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New York University Archives: What We Collect

This guide will acquaint you with the resources available at the New York University Archives; inform you how to conduct research using these resources.


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What We Collect

The University Archives was designated the "official repository for all non-current records of the University" in August 1977. Its collections policy is based on the Society of American Archivists' Guidelines For College and University Archives (1983), and on the recommendations of the Archives Advisory Council, a committee of University faculty and administrators established in 1977 to advise the Archives on policy and procedures, and to oversee its growth and development. In 1978, the Advisory Council issued a policy statement calling for the preservation of University records for the purposes of:

  • maintaining a clear account of University life and achievements, administrative policy and actions and educational programs.
  • reinforcing an image of the University that stimulates financial support and encourages an appreciation of the University's past and its role in the history of American higher education among students, faculty, and alumni.
  • making available a body of records useful for student, casual, and scholarly research in history and other disciplines.

The records of New York University are voluminous. In the absence of systematic records management, the Archives must rely on the cooperation and support of administrators, deans, directors, faculty, students, and alumni to ensure that materials of historical value are collected and preserved.

The University Archives collects:

  • Official Records, Papers, and Publications of New York University
  • Personal and Professional Papers of New York University Faculty
  • Records and papers which are neither official University records or faculty papers, but which relate to the history of New York University
The University Archives holds the administrative records of chancellors and presidents, as well as administrative offices of certain deans. These collections shed light on numerous topics from the creation of academic programs to real estate and student activities. 
Collection Examples:

The University Archives collects the personal papers of individuals affiliated with NYU, as well as other records relating to the history of the University, Washington Square Park, and Greenwich Village.

Collection Examples:

The Papers of Richard Courant

The Papers of Abby Weed Grey

Records of the Washington Square Association, Inc.

Our extensive photographic collection documents the history and activities of NYU's schools, administration, and students, as well as the University's Washington Square Park and University Heights campuses.

New York University Archives Photograph Collection

The University Archives has a comprehensive collection of blueprints and architectural drawings of past and present NYU real estate holdings. Many of them are described in the finding aid below.

New York University Archives Collection of Building Drawings and Large-Format Materials

Our rich collection of material promoting the University's educational programs and other services date back to NYU's founding in 1831. As the University has grown and expanded, we have continued to collect brochures, pamphlets, mailers, bulletins and handbooks.

We also have a large collection of student publications, including campus newspapers dating back to the mid-19th century.

The John Brademas Congressional Papers cover the career of the U.S. Congressional Representative from Indiana's Third District, 1959 to 1981. The collection includes documents related to the administrative, legislative, and political functions of his office.  Brademas served on the Committee on Education and Labor and was a leading force in legislation for education, arts and humanities, vocational rehabilitation, services for the elderly and handicapped, and libraries and museums. He later served as President of NYU.

While the NYU Archives has a vast collection of yearbooks, we do not have every yearbook for every school. Yearbooks from the following schools comprise the bulk of our collection:

  • University College of Arts & Sciences (University Heights undergraduate campus)
  • Washington Square College (precursor to CAS)
  • NYU Medical School
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (undergradute)
  • NYU College of Dentistry
  • Stern School of Business (undergraduate)