National Archives at New York City

Free Programs for the Public at the National Archives at New York City

The National Archives at New York City Education and Programs staff mission is to engage, educate, and inspire multiple audiences to discover and explore the records of the American people preserved by the National Archives.  We offer a series of free programs to connect the public with our records, and their history.  Our genealogy programs, author lectures, educational professional development opportunities, student field trips, exhibits and tours are offered throughout the year to meet that mission.  For up to date events, sign up for our free National Archives at New York City email newsletter at -  

All programs are held in our Learning Center, 3rd floor, One Bowling Green, NY. 

Finding Family Genealogy Lectures

Visit the National Archives at New York City Calendar of Events for the most current genealogy lecture schedule.

The Finding Family Genealogy Series is offered every spring and fall for the public free of charge.  The focus of this series of often Federal records in the National Archives.  Lectures cover all basic federal record sources such as Passenger Arrival Records, Naturalization Records, Federal Census Records, Court Records, Military Records and more.  On occasion, guest lecturers also present detail on how non-federal records intersect with our records and your search to uncover your family history.  

Educational Opportunities

Throughout the year, our education specialists offer free k-16 Educator Professional Development Programs (PDPs) and Hands-On Archives Student Field Trips.  All participants in our educational programs receive documents from our holdings related to the session. Educator PDP topics are determined after consultation with our educator and have included intensives on Immigration, Citizienship, The Bill of Rights, Civil and Individual Rights, etc   Learn more about our educator sessions.  

Our free Hands-On Archives Student Field Trips, are curriculum-based, student field trips for schools, home-schoolers, camps, and other learning communities to learn about the National Archives and the rich primary sources it holds about our American story.  All National Archives visits are free, can accomodate 15-35 students with one chaperone per 10 students, and are offered Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays). Learn more about student learning opportunties  or email us to schedule a field trip at:


"History Talks" and "Science Speaks" Educational Author Lecture Series

The National Archives at New York also offers a series of collaborative events in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the US, serving 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.  The History Talks and Science Speaks Author Lecture Series covers many diverse topics important to teaching.  Each program combines primary sources, pedagogy, scope and sequence to the renowned historian discussing their latest works. The program closes with a question and answer period between the audience and historian.  Every participant receives a signed copy of the book and a packet of related primary sources from the National Archives.

The History Talks and Science Speaks series is held on select Thursdays throughout the year (typically 1-2 per month). Programs occur between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m in the 3rd floor Learning Center.

The upcoming School Year Fall 2017/Spring 2018 Author Lecture Series will be posted soon.


Learning Center Walk-in Activities

The National Archives at New York City Learning Center is open select afternoons between 1pm-3pm for walk in visitors and self directed learning activities.  At the Learning Center you can:

  • Examine and explore featured facsimile archival treasures from our holdings
  • Go on an "Archival Adventure" — a hands-on activity that encourages historical discovery
  • View our online educational resources
  • Take home a copy of your favorite document!
  • And so much more...



New York on the Record Exhibit Gallery

The National Archives at New York City's Welcome Center highlights original documents in its New York on the Record gallery. This exhibit is free and open to all visitors seeking a glimpse of original records that capture our national story. New York on the Record shows the connection between our records, our government and our history. Through four themes, New York on the Record features documents from the holdings of the National Archives that have a connection to the history of New York.

Our latest exhibit, New York on the Record: Amending America, highlights holdings from the National Archives at New York City to explore the Bill of Rights, constitutional amendments, and instances in which American citizens have sought to amend the Constitution to attain greater rights and freedoms. These actions are illustrated through documents that intersect with family history, rights of individuals, finance, and other unexpected stories.

Featured documents include:

  • A Petition for Naturalization of Harriet Stanton Blatch, women’s rights activist
  • An affidavit from folk-singer Pete Seeger's refusal to answer questions from a Congressional committee investigating Communist influence in the entertainment industry
  • An FBI wiretapping log from a 1940s espionage and conspiracy investigation
  • A nineteenth-century indictment of a man charged with assisting in helping a fugitive escape from custody

This New York City installation is in support of Amending America at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through September 4, 2017.

Every Thursday, join staff for a free "Gallery Talk" about these feature documents in our Welcome Center. The National Archives at New York City is located on the 3rd floor of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan. We are open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.