Instruction in the Archives

Archivist speaking to class inside archives office.

The Archives and Special Collections supports the teaching and learning mission of The New School by offering orientations, instruction, and other opportunities for engagement with archival and rare books research. All academic levels and university divisions are welcome, including language support classes, from Parsons Pre-College to graduate programs.

Archivist-led instruction is open to faculty, staff, and students. We work with faculty to tailor class visits to learning objectives, and collaborate on creating meaningful assignments that incorporate archival and special collections resources. Visits may be singular or encompass a semester-long project.

We are pleased to host one-on-one or group workshops, in person or via Zoom, synchronously or asynchronously. 

The following examples of instruction may be offered as short presentations or developed into in-depth lesson plans:


Arranging Classes and Visits 

All instruction and orientation is scheduled between 10 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday, although accommodations may be made for evening classes, depending upon staff availability.

Special Collections visits of 1-2 hours may be scheduled at any time during the University Center Library’s hours of operation. Faculty must be present for the duration of the instruction session. 

Groups of 9 or less may visit the Archives reading room in 66 Fifth Avenue at the same time. Larger classes may be split into sections for separate visits. 

Contact us at to begin a discussion, or complete the Instruction Request Form. If emailing, please tell us your course title, academic level, enrollment, when the class meets, and whether you would prefer a synchronous or asynchronous session. One of our archivists will respond within two business days. We require a minimum of two weeks advance notice to prepare a pedagogically sound, engaging lesson tailored to your class, and to compile primary source materials for class use.

We request that faculty do not require their students to use The New School Archives and Special Collections without first discussing the assignment with our staff.


Instruction Request Form 

Related Reading

Introduction to Archival Research

Remote Research in the Archives

Artists’ Books Instruction Plan

Archives Orientation Guide 

Archives Visit Checklist

Create Custom Digital Collections