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Primary Source Research

Pratt Institute Archives

Student in welding studio, c.1941Pratt Institute Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to the historical records regarding Pratt Institute. The collections include a wide variety of historical papers, images, and artifacts that document the history and development of Pratt Institute, as well as the contributions and achievements of individuals and organizations associated with Pratt. The archive is open to the public by appointment. Visit the Archives page for more information.

Our collections include:

  • Institutional Records - records from the various schools that concern things like curriculum, faculty, events, and exhibits
  • Personal Papers - letters, notes, and diaries pertaining to Pratt related people such as professors, students, and presidents
  • Images - physical prints that cover a wide range of subjects
  • Vertical Files - cover a wide range of people and subjects, such as specific student groups or events
  • Publications - both official (course catalogs, newsletters) and student-run (Prattler and other magazines)

Digital Collections: 

Pratt Institute Special Collections

Pratt Institute Libraries is home to the Special Collection material that are non-circulating to Pratt libraries. The Special Collections encompasses a wide range of formats, content areas, and time periods. Materials must be paged and viewed in specially designated areas, with some exceptions. Actively collected formats that grow through a combination of collecting, gifts and transfers from elsewhere in the collection include printed books, periodicals, ephemera, folios of prints and photographs, pop-up books, artists’ books, zines, DVDs and Blu-Rays, streaming video, and digital images. The following formats are retained and preserved, but not actively collected: slides, picture files, 16mm films, and VHS tapes. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, please contact


Digitized Collections: Au Polo, Robe d'apres-midi de Worth, Planche X

Virginia Thoren Collection

Virginia Thoren graduated from Pratt Institute in 1942 and went on to work as a couture photographer. This collection consists of professional and personal shots of top models, photographs of friends and society people, landscape photographs, scrapbooks, and other personal items.

Industrial Design Department Student Work Collection

This ongoing project to document the most outstanding work created by undergraduate and graduate students in Pratt's Industrial Design Department. 

Fashion Plates Collection

The Fashion Plate Collection consists of hand-colored fashion plates from the French periodical La Gazette du Bon Ton (considered the most influential fashion magazine during its existence from 1912 to 1925) and its American edition, La Gazette du Bon Genre. 

Ex Libris Collection

The Ex Libris Collection consists of nineteenth- and twentieth-century bookplates from private and institutional libraries.

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