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 the extensive collection at New-York Historical. Scholars will either explore a current museum exhibition in depth with a focus on its historic content 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 compellingly 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.
We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2015 Scholars Program for Teens! See below for more information.

Spring 2015 Program:

  • Application available: November 2014
  • Deadline to apply: January 15, 2015
  • Program dates: 5 Saturday sessions from 10 AM-1 PM February 28th through March 28th

Summer 2015 Program:

  • Application available: March 2015
  • Deadline to apply: May 2015
  • Program dates: Wednesdays and Thursdays in August from 10am-12:30pm at New-York Historical

Participation is free with Family Membership to N-YHS or $125 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 City metropolitan area are invited to apply to spend five Saturday mornings examining and discussing art, artifacts, and documents.

The Spring 2015 Scholars will have the unique and exciting opportunity to investigate Chinese American: Exclusion/ Inclusion, which explores the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings—and will raise the question “What does it mean to be an American?”. Spring Scholars can expect to research within a museum setting, further develop their critical thinking and presentation skills, and to discuss historical topics presented in the exhibit.

The application form should be typed by the applicant and saved as a Word document or .pdf file, named “your first name_your last name”. The document can be e-mailed to using the subject line “Spring Scholars Application.”

Deadline to apply: 5 pm on Thursday, January 15, 2015.

Our previous projects include:

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 collection. 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 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, and produced their own “before” and “after” images to preserve history on their own terms. The Scholars also created a documentary of their photographs and related research. View it here.


If you have questions regarding the Scholars Program for Teens, please contact us at

Creative: Tronvig Group