files of Parsons' dean of students from 1975-1983, Vieri R. Salvadori. Salvadori began his career at Parsons School of Design as a professor of aesthetics and art in 1972. He was appointed dean of students in October 1975, succeeding Carmela Hedger, and became associate dean in 1980. During this period as administrator, Salvadori also managed special programs, coordinating study abroad programs in France, Italy, and Japan. As dean of students, Salvadori ushered students through the admissions process, advising on available resources, financial aid, curricula, and departments of study. Among other projects, Salvadori organized the school's Mardi Gras Costume Ball of 1977. Salvadori left Parsons in 1983.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject in 8 series: 1. Admissions Office, 1917-2001; 2. Career Services Office, 1992-2007; 3. Dean of Students correspondence, 1975-1983; 4. Development and Alumni Relations Office, 1930-2000; 5. Public Relations Office press releases, 1969-2002; 6. Publication Design Office, 1981-1999, undated; 7. Special Events Office, 1987-2006; VIII.Student Council and Student Association, 1956-2002

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The staff of The New School Archives and Special Collections assembled this collection from office transfers of material from the New School and Parsons School of Design Public Relations, Alumni Affairs, and Career Services offices, and from the Parsons School of Design Product Design Department.

The Parsons School of Design Dean's Office transferred the Dean of Students correspondence series to the Kellen Design Archives, the predecessor unit of The New School Archives, in January 1999, and Archives staff processed these records as an isolated record group. In 2017, the New School Archives staff integrated the Dean of Students series into the current record group.

Related Materials

The New School Archives holds Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (PC.03.01.02) and the Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records (PC.03.02.01). The Alumni Association in particular was a major source of fund raising and marketing for Parsons School of Design prior to its affiliation with the New School for Social Research in 1970.

Recruitment and advertising records in the form of posters, mailers, brochures and other printed materials -- both in their completed state and planning documentation -- will be found in the New School Marketing and Communication records (NS.03.01.04).

Additional press releases will be found in the New School press release collection (NS.03.01.07).

Additional and possibly overlapping records doucmenting special events may be found in the New School Office of Development and Alumni Affairs records (NS.03.02.03), Special events series.

Processing Information

This collection was created prior to the re-establishment of the Kellen Design Archives in 2008. Archives staff closed this collection to further additions at that time.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (pre-2008 accessions)
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
July 23, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description