National Archives and Its Foundation Announce Launch of DocsTeach App for iPad
Press Release · Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Washington, DC

The National Archives, in association with the Foundation for the National Archives, is pleased to announce the launch of the DocsTeach App for iPad, a new tool for teaching with and learning from historical documents. The DocsTeach App is now available for free from the App Store.

The app enables users to engage in several activities from the web site that feature documents from the holdings of the US National Archives. is an online tool for teaching and learning, featuring thousands of primary sources and learning activities. When registered for a free account, teachers and other users can borrow from and modify an ever-expanding collection of activities, plus create unique ones using online templates.

The app allows iPad users to:

  • Choose a historical era or topic to find an activity based on primary source documents such as the US Constitution, the canceled check for the purchase of Alaska, and Thomas Edison’s patent drawing for the light bulb.
  • Participate in DocsTeach activities made with the Focusing on Details, Making Connections, Finding a Sequence, Mapping History, Weighing the Evidence, or Seeing the Big Picture tools.
  • Zoom and inspect individual pages of documents, drawings, maps, and photographs using the controls in the document viewing window.

Students can find activities specifically assigned by teachers using “Classroom Codes.” And teachers can share the unique codes from their classrooms with students so they can find and complete just the activities chosen or prepared specifically for them.

The DocsTeach App is available for free from the App Store on iPad or at A WiFi connection is recommended for the application.

The Foundation for the National Archives is committed to raising awareness of the depth and diversity of the holdings of the National Archives through initiatives such as exhibitions in the National Archives Experience, public programs in the William G. McGowan Theater, and educational activities in the Boeing Learning Center. With its commitment to reach a larger audience, the Foundation helped create a strong web presence, through the Digital Vaults online exhibit launched in 2008 and the DocsTeach web site in 2010. Now, through the Foundation’s support, DocsTeach is also available as a tablet application on the iPad.

The DocsTeach web site and app were designed and developed by Second Story Interactive Studios. DocsTeach is generously supported in part by Texas Instruments.

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience

About the Foundation for the National Archives

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives’ private-sector partner in the creation of, and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, educational literature, and historical/records-related products and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.

About the National Archives Experience

The National Archives Experience, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives’ Washington, DC building, and includes a renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery for special exhibits, and the Boeing Learning Center. In addition, the Foundation has taken the Archives nationwide through online initiatives such as the Digital Vaults online exhibit and DocsTeach, a web-based educational resource. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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