The National Archives at Boston

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New Exhibit! America Votes: Our Pivotal Right

  • An online exhibit of primary sources from the National Archives with additional document collections and DocsTeach activities for teaching and learning.

Teachable Texts

  • See our new feature, "Teachable Texts", where we highlight a variety of National Archives records to help teachers and students better understand our past.
    Learn more

Workshops

  • Teachers' Workshops
    See our current schedule

    To earn 10 Professional Development Points:
    Attend 5 of the FREE 2-hour workshops
    One of your five workshops must be an "Application of Research Methods"
    Workshop Brochure

parchmentFree Curriculum CD-ROMs now available

Resources for Educators

Explore the National Archives: It's Your Source for Our Nation's History

The National Archives is our nation's record keeper. It preserves valuable government documents for the American people. The National Archives at Boston holds the records of the six New England states, 1789 - present. Everybody is welcome to use them for free!

The Archives's goal is to support teachers with primary source materials in person and online. In addition, the Archives can serve as a destination for student field trips and in-service professional development.

Learn What's in the National Archives

The National Archives holds about 10 billion records of our government and its interactions with our people. It preserves the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our most important historical documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the check for the purchase of Alaska, the president's apology for Japanese internment, declarations of war and peace. . . .

The National Archives at Boston (in Waltham, MA) holds the original federal records of the six New England states, 1789 - present. Civil and criminal court cases, bankruptcies, naturalizations, Civil War draft records, a telegraph announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor, slave documents, whaling ship manifests, scientific studies and the records of many government agencies. Each government agency is assigned a "Record Group" (RG) number, with which the archives organizes the records. See a list of the Record Groups.

For additional information about the National Archives:

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Teachers explore document-based questions using materials from the Documented Rights online exhibit

Visit the National Archives

The National Archives welcomes teachers and students to its free programs.

You can visit in person. Just walk on in! The National Archives is open to the public Monday- Friday 8 AM - 4:30 PM (9 PM on Thursdays) and the first Saturday of each month.

For specific research requests, contact the archivists in advance, so the records you need will be ready for you. Contact waltham.archives@nara.gov or 866-406-2379.

If you can't come in person, you can visit the National Archives and the National Archives at Boston online. See Online Resources below.


Bring Your Class!

See the real documents that have shaped our nation! Visiting The National Archives is fun for the entire class. All programs are free.

Students K-College are welcome as researchers and for field trips. Hands-on learning with historic documents gets students up close and personal with the real people and events that are our history. Field trips include a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives.

Programs are tailored to the needs of the group and correlate to state and national curriculum frameworks.

Sample field trip programs:
  • Glory: the 54th Mass. Colored Regiment
  • Who Really Fired the Shot Heard 'Round the World
  • Eleanor (Roosevelt) and Marian (Anderson)
  • We the People: Our Constitution
  • This Land is Your Land: Migration and Immigration

The National Archives at Boston is handicap-accessible and provides a lunchroom, ample parking for school busses, and restrooms.

Contact: waltham.archives@nara.gov or 866-406-2379


Attend Professional Development Workshops (K-College)

A school librarian researches original documents as part of a professional development program.

A school librarian researches original documents as part of a professional development program.

Come to the Archives for your professional development or in-service training. The education staff will work with you to identify specific areas of need and interest. For large groups, the education staff is available to come to your location for in-service programs.

Sample Teaching with Documents workshop topics include:

  • Meet the National Archives: Introduction to Teaching with Documents
  • Teach the Constitution: It's the Law!
  • The Golden Door: American Migration and Immigration
  • Teaching with Document-Based Questions
  • Exploring Civil Rights

Contact waltham.archives@nara.gov or 866-406-2379.

Teaching with Documents: Free Workshops for Educators, K-16

Attend the monthly free Thursday-night professional development programs on Teaching with Documents. Teachers can earn 10 PD points by attending 5 programs, one of which must be a Research Applications topic.

First Thursdays*, 6 - 8 PM (*and some others, too)
National Archives at Boston, 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham, MA.

Reservations required: Call (866) 406-2379 or e-mail waltham.archives@nara.gov

Workshop Description:

Teaching with documents enables you to create experiential lessons, meaningful assessments, and it's fun.

In the Teaching with Documents workshops, you explore some of the treasures of the National Archives, how to access them in person and online, and how to use them in the teaching and learning.

You'll gain an overview of this amazing (FREE) resource and become comfortable as a researcher at the facility.

Workshop Schedule:

See our current schedule

To earn 10 Professional Development Points:

  • Attend 5 of the FREE 2-hour workshops
  • One of your five workshops must be an "Application of Research Methods"

Workshop Brochure


Get involved in National History Education Programs

The National Archives at Boston is involved with several national history education programs: as a program partner, as a research resource, and as a source for teaching and learning with primary sources.

To schedule a workshop or to find historical resources, contact waltham.archives@nara.gov or 866-406-2379 for more information.


National Archives' Internet Links


Teachable Texts: Activities for Teaching & Learning from the National Archives at Boston

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The National Archives at Boston >

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

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