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

Public funding provided by:
Institute for Museum and Library Services
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

Important support provided by:
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Ford Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Altman Foundation
Deutsche Bank
The Pinkerton Foundation
Barker Welfare Foundation
The Keith Haring Foundation
The Bay and Paul Foundations
The Alice Lawrence Foundation
The Henry Nias Foundation
Fred and Joan Pittman


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The Institute will run for three weeks, from July 16 – August 2, 2017, at the New-York Historical Society. On the evening of Sunday, July 16th, 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 9:30-11:30 AM and afternoon sessions will run from 12:30-2:30 PM. Participants will be split into three groups and small group work will take place from 2:45-3:15 PM, including dedicated library and museum research time from 2:45-4:45 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 up 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 at least one lesson plan per war under study in the Institute that they will present in 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 Library and Museum 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.

Schedule at a Glance

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 each week’s conflict and supplemental readings for each session, chapters from the books listed below, will be assigned nightly and will also be provided in advance.

  • Als, Hilton (2015, March 9). “Boys in the Band: A musical about the Founding Fathers.” The New Yorker.
  • Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence. New York: Knopf, 2005.
  • Berkin, Carol. Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant. New York: Knopf, 2009.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hartmann, Susan. Chapter 3, “Women in Uniform.” in The Homefront and Beyond: American Women in the 1940s. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1983.
  • Honey, Maureen. “Introduction,” Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999.
  • Honey, Maureen. “Chapter One,” Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda during World War II. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.         
  • 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.
  • Jensen, Kimberley. "Volunteers, Auxiliaries, and Women's Mobilization: The First World War and Beyond (1914–1939)" in by Barton C. Hacker and Margaret Vining, eds. A Companion to Women's Military History. BRILL, 2012. pp 189-231.
  • Kiernan, Denise. "Introduction: Everything Will Be Taken Care Of," The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.
  • McCurry, Stephanie, Kerber, Linda, and Sherron De Hart, Jane (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.
  • Murray, Judith Sargent and Harris, Sharon M (eds.). "Observations on female abilities" in Selected writings of Judith Sargent Murray. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. [Primary Source]
  • Rowbotham, Shelia. "The Second World War and its Aftermath: The United States," in A Century of Women. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.
  • Zagarri, Rosemarie. Chapter 2, in Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.

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 Center for Women’s History, forthcoming 2017
  • The Battle of Brooklyn, 2016
  • Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, 2011
  • Grant and Lee in War and Peace, 2008
  • Lincoln and New York, 2009
  • New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War, 2006
  • WWII & NYC, 2013

“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