New York Postcard Collection Lantern Slide Collection The Stanley Prowler Collection The Blueprint Collection
New York Postcard Collection

The Archive’s collections have grown organically in keeping with its evolving program. In addition to its core collection of student work, 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).

Other photographic material housed in the Archive include design studio candid photos dating back to the 1890s and images of the Archive’s publications and special projects.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.