Class Act: Researching New York City Schools with Local History Collections

By Andy Mccarthy, Librarian II
October 20, 2014
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Students looking through microscopes in science class. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: ps_pho_cd5_59

The history of education in New York City is fraught with strikes, moral stewardship, ethnic discrimination, caritas, religious debate, political bias, Fame, and Welcome Back, Kotter. This guide will serve as a springboard for researching NYC primary and secondary school history at The New York Public Library, which includes resources for the general history of public and private education systems in the five boroughs, as well as searching for records related to individual NYC schools, public or private, and school faculty. In addition to the multitude of resources at NYPL, school collections are found in numerous outside libraries, archives, and institutions.

The history of organized education in New York City is rooted in the development between public schools and private schools. The complex and antagonistic ideologies of public and private institutions invoke the underpinning influence of politics and religion in colonial America. Researching public schools in New York traces the origins of the Board of Education, and its early predecessor, the Public School Society. Researching private schools accounts the early activity of religious institutions. Public schools are taxpayer funded and nonsectarian. Private schools are tuition-based, operated by religious groups or in accordance with a liberal arts educational philosophy, and assign a curriculum that usually reflects these beliefs and ideas.


Laying Down The Law. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 809653

Colonial Period | 1637–1783

In the colony of New Amsterdam, all systems of education were ingrained with the tenets of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1637, the Classis on Foreign Affairs, an ecclesiastical body with colonial authority headquartered in old Amsterdam, complied with a request by Director-General Wouter van Twiller, made on behalf of Everardus Bogardus, domine or minister of the colony, to secure a schoolmaster “to teach and train the youth of both Dutch and blacks, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to serve also as sexton and preceptor.” In New Amsterdam, the “preceptor,” or teacher, also assumed the duties of a psalmsetter, bell-ringer, chorister, sexton, and zieckentrooster, or “comforter of the sick.” These were church jobs. “Religion and Education were closely allied during this period in New Amsterdam,” writes Marion T. Eltonhead in Early Days of Schools and Schoolmasters in Old New York. William H. Kilpatrick, a progressive Gilded Age education reformer who taught at Teacher’s College, says that “Among the Dutch, it was the universally accepted duty of schoolmasters to teach religion through the catechism and other Dutch formularies.” The schoolmaster might also be charged with preparing sacramental holy water after composing and submitting the baptismal rolls.

The Classis appointed Adam Roelantsen, or Rolands, “a pioneer disciple of the birch and book,” who is understood as the first schoolmaster on Manhattan Island, and likely ran the school out of his house. Like many school teachers centuries later, Roelantsen kept more than one job. During his time in the colony, Roelantsen was a jailer, weighmaster, woodcutter, a private in the burgher corps, and a laundryman. Much of what is known about the former schoolmaster is found in court records recounting his legal troubles. Roelantsen sued more than once for debt obligations, and was sued more than once for slander, including the vulgar insult of the wife of his next door neighbor on Stone Street. Roelantsen was sentenced to banishment from the colony, eventually reprieved, and ordered to be publicly whipped. This was the first man in the history of New York City granted the responsibility of teaching kids to read, write, and do math.

In both the Dutch and British periods of the colony, New York lacked a public school system, and organized education fell under the domain of the church. Even private teachers, or tutors hired by families of the burgher class, were required to obtain a license from “civil and ecclesiastical authorities.” Children said prayers in between lessons, catechism was a key part of the curriculum, and the text of the Bible was employed to teach both grammar and morality. “In school,” says Kilpatrick, “the children learned to read and possibly to write, but especially how to take part intelligently in the church service.” Kilpatrick also points out that “all of the boys and some of the girls entered the writing class; but as the girls by this time were needed at home, many would stop before they learned even to write their names.”

Though “the Dutch schools of America are properly called public,” because they were open to all children and funded with “public moneys,” Kilpatrick notes that “direct tax levies for school support were not (as a rule) made, that tuition was regularly charged, and that the church had more or less voice in the management.” In modern terms, this would describe a private school.

When English powers assumed control of the colony, a short succession of Dutch schoolmasters continued to teach on behalf of the Dutch Reformed Church. Court records show that the city was consistently delinquent in paying the wages of the schoolmaster, in addition to overdue rent arrears owed the owner of the house which the city rented for classroom space. By the 1760s, the Reformed Church was hiring schoolmasters who would teach in English instead of Dutch.

The polemic between public and private schools, which would govern all policies regarding education after the American Revolution, did not agitate colonial ideologies. The Dutch Reformed Church continued as it had in New Amsterdam, even receiving a portion of school funding from the colonial government; Shearith Israel was the sole Jewish congregation in the colony; and the practice of Catholicism was nearly illegal.

In 1702, Lord Cornbury made overtures to establishing a public school, but suggested that the colonial governor should directly appoint all schoolmasters. This move incurred the disfavor of Dutch schepens whom retained a significant lineage of influence in the colony. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, a missionary group active in British colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries, oversaw educational programs in the English period, funded by the Church of England, and “the clergyman rather than the schoolmaster predominated in the classroom.” In 1709, Trinity School was founded by Trinity Church.

In 1732, an act was passed to establish a public school under the instruction of Alexander Malcolm, who in the years prior had placed exhortatory ads in the newspaper stumping for funds as an independent teacher of Math, Classical Languages, and Philosophy, “the want of which in the Education of our Youth of this place is too Evident, and it is to be feared will be more and more so, if some private hands (till the publick take it into their care) do not Interpose it.” Malcolm’s wages as public schoolmaster were derived from “the fund arising from peddlers’ licenses… and the annual tax raised in the city for the support of the ministry and the poor.”

Newspaper with the headline

Schools. Mounted clippings collection, Milstein Division, NYPL.


The seeds of the public school system of New York City were planted by the New York African Free School and took root in the Free School Society.

In 1787, the African Free School was established by the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves. Four years after the end of the War and two years before George Washington was inaugurated on Wall Street, the African Free School was instituted for the children of slaves and former slaves. The Manumission Society was headed by Continental Congress president, future NY Governor, and slaveowner, John Jay, and the trustees included several city fathers who would later form the Free School Society, in 1805, including Quaker John Murray, Jr., conscientious objector to the Revolutionary War, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and director of the Humane Society.

The African Free School began with roughly forty pupils in its original Cliff Street address. After New York abolished slavery in 1827, the system had grown to seven schools, five of which employed black instructors. The boys’ school on Mulberry Street and the girls’ school on Williams Street held a combined library collection of 650 books, and the Cabinet of Minerals and Natural Curiosities solicited specimens from alumni, “friends of science,” and “captains of vessels.”


African Free School, No. 2, New York. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 1819719

In 1802, the Association of Women Friends for the Relief of the Poor established what would prove to be an antecedent to the NYC public school. Originally co-educational but soon admitting only females, the school was open to children of poor parents who did not belong to any “religious society.” Operated by Quakers for poor children of all faiths, the “Female Association” was a prototype combining elements of private, independent, parochial and public schools. The Association incorporated in 1813 and was eligible to receive money from the common fund until 1828, when it relied on contributions and subscriptions. When the Board of Education was established, the girls’ schools were absorbed into the new system while the Female Association reorganized as a Friends charity.

The Free School Society was for poor white children of any religious background whose family was unable to afford private, paid education. The first school, in 1809, was located on Tryon Row, just northeast of City Hall, and, like its successors, insinuated patterns of instruction with a Protestant ethic. Funded by the city with a $1,000-1,5000 annuity collected from liquor tax, the school was attended without cost to the student, and implemented the Lancasterian, or Monitorial system, a recent advent of education reform in Great Britain.

The Free School was separate from the African School, admitting only white children, but operated upon similar ideas of charity, religious indiscrimination, and the public good. It was the belief of the early city fathers that education for the poor was equally beneficial to society as the education of the rich. “The fundamental error of Europe has been to confine the light of knowledge to the wealthy,” said ten-term NYC Mayor DeWitt Clinton, President of the Free School Society and the American Bible Society. “Here, no privileged orders—no hereditary nobility—no established religion—no royal prerogatives exist, to interpose barriers between the people, and to create distinct classifications in society.”

Children were admitted “without distinction of sect or circumstance.” In addition, the Free School also eliminated the social stigma of accepting handouts. “Many children are but badly educated,” claimed an 1825 Free School tract, “because their parents are too poor to send them to good pay schools, and too proud to send them to Charity Schools.” The word “charity” is “associated in the minds of the people with the ideas of reproach.” From 1812 to 1824, these religious “charity schools,” which did not charge tuition, were allowed a portion of public money known as the common school fund.


Arthur Evans in Board of Education picket line. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 1605879

In 1800, St. Peter’s Church was the only Catholic school in the city, until 1817, when Bishop John Connolly formed a free school in the basement of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mulberry Street. Other charity schools in early 1800s Manhattan were run by a multitude of denominations, including Presbyterians, Quakers, Jews, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Baptists.

In 1823, the Free School accused the Bethel Baptist School of hiring inept teachers for cheap pay in order to procure a greater surplus of public money to use for religious, non-educational purposes, which was forbidden. Claiming that New York was the only city in the state where religious schools received common funds, the Society succeeded in having the law repealed, and the next year changed its name to the Public School Society. Catholic committees unsuccessfully petitioned the Board of Alderman “that our civil and religious rights are abridged and injuriously affected by the operation of the Common School System,” and Bishop “Dagger John” Hughes fulminated against the Society as a “soulless corporation” which “used every artifice and means in its power to vilify and defame us and our principles.” Abundant information regarding this brouhaha, including speeches and source texts, is found in History of the Public School Society, published in 1870 and reprinted 100 years later in conjunction with the New York Times.


St. Patrick's Church.  NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: G91F200_034F

The Board of Education was formed in 1842, comprised of 34 popularly elected commissioners, in the same year as the passage of the Maclay Bill, which prohibited denominational religious instruction in public school classrooms. Bishop Hughes would inaugurate the parochial school system, and by the 1880s, the diocese was promising one school for every parish in Manhattan.

The African Free School was incorporated into the Public School Society, which in 1853 merged with the Board of Education and deposited its papers at the New York Historical Society. The Society claimed to have educated 600,000 children since 1805, and looked forward promisingly to when “all the public schools of the city will then own one common head.”

From 1842 up to consolidation of the five boroughs, city education operated by the “ward school” system, where a local board of trustees oversaw schools in their respective wards with little deference to the authority of the central Board of Education. After the Civil War, the system was one of many municipal departments subject to the marionette strings of William “Boss” Tweed, the notorious globular sachem of Tammany Hall. Tweed was part of the Committee on School Furniture, no doubt steeped in kickbacks for reading tables and chalkboards. Citizen complaints abounded that most ward trustees “have not even a conception of grammar” and “murder the People’s English” while habitually frequenting “groggeries.”


Public schools. Ward School No. 2 Henry Street, Seventh Ward. Digital Collections, Image ID: 1659346

By the turn of the 20th century, options for schooling had broadened significantly in New York City. The last segregated “colored school” was closed in 1900. High school diplomas were soon an accepted requirement for many jobs, and females could expect to achieve equal opportunities for learning as men. Former Board of Ed. president Johanna H. Lindlof was a P.S. 18 graduate appointed by Mayor LaGuardia in 1936 after a 35 year teaching career; and Bella V. Dodd, a firebrand ex-Communist legal representative for the Teacher’s Union, graduated from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. By 1930, the Board of Education oversaw 810 schools in the five boroughs from headquarters at 500 Park Avenue.

The Teacher’s League had been formed in 1912 by Jamaica High School biology instructor Henry R. Linville and Columbia University philosophy professor John Dewey, serving as the progenitor of organized labor action by NYC teachers. The foremost personality in the creation of the United Federation of Teachers, in 1960, was Albert Shanker, a high school teacher in Astoria. Annual city spending on public schools had skyrocketed from $250 million after WWII to $1.1 billion, and in 1962 Shanker gained the largest pay increase for teachers in NYC public school history, reaching nearly $1,000. In 1967-68, teachers’ strikes pitted the UFT against the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school district, igniting pugnacious debates over issues of racial discrimination in hiring practices and community control of school administration. Black power groups, Jewish intellectuals, the Ford Foundation, and civil rights organizations like CORE and SNCC were among the parties stoking the fires of the highly divisive fracas. By 1970 decentralization initiatives led to the creation of the community school board, which sought authority over local schools by neighborhood representatives.

In 2010, The Encyclopedia of New York claimed that two-thirds of private city schools dated between 1880-1930. New York City is home to the largest school system in the United States, descended over 350 years ago from a loudmouth laundryman who escaped public torture and comforted the sick.

"I hate the teachers and the principal / Don't wanna be taught to be no fool…"

The Ramones, alumni of Forest Hills High School

Newspaper clipping with the headline

Schools. Mounted clippings collection, Milstein Division, NYPL.

NYPL Resources

For the many resources and collections at NYPL which inform school research, get started by using the Subject Heading Explorer to browse the NYPL research catalog. Below are suggested subject headings to use for an initial search of library and archival materials related to school history in the NYPL catalog:

General schools

  • Education -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Education -- New York (State) -- New York – History.
  • Education -- New York (State) -- New York -- Periodicals.
  • Education, Secondary -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Education and state -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Education, Urban -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • High schools -- New York (State) -- New York .
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Schools
  • School management and organization -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Schools -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Teachers – New York (State) – New York.

Public Schools

  • New York City Public Schools.
  • New York (N.Y.). Department of Education.
  • New York (N.Y.). Board of Education.
  • New York (N.Y.). Board of Education -- Periodicals.
  • Public Schools -- New York (State) -- New York.

Private Schools

  • New York (N.Y.) -- Schools (Private).
  • Private schools -- New York (State) -- New York
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Schools (Sectarian).

Race and Ethnicity

  • African Americans -- Education -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Discrimination in education -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Jews -- Education -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Minorities -- Education -- New York (State) – New York.
  • New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves.


  • Education -- New York (State) -- New York -- Directories.
  • High schools -- New York (State) -- New York -- Directories.
  • Private schools -- New York (State) -- New York -- Directories.
  • Public schools -- New York (State) -- New York -- Directories.

Also, for lists of schoolteachers, in addition to the above NYPL subject headings:

  • The Civil List is a list of city employees; for more details, see the section on the Civil List in our division's guide to researching The City Record.  Teachers are included in the Civil List after 1900.  From 1881 to 1899, employees of the Board of Education, including teachers, appeared in a separate list  published in The City Record , typically between January 10th and 15th, as a result of a budget reduction law .

NYPL Archives and Manuscripts collections feature numerous personal papers and materials related to figures who taught in New York City schools, worked for the school system, or were involved in some way with public or private education in the five boroughs. For example, the results of a subject search using “Teachers -- New York (State) -- New York” will include the papers of Gertrude Elise McDougal Ayer, the single African-American public school principal in NYC from 1936—1961. Alternatively, it is also useful to keyword or subject search a specific name or school, which may result in primary sources related to the institution, like the P.S. 93 record book, 1892-1941, or Colored School No. 1, founded in 1827 in the Fort Greene Section of Brooklyn.

The Department of Education also superintends nine “specialized high schools,” like Stuyvesant High School or Bronx High School of Science, which require high scores on an admissions exam. Also, several private liberal arts schools in the city are nonsectarian, like Dalton or the Spence School. In addition to the primary or secondary resources that may be available at NYPL, and depending on the scope of research, it is sometimes advisable to contact directly the library of the school itself, whether private, like Poly Prep in Brooklyn, or public, like Staten Island Technical High School.

Depending on the subject at hand, below is a list of phrases related to NYC school history that are recommended to keyword search in the catalog:

  • Board of Education
  • Charity schools
  • Common schools
  • Community School Board
  • “Corporate School” was a 19th century term used for child welfare institutions, such as orphan asylums, juvenile delinquent homes, and girls’ homes.
  • Denominational schools
  • Department of Education
  • Female Association
  • School for Young Ladies
  • Independent schools
  • Regents of the University of the State of New York
  • Teachers League
  • Teachers Guild
  • United Federation of Teachers
  • Ward Schools

For the origins and early history of the school system in New York City, reference books, encyclopedic New York history books, and primary source compilations are rich with historical material and citation information.

The six volume gargantua of New York City history, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909, provides a chronology in microscopic detail of the colonial origins of New Amsterdam, and often references The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674, which seven volumes were republished for the Bicentennial in 1976. Valentine’s Manual of Old New York, published annually between 1916—1928, is chockfull of facts, local color, folklore, reminiscences, and illustrations. New York Panorama is a comprehensive overview of the metropolis in 1938, presented in a series of articles prepared by the Federal Writers' Project, and written in lively, intimating, subjective prose. Likewise, in the early 1940s, the Works Progress Administration put together a multi-volume guide to church archives, with location information, content details, and a complete lists of schools according to denomination.

Annual volumes of the official directory of the City of New York date back as early as 1918, and since 1985 have been referred to as The Green Book.

Doggett's The Great metropolis, or New York (1845), and its succeeding issues for the late 1840s through early 1850's, is a pre-Civil War municipal directory, along with New-York As It Is (1833-1840). The Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, akin to the Green Book, features data compiled by the Clerk of the Common Council from the 1840s through the 1870s, and serves as a municipal directory of city services, officials, departments, statistics, text of the city charter and charter revisions, and school lists. Some volumes of the Manual are also available online. The Handbook of American Private Schools might also be a useful directory, covering all U.S. states.

Directories related to the Board of Education, as noted above, can be found under the subject Education -- New York (State) -- New York -- Directories. Similar Board of Ed. information might be found in the City Register section of NYC city directories, in addition to a list of public and private schools. However, private school listings in city directories are sometimes incomplete, include post-secondary schools, and only represent a portion of total private schools in the city in a subject year. Since private schools are often affiliated with a religious institution, the city directory should also be consulted for a list of houses of worship for a specific denomination, which can then be cross-referenced to determine if school records associated with the institution might exist.

Schools. Mounted clippings collection, Milstein Division, NYPL.

Yearbooks and Student Publications

Plentiful sources of information, packed with photos, and usually difficult to find, yearbooks are a common subject of research inquiry. NYPL holds numerous collections of yearbooks for New York secondary schools, like the 1940-1949 run of Maroon & Orange, the yearbook of former community school Benjamin Franklin H.S. on Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem. Technical schools, colleges, and national and international schools round out the yearbooks in NYPL collections, findable in the catalog using subject searches that begin with the name of the specific school: [NAME OF SCHOOL] (New York, N.Y.) -- Students -- Yearbooks.

Also, note the Brooklyn Yearbook Collection, 1849-2016 at the Center for Brooklyn History

Digital databases are also good sources for yearbooks: 

An archival complement to yearbooks are student publications, including literary magazines, journals edited by students, or alumni newsletters. The collections at NYPL are best tracked by subject searching the catalog:

  • High school students' writings, American -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Schools -- Student publications -- United States.
  • High schools -- New York (State) -- New York – Periodicals.

And the Center for Brooklyn History holds a Brooklyn High School Newspaper Collection, 1937-1975.

Resources Outside of NYPL

The Guide to the Records of the New York City Board of Education, published in 2008, is an exhaustive, finely detailed, 165-page finding aid for researching the archives of the New York City public school system. See the introduction for information on where the materials were obtained and the collection process conducted by the Department of Records and Information Services. The collection, in addition to a collection of Curriculum Materials, are accessible at the Municipal Archives at 31 Chambers Street.

The Board of Education restructured in 2002 as the Department of Education, and the current records and document repository of the DOE is the Staten Island Archive Center. Note that the retention schedules for SIAC fall mostly within the prior ten years.

School data from roughly 1995 to the present is made available by the Dept. of Education and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives holds 325 boxes devoted to the United Federation of Teachers. Additional UFT materials can be found in the collections at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.

A bulk of records devoted to the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves is held at the New York Historical Society. Many records of the African Free School (1817-1832) have been digitized and made freely available online.

The Center for Brooklyn History holds a Brooklyn Schools Collection, which includes school publications, yearbooks, ephemera, administrative papers, and other archival materials. The New York State Documents collection at the New York State Library might be a worthwhile resource for public and private school materials.

Reach Out to the Milstein Division at NYPL

Any questions? Be sure to reach out to reference librarians in the Milstein Division at


Happy old school days. Image ID: 1165519



Address of the Roman Catholics to their fellow citizens of the city and state of New York. New-York, 1840.

Andrews, Charles C. The history of the New-York African free-schools, from their establishment in 1787, to the present time : embracing a period of more than forty ... New York, 1830. 145pp.

Boese, Thomas, Clerk of the Board. Public education in the city of New York: its history, condition and statistics. New York, 1869.

Bourne, William Oland. History of the Public School Society of the City of New York: with portraits of the presidents of the Society. NY: Wm. Wood & Co., 1870 . Arno Press, reprint 1970.

Cannato, Vincent. The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York. NY: Basic Books, 2001.

Clinton, Dewitt / Campbell, W.W. (ed.) The life and writings of De Witt Clinton. NY: Baker and Scribner, 1849.

A compilation of the laws relating to common schools, applicable to the city and county of New-York, New-York: Press of M. Day & Co., 1842.

Dolan, Jay P. The Immigrant Church: New York's Irish and German Catholics, 1815-1865. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.

Dodd, Bella V. School of Darkness. NY: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1954.

Dunshee, Henry Webb. History of the school of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church in the city of New York: from 1633 to 1883. NY: Print of the Aldine Press, 1883.

Edgell, Derek. The Movement for Community Control of New York City’s Schools, 1966-1970. Lewiston, NY; Ontario; Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.

Education of Negroes in New York: research studies / compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in New York City, for "Negroes of New York" (1937-1940).

Eltonhead, Marion. “Early Days of Schools and Schoolmasters in Old New York.” Valentine’s Manual of Old New York. 1924.

Fernow, Berthold (ed.) The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini. Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co. 1976.

Free School Society of New York. Manual of the Lancasterian system, of teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, and needle-work, as practised in the schools of the Free-School Society of New-York. NY, 1820.

Free School Society of New York. On the establishment of public schools in the city of New-York. New York, 1825.

Kahlenberg, Richard D. Tough Liberal. NY: Columbia University Press, 2007.

Kilpatrick, William Heard (1912) The Dutch schools of New Netherland and colonial New York.

Memorials presented to the Legislature in the session of 1823 praying the repeal of the section of a law granting peculiar privileges to the ... New York, 1823.

Mohl, Raymond A. “Education as Social Control in New York City, 1784-1825.” New York History, Vol. 51, No. 3 (April 1970), pp. 219-237.

New York Panorama. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration in New York City. NY: Random House, 1938.

The New York State Association of Independent Schools.

Pantoja, Segundo. Religion and Education among Latinos in New York City. Boston: Brill, 2005.

Podair, Jerald E. The Strike That Changed New York. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Pratt, John W. “Religious Conflict in the Development of the New York City Public School System.” History of Education Quarterly. Vol. 5, No. 2, Jun, 1965.

Public School Society of New-York. An address of the trustees of the Public School Society in the city of New-York to their fellow citizens, respecting the extension of their ... New-York, 1828.

Public School Society of New-York. Dissolution of the Public School Society of New-York: being the report of the committee appointed to make the necessary arrangements et. al. NY: Commercial Advertiser, 1853.

Ravitch, Diane. The great school wars, New York City, 1805-1973; a history of the public schools as battlefield of social change. NY: Basic Books, 1974.

Stokes, I.N. Phelps. The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909. NY: Robert H. Dodd, 1915-1928.

Sutton. R. Debate before the Common Council on the Catholic petition respecting the common school fund and the public school system of education in New York City. NY Freeman’s Journal, 1840.

Sutton, R. The important and interesting debate on the claim of the Catholics to a portion of the common school fund: with the arguments of counsel before the Board of Aldermen of the city of New-York. NY Freeman’s Journal, 1840.

Teachers' manual to be used in the Catholic schools of the New York diocese

The Tribune Monthly. “The public schools of New York; a complete description and history of each public school in the city, with the names of the commissioners of education, school inspectors and trustees, principals and teachers and of many present pupils, forming the only accurate and complete account in existence of the New York public schools ...” 1896.

Van Vechten, Emma. “Early Schools & Schoolmasters.” Knickerbocker Press. Half Moon Series, 1898.

United Federation of Teachers 1960-2010.