Fondo 2015.PRATTSI - School of Information records

Pratt Institute Report of Students enrolled for Library Dept. 1890 Pratt Institute Report of Library Training Class For term ending March 29. 1896 Record of the Graduates of the Pratt Institute Library School 1899 Course Schedule Contact Sheet 01-01 Contact Sheet 01-02 Contact Sheet 01-03 Contact Sheet 02-01 Contact Sheet 02-02 Contact Sheet 02-03 Contact Sheet 03-01 Contact Sheet 03-02 Contact Sheet 03-03 Contact Sheet 04-01 Contact Sheet 04-02 Contact Sheet 04-03 Contact Sheet 04-04 Contact Sheet 04-05 Contact Sheet 05-01 Contact Sheet 05-02 Contact Sheet 05-03 Contact Sheet 05-04 Contact Sheet 06-01 Contact Sheet 06-02 Contact Sheet 06-03
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Elementos de identidad

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Nivel de descripción



School of Information records


  • 1890-2022 (Creación)


173.6 linear feet

Nombre del productor


Historia administrativa

The following is adapted from Ian Post's "Administrative History" (Guide to the Records of the School of Information 1886-2001(July/August 2015).

The Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science is the oldest library school in continuous operation in the United States. It was established in June 1890 when the Pratt Institute Free Library began offering organized training classes in library economy and cataloging. Growing out of a need for trained library staff at the two branches of the Free Library, which was founded in January 1888, Margaret Healy directed the library and its new courses in the basement of the Main Building.

In 1890, Mary Wright Plummer, a graduate of Melvil Dewey's Columbia Library School class of 1888, came to Pratt Institute to develop "skilled assistants." The designation of the Pratt Institute Library School, Plummer's appointment to director of the library and its school, and the establishment of a regular faculty--primarily composed of Free Library staff--marked a substantial change for the program in 1895. One year later, the Library School moved to the new library designed by architect William Tubby. The two branches of the Pratt Institute Free Library, which had provided both faculty and an environment for students to gain practical experience, remained in operation until 1903 when the Brooklyn Public Library was established.

Plummer separated the Library and the Library School in 1904, assuming the directorship of the school, but not the library. Under Plummer's directorship, the school's curriculum began to reflect the professionalization of librarianship and the school's name changed again in 1909 to the Pratt Institute School of Library Science. In 1911, Plummer was succeeded by Josephine Adams Rathbone as the Vice-Director of the library school, overseeing much of the administrative matters including interviewing and selecting students, reviewing coursework, and conducting the annual tour. Appointed at the same time was Edward Frances Stevens, who assumed directorship of both the library and school. Stevens, however, concentrated on managing the library. In 1923, the school became one of the first 13 library schools to be accredited by the American Library Association. Stevens and Rathbone remained director and vice director until 1938. The year 1939 marked another significant change for the library school as William "Wayne" Shirley was appointed library director and dean with Agnes Camilla Hansen serving as associate director. Furthermore, the school began to confer Bachelor of Science degrees, allowing them to award prior graduates with retroactive degrees. In 1940, the School of Library Science became a graduate school and the library was no longer open to the public.

The school began awarding graduates Master of Library Science degrees as of 1950. Between 1955 and 1956, Rice Estes served as the school's dean, followed by Louis D. Sass who held the position until 1968. At this time, the school's curriculum underwent another transformation under the new dean, Nasser Sharify, when the school was designated as the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. For the first time since 1896, the library school moved into a new building on Pratt Institute's Brooklyn campus. During the 1970s, some classes were held at the Pratt Manhattan Center and, later, the Puck Building. Sharify, who led the development of the field of international librarianship, worked to change the school's curriculum from an institutional approach to one that favored functional, comparative, and systems approaches. Sharify remained the school's dean until 1987, but continued to teach courses as a Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus. After 1987, the school went through a series of deans: S. Michael Malinconico (1987- 1988), Seoud M. Matta (acting-dean 1989-1992, dean 1992-1999), Anne Woodsworth (1999- 2001), and Marie Radford (acting-dean 2002-2004). The current dean, Tula Giannini, was appointed in 2005 and has shifted the school's focus to the emerging field of digital humanities.

As of 1991 the school became known as the School of Information and Library Science and in 2002 the school relocated all classes to its current location in Manhattan at 144 West 14th Street. The school was renamed in 2015 to the School of Information. For a detailed history of the Pratt Institute School of Information and its curriculum prior to 1978, see Nasser Sharify's "The Pratt Institute Graduate School of Library and Information Science" in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Volume 23, pages 145-170.

Área de contenido y estructura

Alcance y contenido

The School of Information records, maintained by the administration, document the academic activities of students and administration at Pratt Institute School of Information from 1890 to 2015. This includes administrative correspondence, institutional reports, curricular resources, student statistics, and student works. Also included are faculty works, publications, and general course materials. The School of Information administration also maintained student files that contained records from their attendance in the program in addition to documentation of notable work accomplished in the field after graduating.

Sistema de arreglo

These series were adapted from Ian Post's finding aid, Guide to the Records of the School of Information 1886-2001(July/August 2015). Some sub-series in Post's finding aid were not relevant to parts of this collection; therefore, these sub-series have been skipped in this finding aid in order to preserve the identification numbering from Post’s finding aid to prepare them for reintegration into the Pratt Brooklyn Archives. A number of series and sub-series were created in order to accurately identify materials in this collection. These were processed as part of an ongoing project.

Original order is uncertain as it is possible that the researcher who held onto the records for 16 years may have attempted to arrange them in a loose chronological order.

Arranged in 9 series: 1. Reports, 1894-2015. 2. Administration, 1890-1991. 3. Publications, 1927-1990. 4. Publicity, 1890-1997. 5. Curriculum Materials, 1890-2015. 6. Student Materials, 1894-2015. 7. Alumni, 1890-1997. 8. Audiovisual, 1987-1990. 9. Student Records, 1890-2015.

The records are arranged in nine series, which have been further arranged into sub-series. Some of the materials in the Pratt Institute School of Information records have been relocated to the Pratt Brooklyn Archives, while others remain in the Manhattan Archives. Therefore, it was necessary to split sub-series to indicate the separate physical locations of materials. These splits are indicated by the “a” or “b” following the sub-series’ identification numbers (“Identifier” in AtoM) and the date or date range following the title of the sub-series. There were a number of instances where the sub-series was unique to one archive or the other, in which case “a” or “b” are not used in the identification number and the date or date range is left out of the title.

The series and sub-series are arranged as follows:

Series 1: Reports, 1894-2015
1.1a Institutional Reports, 1890-1974
1.1b Institutional Reports, 1984-2001
1.2a American Library Association Reports and Self-Studies, 1890-1998
1.2b American Library Association Reports and Self-Studies, 1979-1998
1.3a Miscellaneous Reports, 1913-1915
1.3b Miscellaneous Reports, 1983-1985
1.4 Institutional History

Series 2: Administration, 1890-1991
2.1 Directors' Correspondence, 1909-1954
2.2a Administrative Correspondence, 1897-1905
2.2b Administrative Correspondence, 1968-1990
2.3a Faculty and Staff, 1895-1939
2.3b Faculty and Staff, 1952-1989
2.4 Student Affairs, 1969-1975
2.7 Student Rosters, 1890-1897
2.9a Administrative Student Statistics and Job Placements, 1896-1909
2.9b Administrative Student Statistics and Job Placements, 1976-1989
2.10a Library School Advisory Committee, circa 1890
2.10b Advisory Committees, 1977-1989
2.11 Addresses to Faculty, 1922-1924
2.12a Miscellaneous Administrative Documents, 1911-1919
2.12b Miscellaneous Administrative Documents, 1972-1991
2.13 Dean’s Files, 1970-1990
2.14 Academic Affairs, 1969-1970
2.15 Fellowships and Scholarships, 1980-1989
2.16 Career Planning and Placement, 1978-1988
2.17 Fundraising, 1969-1970

Series 3: Publications, 1927-1990
3.1a Newsletters and Journal Articles, 1933; 1954
3.1b Newsletters and Journal Articles, 1970-1990
3.3a Public Presentations, 1927
3.3b Public Presentations, 1970-1993
3.4 Bulletins, 1969-1990

Series 4: Publicity, 1890-1997
4.1 Promotional Materials, 1890-1997
4.3a Newspaper Clippings
4.3b Newspaper Clippings, 1963-1987
4.4 Brochures and Pamphlets, 1963-1987

Series 5: Curriculum Materials, 1890-2015
5.1a Course Outlines and Schedules, circa 1896-1963
5.1b Course Outlines and Schedules, 1970-1989
5.2 Questionnaires and Statistics, 1895-1971
5.3a Lectures, 1894-1939
5.3b Lectures, 1959-1967
5.4a General Course Materials, 1895-1936
5.4b General Course Materials, 1972-1989
5.5 Cataloging Courses, 1890-1938
5.8 Off-Campus Trips, 1894
5.9 Continuing Education, 1969-1984
5.10 Practicums and Internships, 1986-1990
5.11 Doctoral Program, 1975-1977

Series 6: Student Materials, 1894-2015
6.1 Written Works, 1897-1975
6.3a Student Groups, 1894-1895
6.3b Student Groups, 1989
6.4 Student Newsletters, 2005-2008

Series 7: Alumni, 1890-1997
7.4 Correspondence, 1985-1986
7.6 Student Lists and Directories, 1985
7.8 Alumni Organizations, 1982-1989

Series 8: Audiovisual, 1987-1990
8.1a Photographic Materials, Undated
8.1b Photographic Materials, 1987-1990
8.2 Digital Photographic Materials, circa 1980-2008

Series 9: Student Records, 1890-2015
9.1 Pre-1945 Student Records
9.2 Post-1945 Student Records

Condiciones de acceso y uso de los elementos

Condiciones de acceso

Records designed for public use (e.g., course descriptions, faculty listings, etc.) are available to researchers upon request, with some such select records available through this online finding aid. Other records are available to researchers 20 years after creation.

The Pratt Institute School of Information On-site Archives and Special Collections is open and available for access from Monday to Thursday from 11am-3pm during the Fall and Spring semesters, by appointment only. To request materials, please contact Anthony Cocciolo at

For access to the Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus Archival Collection, please contact Paul Schlotthauer at (718) 636-3686 or at for more information.

Acceso físico

Acceso técnico


Idiomas del material

  • inglés

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Instrumentos de descripción

The Archival Records Access Policy can be found here:

Elementos de adquisición y valoración

Historial de custodia

Origen del ingreso

The School of Information administration maintained student files that contained records from the student's attendance in the program in addition to documentation of notable work accomplished in the field after graduating. A portion of these records had been recovered after being temporarily removed from Pratt Institute by a former professor in the early 1970s for a project on the history of the school that was not completed. The box was returned 16 years later. A letter from the researcher accompanied the box, detailing that it had been "swept up" with other belongings and stored in an air-conditioned storage space for the duration of that time. The letter specifies that these records were in an "Annual Reports" file. This collection will eventually be integrated back into the Records of the School of Information 1886-2001 at the Pratt Institute Archive at the Brooklyn Campus.

Valoración, selección y eliminación


Elementos de material relacionado

Existencia y localización de originales

Existencia y localización de copias

Unidades de descripción relacionadas.

Records of the School of Information 1886-2001 (PI-001)
Records of the Pratt Institute Library
Mary Wright Plummer Papers (Collection No. 006)
Josephine Adams Rathbone Papers (Collection No. 007)
Edward F. Stevens Papers (Collection No. 008)
Julia Pettee Papers (Collection No. 009)
Anne Carrol Moore Papers (Collection No. 010)

The Pratt Institute Archives
Pratt Institute Library
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

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