The National Archives at New York City

 

Hands-On Archives: Exploring America's Diversity

The National Archives at New York City offers free, curriculum-based, student field trips for schools, camps, and others to learn about the diverse past of the United States through our rich primary sources.

In the Hands-On Archives: Exploring America's Diversity student field trip, participants learn about the diverse history of the United States through Passenger Arrival records, Census records and Naturalization records of real life Americans.

During the field trip, students serve as detectives looking for clues about an individual's life through the documents that tell their story. The lives of every day Americans such as Florence Campbell, a 13 year old student from Panama, and Max Garber, a butter and eggs merchant from Russia, help highlight the ways of life of millions of New York City residents. Students will gain important historical analysis tools and will also learn about the types of documents available for their own personal family history research.

Participants in this research experience will also receive a tour and overview of other important historical documents held by the National Archives.

Note: The Hands-On Archives program can be customized to explore a diverse variety of ethnicities in the New York City area. Contact us to find out more details

For more information, contact the the National Archives at New York City at newyork.archives@nara.gov

Reserving a Tour

To find out more about the Hands-On Archives: Exploring America's Diversity student field trip, email the National Archives at New York City, or call 1-866-840-1752. To schedule a field trip, complete the
registration form and return it via fax (212-401-1638) or newyork.archives@nara.gov.

Hands-On Archives: Exploring America's Diversity
Pre-visit Activities & Requirements

We are delighted that you are interested in bringing your students to participate in the Hands-On Archives student field trip.

Before you contact the National Archives at New York City, please read the following:

The Hands-On Archives field trip works best when your students come prepared.

  1. Vocabulary Lists: Be familiar with certain vocabulary words related to immigration and archives.

  2. Discussing Immigration: After discussing immigration in general, ask your class if any students were immigrants themselves. If willing, ask them to share their experience of immigrating to the country. Questions could include:
    • Why did their family decide to leave their native country?
    • What did their family bring with them from their native country? (This could include both physical and intangibles)

    After this discussion (or if there are no children that have experienced immigration in the class), ask the entire class to make a list of what they would bring with them if they were going to live in another country. After student begin designing their lists, tell students that they could only bring what they can physically carry to help them prioritize and limit their lists. After this activity, discuss the different lists and have students explain their reasoning behind their choices. Follow-up with questions such as:

    • Do you think it was hard to limit the items you brought? Why or why not?
    • If you could only bring one item to the new country, what would it be? Why?

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The National Archives at New York City >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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