For Educators and Students
- The United States government has mandated that September 17th be observed as Constitution Day to commemorate the September 17, 1787, signing of the U.S. Constitution. The National Archives encourages teachers and students at all levels to learn more about our Constitution and government.
- National Archives Digital Classroom
- Establish a School Archives
- Online Exhibits
Andrea Reidell, Education Specialist
- Telephone: (215) 606-0103
- E-mail: email@example.com
The Mid Atlantic Region facility in Philadelphia is an active supporter of education initiatives throughout the region. We encourage educators and students to visit, research our microfilm and archival records, attend our public programs, and take advantage of our services.
We hold a large amount of primary records for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, from 1789 through 1990s. The records cover a wide scope of topics - national stories in local and regional settings - including, but not limited to:
- Early National Period:
Philadelphia was the Capital of the United States from 1790 - 1800. Many of the records from this period document how functions mandated by the Constitution were put into effect through the federal judiciary and federal agencies. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, for example, highlight the early commerce of the ports of Philadelphia and Baltimore. Federal court cases are also especially rich for this period, and even include files on famous historical events such as the "Whiskey Rebellion," "Fries Rebellion," and the sedition case against Thomas Cooper.
- Civil War:
The Mid-Atlantic Region's holdings are particularly strong in documenting the history of American Slavery and freedom. Our records include the fugitive slave cases of Passmore Williamson and the "Christiana Riot." We also have federal arsenal records that highlight the role of women during the war, prize cases and confiscation files (including Robert E Lee's Arlington home).
- Industrial America:
Chinese exclusion; Special Board of Inquiry; immigration and naturalization
- World War I:
Including how the 1918 influenza epidemic impacted the nation, as well as records that document anti-German sentiment during World War I.
- World War II:
Records documenting wartime manpower on the homefront, including cases of race-based hiring discrimination (Committee on Fair Employment Practices; Branham v. Selective Service of Lynchburg)
- Civil Rights:
1920's Baltimore; WWII fair employment; school desegregation (including: Girard College; Davis v. Prince Edward County [one of the five cases consolidated in Brown V. Topeka Board of Education]); Gobitis v. Minersville; West Virginia v. Barnett; Abington School District v. Schempp; Branham v. Selective Service of Lynchburg.
- Maritime history:
prize cases from the War of 1812 through the Civil War; violations of the Slave trade Acts of 1794 and 1808; seamen wage cases; admiralty cases
- National Parks and Forests
- Centennial exposition - Philadelphia, 1876
- Legal history and events
- Popular culture
- Famous and infamous people
- Intellectual property, including inventions and patents, and popular culture (for example: the Ferris wheel; "popsicles"; Raggedy Ann)
- Farming and agriculture
- 19th and 20th century graphic arts
Over 38,000 rolls of microfilmed records support research on the topics listed above, as well as others. The bulk of the microfilm is the Federal population census schedules from 1790-1930. These are complimented by microfilmed records covering:
- Non-population censuses
- Presidential pardons
- Native Americans
- Revolutionary War Service and Pension
- U.S. Customs Department Ship's Passenger Arrival
- Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society
- Freedman's Bureau
- Continental Congress
- Captured World War II German Records
- Diplomatic and Consular Affairs
- Maritime History
- Selective Service System
- Letters of Application and Recommendations from various Presidential Administrations
- FBI Investigative Case Files (1908-1922)
- Civil War Prisoner of War Camps
- Southern Claims Commission
- Selected 19th Century African Americans Awarded the Medal of Honor
- Northwest Territory
- United States Supreme Court, 1790-1950
- United States Postal Service, 1832-1971
- Records relating the Military Service of Robert E. Lee
- Territorial Papers of the United States
- Journal of the USS Nonsuch up the Oronoco, Jul-Aug 1819
We are an active supporter of education initiatives throughout the Mid Atlantic Region, with special emphasis on assisting teachers in the use of primary source documents in the classroom. Resources permitting, we:
- teach workshops for educators at our facility, in schools or other settings - including In-Service days
- provide copies or images of primary sources suitable for use in the classroom
- co-sponsor workshops with recipients of Teaching American History (TAH) grants
We encourage teachers who have or want to contribute lesson plans derived from research conducted at our facilities to contact us.
Students can find a wealth of primary source material useful for many kinds of student research in the Federal documents located in our Regional Archives. Use these materials:
- as the foundation for extensive research projects
- as a resource for answering or illustrating specific questions
- for supplementing other sources
- as inspiration and sources for National History Day topics
Staff archivists are available to assist you in your research and to explain related resources in other historical institutions.
Our staff is interested in helping you use our resources in your scholarly research project. Please contact us directly to receive assistance in defining your topic and finding primary resources useful to your research.
The Mid Atlantic Region is an active supporter of the National History Day program for the States in our region. We are also the lead coordinator for National History Day Philly!
In addition to judging in both city and state History Day competitions, we are readily available to help students use our primary resources to support and contribute to their selected topic.