Office of Cultural Education

Cultural Education

New York State Archives, Library, Museum and Public Broadcasting

Classroom Resources for Social Studies

1609: This online exhibit by the NYS Museum explores the founding and settlement of NewAbraham Lincoln Netherland; it includes a virtual gallery tour, interactive quizzes, and interviews with scholars and curators.
Africa for KidsLink goes to site outside of NYSED Activities based on the public television series Africa.
African American Resources Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
African American Voting Rights, NYS Archives Document Showcase: Using records from the NYS Archives, this showcase includes sample documents, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
African American World for KidsLink goes to site outside of NYSED Activities and classroom activities related to PBS programs on African American history.
Tommy Toddles almanacAlmanacs - NYS Library Online Exhibit: Explore the NYS Library's Almanac collection.
American Experience: WaybackLink goes to site outside of NYSED US History for kids, presented by the PBS series American Experience.
American Indians in Colonial New York, NYS Archives Document Showcase: Using records from the NYS Archives, this showcase includes sample documents, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783, NYS Library Digital Collection: A selection of digitized publications drawn from the NYS Library’s extensive collection of material on the American Revolutionary War, including troop rosters and other details extracted from muster and pay rolls, Loyalist records, colonial New York State history documents, military bounty land records, diaries, orderly books, personal papers of participants and broadsides
Assignment: The WorldLink goes to site outside of NYSED 15-minute weekly television news program for intermediate and middle school students. The website includes news-related activities and access to each episode.
Hy Rosen cartoonAttica Uprising, NYS Library Online Exhibit: A guide to resources on the Attica prison uprising and its aftermath.
Big Apple HistoryLink goes to site outside of NYSED Use this site to teach the history of New York City or to engage in local history activities in your community.
Biography Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Business Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Capitol Fire 1911, NYS Library Online Exhibit: Pictures documenting the 1911 fire at the NYS Capitol.
Census Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Map of Champlain's explorationsChamplain, Hudson, Fulton: These teaching modules for grades 3-12 were produced by NYS Education Department as part of the state’s Quadricentennial celebration.
Civil War, NYS Archives Document Showcase: This showcase features Civil War records from the NYS Archives, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
Civil War, 1861-1865, NYS Library Digital Collection: Civil War materials available at the State Library include regimental and military histories, personal narratives, military records, general references, bibliographies, annual reports of the NYS Adjutant-General (which include registers of New York regiments), rosters of Confederate and Union soldiers, the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, documents and reports of federal agencies, lists of pensioners and numerous primary documents, such as letters, diaries, citations, personal and family papers, broadsides, prints, music, maps and atlases. This website includes publications that have been digitized from items/volumes in the NYS Library's collection.
Civil War Illustrations from News Magazines, NYS Library Online Exhibit: In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the NYS Library is posting a series of online exhibits related to the war. Most focus on decisive or major battles that included New York State regiments.
Lamson drawing of caisson and limber detailsCivil War Drawings of Edward Lamson Henry: Henry served briefly in 1864 as a captain's clerk aboard a Union Quartermaster's supply transport on the James River in Virginia. In a series of penciled "War Sketches" and pastel crayon studies he documented behind-the-lines scenes of a Federal occupation force during the siege of Petersburg.
Colonial Albany Social History Project: This site is iintended to introduce everyone to the people of colonial Albany and their world, as well as to report on the programs and operations of the Colonial Albany Project.
Democracy ProjectLink goes to site outside of NYSED This site, designed for children in grades 3 to 6, provides activities and information on election-related topics such as issues, persuasion, and map-reading.
Digital Collection: Thousands of digitized documents reside in collections divided by themes. Researchers may enter the collections using themes like: Business & Labor; Environment & Landscape; Health Care; Legal; Military; People, Groups, & Cultures; Politics; and Transportation; or use the “Search Images” option to narrow your focus.
Detail of map of New netherland by Adriaen Van der donckDutch New YorkLink to an external website This PBS video examines the history of the Dutch in New York. Included on the website are translated documents and historic maps.
The Edge of New Netherland by Len Tantillo:  Link to an external website Through words and images, historical artist Len Tantillo reconstructs a seventeenth-century Dutch fort on the southern edge of New Netherland. In the process, he explores seventeenth-century design conventions, surveyor’s instruments, building practices, and tools. His drawings illustrating the fur trade are a great way to introduce elementary students to the “Three worlds meet in the Americas” standard.
Electronic Schoolhouse/La Escuela Electronica, NYS Archives Web Resource: The Electronic Schoolhouse is a bilingual educational resource that focuses on using historical records as learning tools in elementary, middle and secondary education. Classroom teachers developed the content to correlate with the NYS Learning Standards.
Endicott-Johnson Story, NYS Archives Web Resource: Photographs documenting work at the Endicott-Johnson plant.
Detail of Erie Canal Celebration Broadside (1825)Erie Canal Time Machine, NYS Archives Web Resource: This website, which features historical documents relating to the Erie Canal, is designed to help teachers meet the challenges of making the past real and understandable to students and helping students think and write about the past in coherent and analytical ways.
Famous Dutch-Americans: Learn which famous Americans share Dutch ancestry.
Federal Government Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Firefighters Collection, NYS Library Online Exhibit: A small sampling of images from the NYS Library's extensive Firefighter Collection, which includes photos and historic documents dating from the 1880s through 1930s.
Franny's FeetLink goes to site outside of NYSED This website, companion to the public television series for 4 to 7-year-old children, is rooted in the excitement, learning, and joyful discoveries that exploration can bring. In each episode, Franny explores a new place, new people, and new situations that broaden her – and the viewer’s – understanding of the world.
Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass Letters, 1855-57, NYS Library Online Exhibit: These six letters were written by Frederick Douglass, former slave and prominent black anti-slavery activist and orator, to Miss Hannah Fuller, organizer of the Skaneateles Ladies Anti-Slavery Society. Written between 1855-1857, the letters show the close working relationships that Douglass forged with white women leaders of the anti-slavery movement.
Freedom's Treasures Online Exhibit:  A digital exhibit of treasures from the NYS Archives, Library and Museum.
Genealogy Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Global History & Geography, NYS Archives Web Resource: Photographic images held in the NYS Archives' collections in Albany show people and places as they appeared in the early twentieth century. The descriptions of the images are contemporary to that period.
Aerial photo of Ground ZeroGround Zero from the Air: This exhibit focuses on a single facet of the response led by the NYS Office for Technology (OFT), which hired mapping firm EarthData (now Fugro EarthData) to gather and process data documenting conditions at the World Trade Center site. Between September 15-October 22, 2001, EarthData flew over the site thirty-nine times and gathered data about the site's physical contours and temperature conditions.
Hispanic & Latino Resources Internet Bbibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
History Detectives: Crash Course in Using Resources of the New York State Library: This four-hour workshop for teachers of elementary through high school social studies and language arts will introduce them to how to use both the special collections and the main library collections at the New York State Library to ferret out answers to questions about people, places and events in New York State's history.
History Detectives KidsLink goes to site outside of NYSED The History Detectives Kids Web site is inspired by the History Detectives television series. The activities are based on The Golden Super Sleuthing Rules: Analyze It; Investigate It; Understand It;
Test It. The site includes activities and games designed to engage kids in family and local history.
Homework HotlineLink to external website Students statewide can call in live with their homework questions to be answered by the Rochester Teacher Association's Dial-A-Teacher volunteers. Homework Hotline airs on public television at 5:30pm Monday through Thursday when school is in session.
Telegram from Mrs. Oliver S. Chatfield to Governor Herbert LehmanIndustrialization & Child Labor in New York, NYS Archives Document Showcase: This showcase features records from the NYS Archives, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America by Russell ShortoLink to an external website This New York Times bestseller is based on the work of the New Netherland Research Center. It tells the story of New York City’s beginnings. A great book for Advanced Placement United States history.
Law Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Legacies Project, NYS Archives Web Resource: The Legacies Project website is an educational resource that focuses on the history of the Chinese and Latino populations in the Capital District, Buffalo, Syracuse, Yonkers and New York City. It contains concise histories of the Chinese and Latino communities in each city and document-based activities. The histories and activities include definitions of important vocabulary terms and are illustrated with both historical and contemporary documents and photographs. The Legacies Project promotes learning and literacy through the use of historical records and is an outgrowth of a NYS Archives-funded project at Liberty High School in New York City.
Lewis Henry Morgan Collection of Mid-Nineteenth Century Iroquois Objects: The Lewis Henry Morgan Collection of mid-nineteenth century Iroquois materials was made by Morgan between 1849 and 1850 for the Historical and Antiquarian Collection of the New York State Cabinet of Natural History, which was to become the NYS Museum (NYSM).  This webpage describes the history of the collection, the individual objects still in the collection (many items were lost in the 1911 Capitol fire), and the recent project to conserve and rehouse them, and provides images of objects as they appeared at the time of their collection and as they are today.
Manhattan, 1660, by Len TantilloLife in the Hudson Valley: Using Translated Dutch Documents: This four-hour workshop for teachers of elementary through high school social studies and language arts will introduce them to translations of 17th-century Dutch documents (primary sources) that can be used to tell stories about life in Beverwyck (aka Albany), Wiltwyck (aka Kingston), Nieuw Amsterdam (aka New York City) and other communities in the Hudson Valley.
Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, NYS Library Online Exhibit: In 1865, the NYS Legislature paid $1,000 for "the original draught of the President's first Emancipation Proclamation, dated September twenty-second, Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and sixty-two," and directed that the document be held in the State Library. This website contains digital images of the document as well as many other resources.
Look for the Union Label, NYS Archives Web Resource: In 1889, in response to growth in the number of labor unions, New York State passed a law offering unions an opportunity to register their labels, names, brands, or other devices with the Secretary of State. It was thought that this procedure of officially recognizing the uniqueness of each labor association or union logo would help avoid the confusion that might result from similar designs. The law was amended in 1943 to substitute the Department of Labor as the registering agency. Hundreds of labels were registered during the period from 1901 to 1942, the time period represented by the images on this site.
Maps, Gazetteers and Geographical Resources Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Lucy King, the heroine of Mission 2: Flight to FreedomMission USLink goes to site outside of NYSED This online multimedia project for middle school students features free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?," puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice in 1770 Boston. Mission 2, “Flight to Freedom” focuses on resistance to slavery, through the eyes of a 14-year-old slave from Kentucky in 1848. Other missions are planned for release in 2013 and 2014.
Native American Materials, NYS Library Digital Collection: The NYS Library holds a wealth of first hand descriptions of the Native American experience in New York. These resources span four centuries, beginning with the Dutch colony of New Netherland and continuing to the close of the American frontier in western New York and beyond. Original manuscripts and published accounts provide windows upon Native American life and serve as lenses through which cultural and historical interpretations can be made. This website provides links to publications that have been digitized from items/volumes in the NYS Library’s collection.
Native American Resources Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Naturalization & Citizenship, NYS Archives Document Showcase: This showcase includes records from the NYS Archives, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
New Netherland Curriculum Guides for 4th and 7th Grade: A single copy of each guide is free of charge to teachers from the New Netherland Project.
A litter of pigs, St. Lawrence County, 1912New York Agriculture in the Early 20th Century, NYS Archives Web Resource: Photographs of agricultural subjects, taken between 1900 and 1920.
New York Chamber of Commerce Portrait Collection: The Chamber of Commerce portrait collection includes works by distinguished artists from the late 18th century through the mid-20th century, including Matthew Pratt, Daniel Huntington, and Eastman Johnson. The subjects are Chamber members and associates, many of whom were prominent in the fields of business, commerce, and politics. They include Cadwallader Colden, Samuel F. B. Morse, and John Jacob Astor III. The images have been digitized and are accessible at this website.
Jack's Reef Corner Notched projectile pointNew York Projectile Points: State Archaeologist William A. Ritchie’s seminal Typology and Nomenclature for New York Projectile Points (1961, revised 1971) remains a basic reference for Northeastern archaeologists. This on-line version of the publication adds color images of selected artifacts to accompany Ritchie’s original text and plates, providing an updated gallery of projectile point type examples from the New York region.
New York's Documentary Treasures: The collections of the NYS Archives and the NYS Library's Manuscripts and Special Collections Unit document virtually every aspect of the State's history and the operation of state government. This exhibit presents a small sampling of New York's documentary treasures.
New York's Electoral College, NYS Archives Web Resource: The NYS Archives presents a collection of historical documents of the Electoral College from six different presidential elections. These documents show the process of the Electoral College from the general election in November to the meeting of electors in December.
NYS Government, NYS Library Digital Collection: The NYS Library has a robust collection of New York State government materials. Included in the collection are New York State agency and department reports, committee reports, laws and regulations (current and retrospective), treaties, public papers of former governors, statistical data, biographical sketches of state officers and legislators and more. This website includes links to publications that have been digitized from materials in the NYS Library’s collection.
A Map of Ye English Empire in Ye Continent of America, 1685NYS History - Colonial Period, NYS Library Digital Collection: The NYS Library has a wide variety of primary documents and published material on the history of Colonial New York. The collection includes muster rolls of colonial troops, accounts of explorers, land purchase agreements, correspondence of early settlers, orderly books, diaries, maps, records of Rensselaerwyck Manor, colonial laws, documents of New Netherland, histories of the French and Indian War, accounts of relations with Native Americans, and personal papers such as those of Sir William Johnson. This website includes links to publications that have been digitized from items in the NYS Library’s collection.
NYS History - Towns and Counties, NYS Library Digital Collection: The NYS Library strives to be comprehensive in its collection of histories relating to the counties, cities, towns and villages of New York State. County, city, town and village histories provide biographical information on early settlers, prominent citizens, and local war heroes and depict all periods and aspects of New York State history from colonial times to the present day. This website includes links to publications that have been digitized from items in the NYS Library’s collection.
New York State Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
NYS Archives Student Research Awards: This website provides materials for students who wish to apply for a Student Research Award. The award consists of a cash prize and certificate. It encourages students to explore the wealth of historical records found in archives, libraries, and other community organizations throughout New York State.
NYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: Adirondack Wilderness: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's Adirondack Wilderness exhibit, including pre- and post-visit activities. Many of the activities can be effective with or without a visit to the Museum.
Iroquois LonghouseNYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: Mohawk Iroquois Village: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's Mohawk Iroquois Village exhibit, including pre- and post-visit activities. Many of the activities can be effective with or without a visit to the Museum.
NYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: New York Metropolis: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's New York Metropolis exhibit, including pre- and post-visit activities. Many of the activities can be effective with or without a visit to the Museum. (PDF)
NYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: Preserving Family History: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's Preserving Family History exhibit (now closed). Many of the activities can be effective even though the exhibit can no longer be visited. (PDF)
NYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: Recovery Traveling Exhibit: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's Recovery Traveling Exhibit (now closed). Many of the activities can be effective even though the exhibit can no longer be visited. (PDF)
Fire helmet from NYFD Engine 6NYS Museum Exhibit Teacher's Guide: World Trade Center: A teacher's guide to the State Museum's World Trade Center exhibit, including pre- and post-visit activities. Many of the activities can be effective with or without a visit to the Museum.
Newspapers Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Not for Ourselves Alone:  Link goes to site outside of NYSED As friends and activists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony helped to change the opportunities for women in the 1800s, 1900s and today. Although the activities in the kids area of the "Not For Ourselves Alone" website are designed primarily for informal, at-home use by kids, they can also be great supplements for classroom instruction in grades 3-6.
NOVELny: Online access to the full text of hundreds of journals, newspapers, and other references.
PBS Programs A-ZLink to external website Access to all the websites for PBS programs and their related educational resources.
PBS TeachersLink to external website PBS's national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels, inncluding thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations.
Buster Bunny in Madison, WIPostcards from BusterLink goes to site outside of NYSED With its unique mix of animation and live action, Postcards from Buster strives to achieve two goals with its website:
Cultural Awareness and English Language Learning.
Remembering World War I, NYS Archives Web Resource: This website connects historical documents with technology in an effort to inform and educate visitors about New York’s role during World War I. Teachers can use this site to incorporate primary sources in their lessons. A "Build Your Own Worksheet" option allows you to print a worksheet for each image. You can customize a worksheet by including information from the website or you can edit and/or write in your own caption, historical background information, and questions for each image.
Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese CatLink goes to site outside of NYSED This site offers a variety of exciting activities which enable users to interact with Sagwa and her friends, experience aspects of Chinese culture, and explore storytelling.
Speak OutLink goes to site outside of NYSED This website encourages civic engagement among 6 to 12 year olds by prompting them to submit ideas to address prominent citizens’ issues as they most relate to kids’ lives. Community discussion and the democratic process are modeled by allowing kids to choose which ideas they like best. The ideas with the most votes are featured on pbskids.org/speakout in the form of a message to our President.
State Government Internet Bibliography: A list of internet resources compiled by the NYS Library reference staff.
Steamer Chauncey VibbardSteamboats on the Hudson, NYS Library Online Exhibit: To mark the 200th anniversary of Fulton's trip to Albany and back, the New York State Library mounted this exhibit of materials from its collections that document the history of the development of steamboats.
Summer Reading at New York Libraries: Materials and links to library resources to support a summer reading program in your community.
Theodore Roosevelt, NYS Library Online Exhibit: The Manuscripts and Special Collections Unit of the NYS Library owns several collections of materials related to Theodore Roosevelt and his era, including books, manuscripts, magazine articles, sheet music, memorabilia and artifacts related to Theodore Roosevelt gathered by Lyall Squair of Syracuse over 40 years; the papers of John D. Miley, aide-de-camp of Gen. William Shafter, commander of U.S. troops in Cuba during the Spanish-American War; a collection of postcards depicting Theodore Roosevelt and subjects related to him including things named after him, teddy bears and animals he hunted; and the papers of Frederic Sturdevant, a newspaper columnist who traveled with Roosevelt in Africa. This online exhibit allows visitors to explore samples from all these collections.
Throughout the Ages: A visual educational resource that focuses on using historical records as learning tools in pre-K–grade 6 education. The site offers more than 500 digital images of historical photographs, letters, broadsides, maps, and paintings.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and its Legacy, NYS Archives Online Exhibit: Learn how the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire resulted in safety reforms for workers across New York.
	A Vacation Party at Breakfast before the Fire Warden's Cabin. Near top of Whiteface MountainTourism in New York, NYS Archives Document Showcase: Using records from the NYS Archives, this showcase includes sample documents, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
Treason in New York, NYS Archives Web Resource: In 1780, near the present-day Tappan Zee Bridge, a major spy drama unfolded, changing the course of the American Revolution. Major General Benedict Arnold, believing that he was unrewarded for his military successes for the Patriot cause, secretly attempted to help the British capture the fort at West Point. On the night of September 21, Arnold gave British Major John André documents detailing the fortifications and troop strengths at West Point. If this information had reached the British command in New York City, the fort might easily have been captured. The documents found in Major André's boot when he was captured have been digitized and can be accessed at this website.
Uncovering America's Forgotten Colony: The New Netherland Project: This video examines the history of colonial America and the Dutch Golden Age through the work of the New Netherland Project (now the New Netherland Research Center).
Using Historical Records in the Classroom: Historical Records: what, why, where and how. A brief course on using historical records in the classroom.
Baker’s account from Wouter de backer Van Rensselaer Manor Papers, NYS Library Online Exhibit: The NYS Library’s collection of the Van Rensselaer Manor Papers provides an extraordinary and priceless archive of the growth and history of the earliest permanently settled region of the United States. Voluminous letters, contracts, business transactions, records of material culture, personal stories, land transactions, maps, ledgers, and other papers document over two hundred years of daily life, from the earliest years of America’s written history until the mid-19th century. Selected documents have been digitized and can be accessed at this website.
A Virtual Tour of New Netherland: This interactive tour introduces students to the many settlements that comprised New Netherland (now parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware).
VITAL New YorkLink to external website VITAL - Video in Teaching and Learning for New York Educators - provides free access to public television program clips, teachers guides, instructional strategies, and more.
Washington Collection, NYS Library Online Exhibit: One of the most famous documents in American history, George Washington's Farewell Address, is preserved in its first draft in the collections of the NYS Library. Penned in Washington's own handwriting, complete with strike-outs and corrections, the 19-page document was drafted and sent to Alexander Hamilton for comment on May 15, 1796. The Library's collection also features prints, books, artifacts and manuscripts once owned by the first American president. Those items were purchased by the State of New York from Mrs. Lewis W. Washington in 1871 and have been preserved for posterity by the New York State Library since that time. Mrs. Washington was the widow of Col. Lewis W. Washington, grandson of William Augustine Washington, who was a nephew of George Washington. Selected items have been digitized and can be accessed at this website.
A webonautWebonauts Internet AcademyLink goes to site outside of NYSED Webonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives 8 to 10-year-old kids an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.
Wide Angle: Window Into Global History: Outreach initiative produced by Thirteen/WNET New York to support the teaching and learning of Global History in high school classrooms.
Wilson & Ditch: Digging AmericaLink goes to site outside of NYSED Meet Wilson and Ditch, two funny, energetic and talkative gopher brothers, who are in a van – an eco-powered one - and driving around America while they host this online site for kids. Every week Wilson and Ditch report from a new location whether with a new episode, podcast, blog entry or comic.
Women's History: The New York State Museum's collections include a vast array of objects that illuminate the lives of women in New York. Tools and products used by women; clothing worn by women and girls; art and crafts created by women; and depictions of females from figural images of idealized "Woman" to thousands of photographs of real women and girls at home, at school, at work, and at play. Selected items have been digitized and can be accessed at this website.
Laws of New York: 1710, Chapter 216Women's Rights in Early New York, NYS Archives Document Showcase: Using records from the NYS Archives, this showcase includes sample documents, an historical sketch, and links to educational activities for classroom use.
Wonders of the African WorldLink goes to site outside of NYSED This site includes instructions for activities that kids can do with adults' help.
Last Updated: March 16, 2012