Planning a Visit
This page addresses visiting The New School Archives, specifically. For information about visiting other archives, please consult our guide.
The New School Archives and Special Collections reading room is open to all researchers by advance appointment only.
We do not require you to submit credentials or restrict access based on academic affiliations or education. A New School identification card is not required.
Researchers must discuss their research topics with a staff member prior to the appointment. This discussion, often called a reference interview, may be conducted by email, telephone, or in a Zoom meeting.
We require a minimum of two weeks advance notice for appointments to ensure delivery of materials to campus. Over 90% of The New School Archives’ physical collections are stored offsite.
We schedule appointments on a first-come-first-served basis Monday through Friday, 10 am until 5 pm throughout the year, except when the university campus is closed. We open at 2 pm on Thursdays. The New School Archives is closed on weekends. Appointments are made for researchers to arrive at a specific time. You are then welcome to stay until the reading room closes at 5 pm or the reading room is reserved for another purpose.
We are happy to accommodate small groups of researchers. Please notify us at the time of appointment scheduling how many individuals will be in the group. We recommend a maximum of 3 visitors related to a single research request.
Browsing shelves is not permitted. Only New School Archives staff members may access shelving and storage areas. This is why the reference interview is an important step.
Please do not visit without a confirmed appointment.
The reading room, the space in which researchers consult our collections, is located on the ground floor of 66 Fifth Avenue, in the lobby. This building is close to the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West 13th Street. Our room number is N102.
If you have any access requirements, please let us know in advance so we can make the appropriate accommodations.
66 Fifth Avenue is situated close to multiple subway and bus lines and is a short walk from PATH stations. From Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station, please allow at least 30 minutes travel time to The New School campus. The A train from JFK Airport stops at West 4th Street, within walking distance.
We do not recommend driving; on street parking near campus is limited. The closest parking garage is located on West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. The New School Archives does not validate parking.
All researchers must register before consulting collections, preferably in advance online. We can also accommodate onsite registration. A registration form will be provided by email when making an appointment.
On the Day of Your Visit
Please immediately notify us by email or phone (212-229-5942) if you need to cancel or change a previously scheduled appointment. If you are more than 30 minutes late to a scheduled appointment and have not contacted us, we will assume you are canceling your appointment.
Stay home if you are not feeling well or exhibiting any symptoms of illness. The reading room is a small, enclosed space. We will gladly reschedule your appointment for a later date.
Masks are strongly recommended in the reading room.
Dress warmly. The temperature is kept cool to help preserve archival materials. We recommend layers, regardless of season. Even in summer, our staff usually wear sweaters inside the archives!
Items to pack for your visit include:
We will supply you with pencils and paper if you need them. Other items we provide include a lightbox for transparencies, magnifying glasses, and weights for holding pages of bound materials.
You will have access to our on-campus wireless network. A mobile phone is required for log-in access to the wireless network.
When you arrive at 66 Fifth Avenue, please inform the Campus Safety officer at the entrance you are visiting the Archives and they will direct you to our location. If you are not a New School student, staff or faculty member, you may be required to present valid photographic identification.
When you arrive at the Archives door, please ring the doorbell and an Archives staff member will buzz you in and orient you to the Archives. If you have notified us in advance of a physical disability, one of our staff members will meet you at the door.
Restrooms are located around the corner from the Archives’ door. Please wash and thoroughly dry your hands prior to handling the collections. Hand sanitizer is not an acceptable substitute. Please do not apply lotion to your hands after drying.
You will be assigned a locker with a key. The locker will be visible from where you are seated. All outerwear (coats, jackets) and bags (purses, backpacks, tote bags, laptop cases, etc.) must remain in the locker.
You are welcome to leave the reading room to make phone calls, take a break in the lobby, or go outdoors. For researchers intending to conduct a full day of research in The New School Archives, we recommend including breaks in your day to help you focus.
You may use your phone or a camera to take photographs of archival materials. The use of a flash is prohibited. We recommend making sure all devices are fully charged before you arrive and have as much storage available as possible. Also, please set all notifications on your phone to mute. Personal scanners are not permitted.
Permission to publish images taken of archival materials must be requested.
We can provide high resolution scans of archival materials for a fee. New School researchers are entitled to up to 10 free scans. Please see our Digitization Policies for more information.