The New York School of Interior Design Launches Archive and Special Collections Online Catalog

New York, NY – February 14, 2018 – The New York School of Interior Design is proud to announce the launch of the NYSID Archives & Special Collections’ online archives catalog.  Administered under the NYSID Library, the NYSID Archives & Special Collections was founded in 2013 in anticipation of NYSID’s centennial celebration (1916-2016) and in response to recognition that there has been little to no collection of material dedicated to the pedagogy and/or business of interior design.

In keeping with the mission of the College, the Archives’ focus is both on academic study and professional practice.  As the oldest college in the country devoted to the subject, the NYSID Institutional Archives helps document the history and evolution of the school and the field of interior design. Initially founded as a Home Study Course in the Decorative Arts in 1916 by architect Sherrill Whiton, NYSID now offers nine degree-granting programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including Masters of Professional Studies in Sustainable Interior Environments, Interior Lighting Design and Healthcare Interior Design.  The Interior Design Special Collections are comprised of the archives of interior designers, design firms, and interior design publications.  The collection material dates roughly from the turn of the 20th century to the present day and is representative of the broad range of work interior designers engage in from large-scale international hospitality projects to local historic renovations, textile and product design, and the designs of displays and exhibitions.  Materials include drawings and renderings, photographs, project specifications, correspondence, magazine and newspaper clippings, and ephemera.  

Though a relatively unexplored genre of the archival materials, interior design archives communicate far more than the specifications of a room – materials speak to a variety of disciplines such as the history of business and fashion, material culture, anthropology, and urban studies, including especially the history of New York City.  As one of the few professions women entered and dominated in the early to mid-20th century, scholars of women’s history may also find these collections to be of interest, as they document the activities of women who sought out higher education, established their own businesses, and published articles and books. 

Some highlights from the collections include:

  • Photographs, correspondence and planning materials related to the 1964 Milan Triennale:   the first of the exhibitions in which the United States officially participated.  NYSID Institutional Archives.
  • A photograph album belonging to fashion designer Claire McCardell (1905-1958): It includes personal photographs dating from her childhood through the end of her career.
    Sarah Tomerlin Lee and Tom Lee Collection.
  • Architectural drawings, interior renderings, and project specifications for several InterContinental Hotel projects around the world, including Lusaka, Zambia (1964), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1976), Bogota, Columbia (1960s), and Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia (1960s). 
    Joseph Grusczak A.S.I.D & William DeGraff Collection.
  • Sarah Tomerlin Lee’s correspondence, speeches and editorials as Editor-in-Chief of House Beautiful (1965-1971).
    Sarah Tomerlin Lee and Tom Lee Collection
  • Photographs and press related to several Burge-Donghia interiors, including the world headquarters of PepsiCo, completed in 1972 and located in Purchase, New York.
    Yale R. Burge Antiques & Interiors Collection.
  • Business cards of NYSID alums from the 1940s and 1950s advertising interior design services at department stores across the country, as well as the opening of their firms or studios.
    NYSID Institutional Archives. 
  • Tom Lee’s drawings and photographs of parades and costumes for New York City’s Golden Jubilee Parade, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of the five boroughs.Sarah Tomerlin Lee and Tom Lee Collection.
  • A 1945 U.S. military publication, The Engineer Model Makers Detachment, detailing the work of the model making unit as part of Intelligence operations during WWII, of which Yale Burge was a member.
    Yale R. Burge Antiques & Interiors Collection.

Still in its nascency, the NYSID Archives & Special Collections actively seeks materials from interior designers, firms, professional organizations, as well as NYSID-related material of all kinds.  For more information about what we collect, please see our webpage on Donating Your Materials

We invite you to learn more about our collections, and to search or browse the catalog.  The NYSID Archives & Special Collections is open to the public by appointment. To make an appointment or for more information, please contact Nora Reilly, Archivist/Assistant Librarian,, 212-452-4196.


About New York School of Interior Design
New York School of Interior Design is a private, nonprofit college focused exclusively on interior design. The college offers certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs for students at all stages of their careers—whether they’re just becoming familiar with the discipline, considering a career change, or looking to deepen knowledge in a particular area. Consistently ranked one of the top interior design programs in the United States, students study both residential and commercial interior design, some with specialties in sustainable design, lighting, and healthcare interiors. NYSID students enjoy a small class size and sharp focus, a great deal of personal attention from dedicated faculty, and they go on to practice at the highest levels of the profession. To learn more, visit


Press ReleasePhyllis Greer