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Pratt Institute Archives: Collections and Finding Aids

The Pratt Institute Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to a wide variety of historical papers, images, and artifacts that document the history and development of Pratt Institute and its various schools, departments, programs, and activities

Collections

The collections of the Pratt Institute Archives fall into four main categories: institutional records, individual collections, images, and publications.  The current online finding aids do not represent the Archives’ entire holdings but only those collections that have been fully or minimally processed.  Additional finding aids will be added on an ongoing basis.

Institutional Records

This category represents the Institute’s various schools, departments, and internal agencies and offices, and consists of a wide variety of materials, including but not limited to annual, budget, and accreditation reports, strategic and campus plans, official memos, correspondence, newsclipping scrapbooks, and publicity materials.  Coverage in many cases is uneven, with numerous chronological gaps, and some departments are more strongly represented than others.  Collection numbers for institutional records are always prefixed with the letters PI-.

For the following collections, please contact the Archivist.

  • PI-004            Course Bulletins and Catalogs [contact Archivist for years]
  • PI-005            Prattonia [see Digitized Publications below or contact Archivist for years]
  • PI-006            Student Publications [contact Archivist for titles and years]
  • PI-007            Institute Publications [contact Archivist for titles and years]
  • PI-008            Records of the Department of Exhibitions [contact Archivist for titles and years]

Individual Collections

Collections in this category were created by persons or organizations associated in some way with the Institute, including faculty, alumni, and the Pratt family.  Materials include business and personal correspondence, memorabilia, diaries, sketches and drawings, notes and publications, sample books and other student work, textiles, and artifacts. 

Because the Archives historically has focused on Institute records, only a small number of faculty and alumni currently have individual collections.  Although there is a large collection of Charles Pratt’s personal and Institute-related papers, as well as collections for some of his children and later descendants who were involved with the Institute, the Archives does not serve as an official repository for the papers of the current Pratt family.

For the following collections, please contact the Archivist.

  • 001     Charles Pratt (founder) Papers [finding aid not yet complete]
  • 002     Charles Millard Pratt Papers [finding aid not yet complete]
  • 003     Frederic Bayley Pratt Papers [finding aid not yet complete]
  • 004     Richardson Pratt Papers [finding aid not yet complete]
  • 005     Pratt Family Papers [finding aid not yet complete]

The Archives has never collected and does not now collect papers from matriculating students.  Official student records are maintained by the Registrar’s Office

Vertical Files

The Archives maintains vertical files of folders on subjects, events, and individuals for which we do not have enough materials to warrant a separate numbered collection.  Please contact the Archivist to inquire about topics or individuals for which there are no finding aids.

Images

The Archives’ photograph collection is arranged by subject (see list below).  The earliest photos date from the late 1880s, and the bulk dates range from the late-nineteenth century through the mid-1970s.  Many are undated, and for that reason pinpointing a specific year or date range can sometimes be difficult.

Some of our images have been digitized and can be accessed on the Artstor PlatformThis collection represents only a small portion of our holdings but will expand over time as the digitization process continues.

Publications

The Archives collects Institute, student, and departmental publications.  Some of these comprise series in the collections of the departments that created them and are described in the respective finding aids for those collections (see Institutional Records).  Other publications, such as the Prattler (the student newspaper), Prattonia (the yearbook), Prattfolio (the alumni magazine), and the course catalogs, are treated as separate collections but without finding aids.  Please contact the Archivist with queries about specific publication titles and issues.

What does the Archives not collect?

  • Art.  Although some of the individual collections include samples of work, such as sketches, architectural drafts, textile and stitching sample books, ceramics, and even small building models, the Archives does not serve as a repository for paintings or three-dimensional works, such as sculpture or furniture, created by faculty and students.

Contact

Archives
Pratt Institute Library
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11205
archives-library@pratt.edu