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Pratt Institute Archives Photograph Collection

 Collection
Identifier: PI-photo

Scope and Contents

Dating mainly from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, the Photograph Collection documents the history and creative output of Pratt Institute, an institution that has stood since 1887 as an important cultural and educational presence in Brooklyn and the greater New York area. Included are images of the campus grounds and buildings; official events and activities; student life; notable individuals, including the Institute’s founder and his family; and student work. The collection is primarily made up of photographs, though there are a few postcards, and most items are undated.

Photographs of the campus include aerial photographs, campus views, and photos of the Institute’s many historically and architecturally significant buildings, including those designed by Lamb and Rich, Howells and Stokes, Babb, Cook, and Willard, and McKim, Mead, and White. The library, designed by William B. Tubby with interiors by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, is particularly well represented; photos include exterior and interior shots, depicting staff and researchers at work and an active children’s room, as well as views of the library park. The collection documents the Institute’s evolution from an urban school situated on city streets to a private, landscaped campus.

The Photograph Collection also provides a rich view of the activities and artistic pursuits of the Pratt community. Photographs from the first several decades of the Institute’s existence document important figures, including members of the Pratt family and early faculty; classes and student work in courses such as cookery, dressmaking, engineering, and architecture; and other Institute activities like athletics, exhibitions, clubs, and official events. Later class photographs include much of the same, while reflecting the school’s changing educational offerings and the influence of larger historical and cultural moments.

Dates

  • 1874-2015

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Extent

5830 Photographic Prints (Approximately 250 folders and 10 oversize boxes)

Abstract

Dating mainly from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, the Photograph Collection documents the history and creative output of the Pratt community and its environment. Included are images of the campus grounds and buildings, some of which are noted for their interesting architectural features; official events and activities; student life; notable individuals, including the Institute's founder and his family; and student work. Digitized photographs are available on Artstor (https://library.artstor.org/#/collection/87729432).

Arrangement

The photograph collection is organized by subject and arranged alphabetically. All photographs over 8 x 14” are in oversize housing.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was compiled from various sources over the years. Some photographs bear the stamp of the Pratt Institute Photography Department. Many others likely came into the archives as part of textual records acquired from institutional departments and individuals, and were separated due to their format.

Existence and Location of Copies

Select photographs from the collection have been digitized and are available electronically.

Related Materials

The Pratt Institute Archives holds several image collections in other formats, including glass plate negatives, photographic negatives, and color slides. Many of these are available digitally through the Pratt Institute Archives Image Collection on Artstor. Photographs can also be found in some processed collections and vertical files.
Title
Guide to the Pratt Institute Archives Photograph Collection
Author
Finding aid written by Rebecca Pou.
Date
2019
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Pratt Institute Archives Repository

Contact:
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11205 United States
718-687-5381