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Cooperology: Stories from the Archives

From Jabberwocky to Jello, the Publications of Cooper Students

by Mary Mann on 2021-11-01T16:09:00-04:00 in Archives | Comments

If you tuned into NBC at 4pm on January 31, 1954, you'd have seen Burgess Meredith (aka Mickey from Rocky and Penguin from the 1960s Batman) frowning at an abstract painting. "I want a daisy that looks like a daisy," grumbles Meredith, and his companions agree. So they enlist the help of a respected artist but "NOT what you would call a modern artist" to figure out what the heck is going on with modern art, and that artist in turn brings on some young Modern artists to help: enter Dr. Seuss and six students from The Cooper Union School of Art. 

A marked-up script for this episode of Meredith's show Excursion, "Modern Art on Horseback," served as the first issue of CUAS, a publication produced by students in the Cooper Union School of Art from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s.

CUAS was one of the longest-running student-produced publications at Cooper (with the notable exception of The Pioneer newspaper). But it's far from the only one. Cooper students have been banding together to produce magazines, journals, and newsletters since at least 1904, when the first issue of The Cooper Union Monthly Magazine came out. It was primarily focused on student happenings, but subsequent publications have centered on everything from politics (On the Right; The Backyard Eagle) to humor (Jabberwocky; Tom Thumb; The Copper Onion) to literature and literary commentary (Pen Tracks; Our Fable).

The most recent addition to our collection of student publications is Union #4, a collection of five zines packaged together and published in 2021. The look, feel, and subject matter of student publications may have varied widely over the decades, but the Cooper student passion for creating published works is one thing that seems to have stayed the same. We can't wait to see what comes next!


Interested in learning more? View a guide to the Student publications on the Archives website. If you'd like to view particular materials, please reach out to us at 

Interested in supporting the preservation of Cooper history? You can become a Friend of the Cooper Union Library for as little as $25 (or as much as you want!) View our webpage on giving to the library for more information. 

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