The Newberry is pleased to offer opportunities for high school teachers and students to engage with real historical documents in the familiarity of their own classroom.
Can’t visit the Newberry? We’ll bring the Newberry to you. Through our Traveling Collections program for high school history and literature classes, we can visit for a session of hands-on learning with actual archival documents. We’ll provide students with an overview of how to analyze primary sources, followed by exercises that encourage them to interpret the materials themselves.
There are three Traveling Collections to choose from: The American Civil War, World War II, and Native American and Indigenous Histories.
This program, generously funded by the Mazza foundation, is free for Chicago Public Schools and Big Shoulders Fund-supported Schools.
Our Civil War Traveling Collection is a carefully curated selection of Civil War artifacts. The collection includes family photographs, Union and Confederate soldiers' letters home, and a copy of The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper published in Boston. The collection’s diverse holdings allow students to engage with the past through hands-on work with primary sources and discussions led by Newberry staff.
Featuring over two dozen artifacts, our WWII Traveling Collection offers a comprehensive overview of the war. Highlights include a 1942 women’s cookbook, a complete set of food ration cards, and a range of amateur photographs taken by American soldiers of color stationed abroad. Students will learn how both mass media and personal experiences shaped how Americans understood and experienced one of the most formative events in world history.
This Traveling Collection brings together historical artifacts and contemporary art to illustrate the many layers of Native American and Indigenous experiences and methods of resistance from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Highlighting contemporary Native American and Indigenous “artivism,” this multi-faceted Traveling Collection invites students to understand how Native American and Indigenous communities respond to the painful legacies of the past through literature and art.
Book a Traveling Collection Visit
Interested in bringing one of our Traveling Collections to your school? Send us an email, and we can set up a visit.
More for Teachers
Led by Chicago-area scholars and Newberry subject specialists, professional development seminars allow teachers to learn at one of the world’s premier research libraries.
Free teaching resources that make it easy to incorporate primary sources into K-12 classrooms.
Group and Class Visits
Book a time for your group or class to visit the Newberry for an interactive learning experience with our collection and staff.Learn More
Exhibitions bridge the past and present using historic items from the Newberry collection.Now on View