Primarily Teaching 2015

A Summer Workshop for Educators on Using Historical Documents in the Classroom

Teachers in a workshop in Chicago Presented by National Archives staff at:

  • The National Archives at Atlanta, Morrow, GA, June 22–26
  • The National Archives at Chicago, June 22–26, FULL
  • The National Archives at Seattle, July 6–10
  • The National Archives in Washington, DC, July 6–10, FULL
  • The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA, July 20–24


All workshops will have a national theme—Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History—matching that of National History Day in 2016. Each National Archives location will explore a specific case study, with original documents in our archival holdings, that fits within this broader theme:

  • Atlanta: To the Moon!: NASA Records
  • Chicago: The U.S. Encounters a World War: The WWI Homefront in the Midwest
  • Seattle: Effects of Lewis and Clark on Modern Native America
  • Washington, DC: Chinese Immigration to the United States, 1882-1920
  • The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library: Case Studies from the Hoover Library

Teachers in a workshop in Boston Digitization of documents related to our case studies will be our priority. You will find between 3 and 5 items (documents, photos, maps, etc.) to scan and describe. We will add these to our online tool for teaching with documents—DocsTeach.org—while participants are onsite. During the workshop, you'll produce a DocsTeach learning activity using the digitized materials.

After guided research in the case study, you will have the opportunity to continue researching that topic, or to go on to independently research a more specific topic of your choice related to Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.

Participation in the National History Day competition is not required.


  • The fee for each of the workshops is $100, which includes all materials.
  • Graduate credit from a major university is available for an additional fee for most sessions.
  • You will receive a stipend upon successful completion of the course.


Teachers in a workshop in DC Apply no later than six weeks before the workshop. Participation in each session is limited to 10 members, 15 in Washington, DC. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. See the Workshop Information for an application and further details.

Comments from Past Participants

  • "This was the best workshop I have ever attended."
  • "I loved the opportunity to do archival research...as well as the ability to select documents for digitization and for use in DocsTeach."
  • "I am more confident using primary source documents in my teaching."
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of discovery."
  • "I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for beginning yet another school year."
  • "This is the BEST, most VALUABLE class I have ever taken. My vocabulary is insufficient to describe it properly. Thank you!"
  • "I loved looking through the boxes on the first day...I now feel confident reaching out to learn more."
  • "An energizing academic experience."

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of Texas Instruments and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Top of Page

Teachers >

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