The National Archives at Boston

Summer Institute for Educators at the
National Archives & Records Administration

Jun. 24-25, 2013 Fighting for Freedom at Home & On the Front: Boston’s Struggle to End Slavery.

Boston’s Struggle for Freedom is celebrated in 2-day workshop for teachers. Conducted jointly with the National Park Service African American National Historic Site. June 24 in Boston; June 25 in Waltham.;

The National Park Service African American Historic Site in Boston and the National Archives at Boston in Waltham cordially invite you to participate in the 2013 Summer Institute “Fighting for Freedom at Home and on the Front: Boston’s Struggle for Freedom, 1806 – 1865.” The two- day institute takes place Mon. June 24, 2013 and Tues. June 25, 2013. The program is free; $100 reservation fee to National Archives Gift Fund will be refunded upon your showing up! Ten PDPs will be awarded upon completion of the course requirements. To register:

From 1806-1865, people of Boston fought for the end of slavery. Boston’s established free black community centered on Beacon Hill and the city’s loud voices of justice would yield safe havens for fugitive slaves, resistance and defiance of the fugitive slave law, literary masterpieces, our first integrated school, and a heritage of fighting for freedom of which we should all be proud. This would culminate in the mustering 150 years ago this year of the first all-volunteer troops of African descent, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Colored).

A $100 fully refundable application fee is required to reserve your spot at the Institute. This deposit will be reimbursed in its entirety to all participants at the end of the institute. Checks should be made payable to the Foundation for the National Archives.

Topics will include Boston’s resistance to slavery, the freedom and abolition movements, and the mustering of the 54th Mass. Volunteer Infantry (Colored). It is suitable for teachers of all grade levels K-College.

On Monday, June 24th, we shall explore place, that is, the locations in Boston, where our African American community flourished in the early part of the 19 th- century, fugitive slaves were protected, our first de-segregated school was established, and we’ll visit the African Meeting House. Scholar Stephen Kantrowitz, author of More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889, will be our keynote lecturer.

On Tuesday, June 25th, we shall be at the National Archives in Waltham, MA, where we will focus on research and strategies for teaching and learning. Participants will work with original documents pertaining to fugitive slave cases of Anthony Burns, Shadrach Minkins, and Ellen & William Craft. We shall also explore the stories of the 54 th MA, and we’ll work together to identify materials and methods for teaching these inspiring and important stories.

Lead instructors are Dorothy Rivera, National Park Service, and Annie Davis, National Archives.

July 22-26, 2013 Primarily Teaching: Original Documents and Classroom Strategies.

Learn about resources, use original records, conduct original research; create materials for teaching & learning. $100 materials fee; stipend provided upon successful completion of course requirements. Graduate credit available. For information: reply to this email or contact

To register:

Primarily Teaching provides in depth exposure to the resources of the National Archives at Boston:  about half of the time is spent in a workshop setting and half is spent in independent research. You will prepare lesson plans, scan documents and create online activities in, and share your ideas to the class. The course is limited to ten participants.

For 2013, Primarily Teaching will have a national theme—Rights and Responsibilities— matching that of National History Day in 2014. You'll choose a more specific research topic that fits within this broader theme. Participation in the National History Day competition is not required.

Digitization of the documents you uncover in your research will be our priority. You will find between 3 and 5 items (documents, photos, maps, etc.) to scan and describe. We will add these to our online tool for teaching with documents—— while participants are onsite. During the workshop, you'll produce a DocsTeach learning activity using your digitized materials.

The logistics are summarized below.

  • The program runs July 22-26, 8:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. at Waltham, MA.
  • Registration is $100 payable to the Foundation for the National Archives.
  • To hold your space, your registration fee must be received by May 31, 2013.
  • A stipend will be awarded upon successful completion of requirements and full attendance. Typically it more than covers the cost of enrollment.
  • Graduate credit information will be forthcoming.
  • Professional Development Points for Massachusetts with a certificate of participation are awarded (40 pdp's) upon successful completion of requirements and full attendance.
  • Research projects must utilize original records from the National Archives at Boston. The holdings here in Waltham are those of federal government agencies operating in New England 1790-present: civil and criminal US district courts, Army Corps of Engineers, Portsmouth (NH) and Boston Navy Yards, weather, forests, federal buildings...

If your desired project is on, say, the Hoover Dam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, McCarthy-ism/HUAC, Native Peoples … those records are probably not in the holdings of the National Archives at Boston (Waltham, MA). You would either find their physical location and apply to Primarily Teaching there, OR re-think your project.

If your desired project is on, say, Boston School Desegregation, Chinese Exclusion, Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam era Draft Resistance, New England slavery, New England maritime history . . . and more . . . oh boy, do we have a lot of material!

Therefore, review the holdings of the National Archives at Boston as you shape your project. Email with questions and ideas.

Submit your research topic by June 15, 2013. This would be no more than one paragraph. The archivists will identify sets of records that you’ll use in your research.

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