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Scholars Program: Hands-on History for Teens

“I would recommend this program to my peers because the chance to work with original documents and a highly specialized museum and library staff is an opportunity seldom offered to high school students.”
– Andrew Sobelsohn, Summer Scholar 2014

The Scholars Program for Teens at New-York Historical is designed for history-loving high school students, grades 9-12, with a particular passion for New York City history. The program seeks to strengthen visual literacy skills and the ability to conduct in-depth historical research using New-York Historical’s extensive collection. Scholars will either explore a current Museum exhibition in-depth or conduct their research in the print, manuscript, and photograph collections in the Library. All Scholars will select a research theme of interest with the opportunity to convey that particular topic in New York and American history to a broader audience.

Get Involved!

The Scholars Program for Teens has two sessions per year:  Spring and Summer.

Our Spring 2016 Program is currently full. Please check back in March to apply for our Summer Scholars Program.

Summer 2016 Program:

  • Application available: March 2016
  • Deadline to apply: May 2016
  • Program dates: Wednesdays and Thursdays in august from 10 am - 1 pm at New-York Historical

Participation is free with Family Membership to N-YHS or $150 per student for Non-Members. Scholarship opportunities are available.

Here's What We're Up To!

Historians and Art Historians regularly come to the New-York Historical Society to explore our dynamic and engaging exhibitions. This spring, Teen Scholars will have the chance to do the same while enjoying in-depth, behind-the-scenes access to a current exhibition! High school students from the New York metropolitan area are invited to apply to spend five Saturday mornings examining and discussing art, artifacts, and documents.

The Spring 2016 Scholars will have the unique and exciting opportunity to investigate the Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York exhibition. This show looks back at the local innovations that were instrumental to computer development, from vacuum tubes and punched cards to transistors, and through the exhibition they will explore various historical topics and primary sources with a focus on how technology has affected the world we live in today.

Our Previous Projects Include:

Summer 2015 Scholars explored The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Societyto research the history of locations of literary significance throughout Manhattan, in collaboration with Literary Manhattan. Literary Manhattan is an organization dedicated to promoting literacy and increasing public awareness of Manhattan’s rich literary history. The Scholars had the unique and exciting opportunity to use their research to write about and create educational materials for Literary Manhattan’s project to document notable locations in the literary world.

Spring 2015 Scholars had the exciting opportunity to investigate Chinese American: Exclusion/ Inclusion, which explored the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings. They debated the question “What does it mean to be an American?” while developing their critical thinking, visual literacy, and document analysis skills through group discussions rooted in primary sources of a variety of mediums all while making connections to current news articles to better contextualize the issues of today as an important part of both New York and American history.

Summer 2014 Scholars had the unique opportunity to develop their research, critical thinking, and writing skills while exploring the New-York Historical Society’s extensive Library and Museum collections. Scholars developed valuable skills and effective practices for researching while gaining access to the vast resources of New-York Historical. They each explored a topic in American History of their choice while learning how to make use of a research library at The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society, one of the oldest independent research libraries in the United States. Scholars discovered archived manuscript, map, printed, and microfilm primary sources within the Library's collection.

Fall 2013 Sunday Scholars immersed themselves in The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution, an exhibition that revisited the famous 1913 New York Armory Show with an eye towards the seismic shifts in American culture, politics, and society at the time. The Scholars researched within a museum setting, further developed their critical thinking and writing skills, and ultimately presented their discoveries in an interactive web-based timeline. You can view the Scholars’ work here.

Spring 2013 Sunday Scholars explored the photography of Camilo José Vergara, focusing on his photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. murals (featured in the exhibition The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara at New-York Historical) to inform their own creative projects. The Scholars composed their own multi-media, research-based, documentation projects. View them here.

Fall 2012 Sunday Scholars studied artist Camilo José Vergara’s time-lapse photography in order to reflect on the changing social and cultural fabric of urban geography. They also shot before-and-after images to preserve history in their own terms and produced a documentary of their photographs and related research. View it here.

If you have any questions about high school internships, please e-mail us at

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