Discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation.

Education Mission

The New-York Historical Society Education Division provides dynamic programming and curriculum resources for students and teachers in New York and beyond. Historical study sparks curiosity and creativity, promotes cultural understanding, and fosters an empowered citizenry to strengthen our democracy. Our staff of passionate professionals draws on our world-renowned collections to engage learners of all ages in the study of our collective past.


Education programs are made possible through endowments established by
National Endowment for the Humanities
The Hearst Foundations
The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

Public funds are provided by
Institute of Museum and Library Services
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Education programs at New-York Historical receive generous support from
Gillian V. and Robert Steel
Pine Tree Foundation of New York
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Altman Foundation
The Hearst Foundation, Inc.
Sherri and Darren Cohen
Deutsche Bank
Onassis Foundation USA
Rice Family Foundation
Susan Waterfall
Robie and Scott Spector
Keith Haring Foundation
Con Edison
Alan Shuch and Leslie Himmel
Richard Reiss
Barker Welfare Foundation
Consulate General of the Netherlands
Dan W. Lufkin
Susan and Robert E. Klein
The Michael Tuch Foundation
Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation
GWG Foundation
Placer Partners and Ray Lent, Managing Partner
Henry Nias Foundation
an anonymous donor

Support the New-York Historical Society

Help us present groundbreaking exhibitions and develop educational programs about our nation's history for more than 200,000 schoolchildren annually.


The Institute will run for three weeks, from July 14 – August 2, 2017, at the New-York Historical Society. On the evening of Sunday, July 14th, we will begin with a welcome dinner and introduction to the Institute.

Each subsequent day will be divided into a morning and an afternoon session. Unless otherwise noted, morning sessions will run from 10:00-11:30 AM and afternoon sessions will run from 1:00-2:30 PM. Participants will spend afternoons from 2:45-4:45 PM in small groups exploring classroom applications for the morning sessions and engaging in discussion of the materials studied. Afternoons will also include optional library and museum research time from 3:14-4:45 PM. Optional evening field trips will be offered each week.

The sessions will provide an opportunity to either engage with historians on a particular topic, to participate in hands-on workshops around primary sources and pedagogy, or to conduct research and reading. Sessions with faculty historians will be conducted either as brief lectures followed by extended Q&A sessions and discussions or seminar-style, with primary sources integrated throughout as recommended by the scholars.

As a culminating project, participants will create a lesson plan on each conflict that they will present during a lesson plan fair on the last day of the Institute. The lesson plans should focus on scholarship covered in the Institute, integrate new primary sources and pedagogical techniques, and address relevant learning standards. The units will be posted on the Institute page of the N-YHS website. The extensive collections of the N-YHS Museum and Library that pertain to the time periods and themes in question will provide teachers with world-class resources upon which they can build their lessons. Project Co-Director Mia Nagawiecki will be available to participants throughout the Institute to provide research guidance and feedback on unit ideas and lesson plans.

For a more detailed description of the final project as well as the complete program of study, please download the syllabus.

Reading List

All readings will be mailed to participants in advance of the Institute. Sara M. Evans’s Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America, a highly-readable survey of American women’s history, will serve as the foundational text for the Institute. Chapters from the book will be assigned as an introduction to the two major conflicts and supplemental chapters for each session, listed below, will be assigned nightly and will also be provided in advance. In addition, participants will receive copies of Project Director Berkin’s Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence and Civil War Wives: The Life and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant.

  • Brown, Kathleen. “Tea Table Discourses and Slanderous Tongues: The Domestic Choreography of Female Identities” in Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
  • Brundage, W. Fitzhugh. “'Woman’s hand and heart and deathless love’: White Women and the Commemorative Impulse in the New South” in Cynthia Mills and Pamela Simpson, eds., Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003.
  • Clinton, Catherine. “Chapter 5: The Cult of Sacrifice” in Tara Revisited: Women, War, & the Plantation Legend. New York: Abbeville Press, 1995.
  • Egerton, Doug. "Hospitals and Home Fronts" in Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America. New York: Basic Books, forthcoming Nov. 2016.
  • Giesberg, Judith Ann. “In the background: The Woman’s Central Association of Relief and the United States Sanitary Commission,” Civil War Sisterhood: The U.S. Sanitary Commission. Northeastern University Press, 2017.
  • Glymph, Thavolia. "'Nothing But Deception in Them': The War Within," Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Good, Cassandra A. “Friendly Relations: Situating Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic, 1780-1830,” Gender & History, vol 24, no. 1 (2012): 18-24.
  • Gunderson, Joan R. “Independence, Citizenship and the American Revolution,” in Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
  • Hagemann, Karen, Mettele, Gisela, and Rendall, Jane eds. "Bearing Arms, Bearing Burdens: Women Warriors, Camp Followers and Home-Front Heroines of the American Revolution," in Gender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 169-187.
  • Hunter, Tera. Chapter 1: “‘Answering Bells Is Played Out’: Slavery and the Civil War” in To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016.
  • Jones, Martha S. "Something Very Novel and Strange: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Remaking of African American Public Culture," All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900. University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
  • Kelley, Mary. “The Need of Their Genius: The Rights and Obligations of Schooling,” Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
  • Mayer, Holly. “Bearing Arms, Bearing Burdens: Women Warriors, Camp Followers and Home-Front Heroines of the American Revolution,” Gender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830.
  • McCurry, Stephanie, Linda Kerber, and Jane Sherron De Hart (eds.). "Women Numerous and Armed: Politics and Policy on the Confederate Home Front" in Women's America: Refocusing the Past (8th Edition). New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Millward, Jessica. Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015.
  • Mt. Pleasant, Alyssa. “Independence for whom?: Expansion and Conflict in the Northeast and Northwest,” The World of the Revolutionary American Republic, ed. Andrew Shankman. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Morgan, Jennifer. “Afterword: Women in Early America” in Women in Early America, edited by Thomas A. Foster. New York: NYU Press, 2015.
  • Murray, Judith Sargent. "Observations on female abilities," Selected writings of Judith Sargent Murray, Sharon M. Harris (ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Pearsall, Sarah M.S. “Recentering Indian Women in the American Revolution,” Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians, eds. Susan Sleeper-Smith et al. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.
  • Warrior, Robert. “Indian,” Keywords for American Cultural Studies eds. Bruce Burgett and Glen Handler. New York: New York University Press, 2014.
  • Washington, George. “George Washington to Martha Washington,” June 18, 1775; “George Washington to Martha Washington,” June 23, 1775; “George Washington to Catherine Sawbridge Macaulay Graham,” January 9, 1790; and “Elizabeth Willing Powel to George Washington,” November 17, 1792.

Curriculum Materials

Participants will also receive copies of the below N-YHS-created classroom materials, which include a plethora of relevant primary source documents, life stories, lesson plans and activities, posters, and more.

  • The Battle of Brooklyn, 2016.
  • Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, 2018
  • Grant and Lee in War and Peace, 2008.
  • Lincoln and New York, 2009.
  • Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, 2006.
  • Women and the American Story
    • Early Encounters, 1492-1734, forthcoming 2018
    • The New Republic and Early Reformers, 1790-1860, 2017
    • Modernizing America, 1889-1920, forthcoming 2018

“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Creative: Tronvig Group