We offer free interactive workshops that teach students to analyze and think critically about historical sources and facilitate student investigation of the rich historical resources of the National Archives. Students learn how to examine primary documents, identify source perspective, cite textual evidence, and compare and contrast sources.
These workshops can be scheduled in your classroom or at other locations. We can customize each workshop to any grade level.
Slavery & Freedom
"Slavery and Freedom in Philadelphia—The Ganges" tells the compelling story of slave ships captured by the U.S. Navy in 1800, and what happened to the people on board when the ship reached Philadelphia.
"The Christiana Resistance" tells the story of an 1851 fugitive slave case from Pennsylvania that had national implications when some of those involved were charged with treason.
"Blasting through the Silence: the Allegheny Arsenal Explosion" deals with a shocking 1862 explosion in Pittsburgh that killed over 70 Civil War workers, most of whom were women and children.
"Camp William Penn" looks at African-American soldiers during the Civil War.
Reconstruction: Early Civil Rights
This workshop examines the struggle for civil rights after the Civil War. Learn about the 1875 Civil Rights Act and court cases that civil rights activists brought to try to enforce the law, including one important case in 1876 Philadelphia.
Chinese Exclusion Acts
This workshop tells the stories of the Chinese Exclusion Acts in Philadelphia, including a case involving a school in Germantown in 1921.
Family History & Genealogy
Participants will connect to history through their family history, and be introduced to census, immigration, and other historical records.
National History Day
Our collaborative NHD Philly program is part of National History Day, winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal. Workshops include an overview of NHD, connections to this year’s theme, primary and secondary source research strategies for students and teachers, and general mentoring on your students’ projects.
Find many more NHD resources on our National History Day page.