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The Cooper Union Archives & Special Collections

The Cooper Union Archives & Special Collections supports teaching, research, administration, and service through the management of information resources created by, for, or about The Cooper Union and the Cooper Union community.

Our collections include a wide variety of manuscripts, papers, books, audio and film reels, and photographs that document the development of Cooper Union, as well as the continued contributions and achievements of our faculty, founders, and alumni. Collections documented on this site include institutional records such as leases and annual reports; documentation of student experience in the form of yearbooks and course catalogs; and the personal papers of key figures in Cooper Union history, including Peter Cooper and Abram S. Hewitt.

The Archives contain many undescribed materials, and we're always adding new collection guides. If you don't see what you're looking for here, feel free to send an email

Onsite Research: The Cooper Union Archives & Special Collections keeps the same hours as the Cooper Union Library, and does not require current students, faculty, or staff to make appointments to view archival material during these hours. Outside researchers are advised to write with the date and time of your intended visit, so access can be arranged with building security.

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive

Here, you can browse guides to the Architecture Archive's holdings and access our Student Work Collection Digital Portal.

The Architecture Archive's largest collection, the Student Work Collection, documents models and drawings selected by faculty from The Cooper Union's annual End-of-Year Exhibition, which showcases student work produced in all undergraduate and graduate design studios.

In addition to the Student Work Collection, the Archive maintains a collection of photographs and records documenting the School's exhibitions and related publications, an extensive blueprint collection of major works of architecture, a collection of thousands of 4 x 5 glass slides formerly used by Cooper Union faculty to teach History of Architecture and Town Planning, and an assortment of photographs and negatives relating to the history of New York City's waterfront. Recent acquisitions include a collection of New York City postcards donated by Joseph Covino (1999 - 2003) and a collection of travel photos taken by architect Stanley Prowler (2006).

To visit the Architecture Archive for onsite research, please submit a completed Research Request Form prior to scheduling an appointment. Request forms should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the proposed appointment date. After the request has been approved by the Archive's director, archive staff will coordinate appointment scheduling.