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Guide to the Bank Street College Archives

Collection Overview

Title: Bank Street College Archives
Dates: 1916-2006
Language of Material: English
Location: Bank Street College Archives New York, NY Preferred Citation: Record Group #, Box #, Bank Street College Archives, New York, NY

Administrative History

In 1984, Bank Street entered into an agreement with the Milbank Memorial Library of Teachers College, Columbia University to serve as a repository for the records of Bank Street College of Education. Bank Street's papers were transferred and organized by the staff of Special Collections at Milbank Memorial Library with support from Bank Street and Teachers College faculty. Due to the closing of Milbank's Special Collections, the records were returned to Bank Street in 2003. Assistance with research questions is available by contacting the Archivist /Special Collections Librarian Lindsey Wyckoff. The Archivist will respond to research requests submitted by email, phone or mail or a visit to the Archives may be arranged in advance. Please note that due to the sensitive nature of their contents, access to certain records may be restricted.


Bank Street College of Education, founded in 1916 as the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE), has had a major impact on the development of education in the twentieth century. The current name of the college was taken from its previous location in Greenwich Village, NY at 69 Bank Street. In the circle of early childhood educators, the name "Bank Street" has come to mean an approach to the education of children that emphasizes child development and interaction, a tutorial method of educating teachers and a philosophy that highlights human and social values. Lucy Sprague Mitchell, along with her husband Wesley Clair Mitchell and Harriet Johnson, founded the Bureau of Educational Experiments. Their purpose was to combine expanding psychological awareness with democratic conceptions of education. With a staff of researchers and teachers, the Bureau set out to study children--to find out what kind of environment was best suited to their learning and growth, to create that environment, and to train adults to maintain it. Their mission has guided the development of Bank Street from a single experimental bureau to a multi-faceted organization that includes a Graduate School of Education, a School for Children and a Division of Continuing Education. Along the way, Bank Street has produced books, software and television programs, developed model outreach programs, and served as a consultant to government agencies, public schools, community organizations and private institutions.

Scope and Content Note

The records of Bank Street College of Education document administrative activities, teaching, research, and outreach programs of the College and its predecessor, the Bureau of Educational Experiments, from the founding of the Bureau in 1916 through the 1990s. The collection is divided into record groups based on the organizational structure of the College. They are:

Record Group 1: Board of Trustees

Record Group 2: Office of the President
Record Group 3: Finance and Administration
Record Group 4: Institutional Advancement
Record Group 5: Graduate Programs
Record Group 6: Children's Programs
Record Group 7: Continuing Education (unprocessed)
Record Group 8: Research Division (unprocessed)
Record Group 9: Field Services and Leadership Development (unprocessed)
Record Group 10: Faculty and Staff Papers
Record Group 11: Project Follow Through

Please note that due to the sensitive nature of their contents, access to certain records may be restricted.