Archival Ambassadors

Morristown NHP will not be holding a typical Primary Source Seminar or Archival Ambassadors program this year. The division of cultural resources is excited to share with our friends that a new Park Service initiative, Park for Every Classroom, has started and our programs have been selected as prototypes for this new service-wide initiative. We will still be offering limited opportunities for students and teachers this spring and summer, so please check back often or give us a call. 973-539-2016 x215 (Ms. Minegar) x214 (Dr. Pfister).  

Archival Ambassadors is a stewardship program that brings high school and graduate level college students together to study history via primary sources.

High School Program

Program Description
Archival Ambassadors at Morristown National Historical Park is a unique summer program committed to meeting the educational needs of academically talented high school students of history. Emphasis is placed on document and artifact preservation, scholarly research, and primary document analysis. Archival Ambassadors is an intensive learning experience held one week each summer.

Archival Ambassadors is designed to bring together a diverse group of twelve to fifteen high school students for a week-long intensive learning experience designed to explore history from the source. There is no cost to the scholars to attend this program. Participants will be challenged to consider how history is preserved and shared, the ways in which historical interpretation and politics affect the shape history takes, and how a modern museum exhibit might best present hsitorical information to visitors. Students will practice a variety of document analysis exercises, visit all of the Morristown NHP sites, prepare a gallery/object talk, help with the installation of a temporary exhibit, and prepare events for the Community Day, among other activities.

Archival Ambassadors are expected to attend all activities and participate in Community Day. Participants will earn a Morristown National Historical Park Archival Ambassadors certificate of merit, acknowledging their voluntary contributions made to the community.

This program is ideal for serious students of history, and those interested in historical documents and artifacts, public history, and archives and museum research experience.

Learning Outcomes
As a result of attending the Morristown National Historical Park’s Archival Ambassadors program, students will be able to:

• Demonstrate proper techniques for the handling of archival materials.

• Expand their research and critical-thinking skills in document analysis.
• Gain knowledge about the resources at Morristown National Historical Park.
• Share what they have learned with the public.
• Gain a greater awareness of the cultural resources preserved by the National Park Service and the stewardship role that they and other citizens can play in that endeavor.

High school students entering grade 10, 11, or 12 in the upcoming school year are eligible to participate. We are looking for outgoing students who exhibit communication skills and a keen interest in interacting with the public. Students must be able to work well with others in a team environment.

To apply, students must first be nominated by a faculty member or administrator from their respective schools. They must submit a completed application, which includes a personal statement, essay, and teacher recommendation to Morristown National Historical Park. Students will be notified by mid May if they have been selected for the program. Once accepted, students will be mailed a complete information packet. 
Application deadline: mid April. Session will meet the second (full week) of July. *See Nomination Form for exact dates per summer.

*Teachers may contact Sarah Minegar for information, nomination forms, and student application forms.

Graduate Level Internship Opportunity


American Studies
Public History/Humanities
Social Studies/History Education (undergraduate education majors may apply)

Archival Ambassadors
Archival Ambassadors is a stewardship program for advanced high school students interested in history and the study of primary documents. It is an initiative that stems from our educational program Primary Source Seminar. Each summer, a new group of advanced high students is nominated to serve as Archival Ambassadors. During their tenure, Archival Ambassadors participate in various activities on the subjects of preservation, research and document analysis. Ambassadors will assist in the curation of a small temporary exhibit and culminate their training with a "hands-on" day, open to the public, where they will share with members of the community what they have learned during their summer studies. (SEE PROGRAM DESCRIPTION ABOVE).

The Archival Ambassadors program is led by a team of upper-level education majors (both undergraduate and graduate level) and M.A. and Ph.D. students. Three to five interns are selected for each Archival Ambassadors Session (once each summer). It is our goal to recruit interns from regional colleges and universities. It is important to us that our team of interns includes both education majors and graduate level history/public humanities students as we believe the skills from these disciplines combined will best serve our educational purpose, and those of the participating students.

Internship Projects
A team of education majors and graduate history/public humanities majors will research and design a Traveling Archives unit box, lead/instruct the Archival Ambassadors, and curate (with the assistance of the Archival Ambassadors) a temporary exhibit using manuscripts from the Traveling Archives unit they have designed.

summer internship- 4 wks (approx 120 hrs./3 credits)

Weeks 1 and 2

Develop a Traveling Archives Unit utilizing the
Lloyd W. Smith Archival Collection
Week 3
Prepare Activities for the Archival Ambassadors and brainstorm exhibit plan

Week 4
Lead/Instruct the Archival Ambassadors and install temporary exhibit

Community Day

Assist the Archival Ambassadors in leading a one day community program

• experience working with a museum and archival institution
• interaction with a collection of rare manuscripts
• primary document research
• lesson/lecture/activity/planning and development
• experience curating a small temporary exhibit
• public speaking opportunity
• reflective writing/blog contribution
• teaching experience
• stewardship/public humanities opportunity

Interns will be selected from participating colleges and universities and via an application and interview process. Students may petition their school/internship coordinator to request that the Archival Ambassadors Internship count for credit.

*Application forms will be available in December/ For a complete program description and specific dates/times, contact Sarah Minegar

About the Lloyd W. Smith Archival Collection

The Lloyd W. Smith Collection, which includes approximately 15,000 printed works and nearly 300,000 manuscripts, consists of documents spanning from the fifteenth- through early twentieth-centuries. The original collector of these documents valued the continuity of history and had the foresight into the significance of preserving cultural heritage; the archive houses everything from George Washington to Booker T. Washington, Alessandro Scarlatti to Richard Wagner, Byron to Longfellow, George III to George Elliot, Darwin to Emerson, Catherine de Medici to Susan B. Anthony. Lloyd Smith’s Collection is an amalgam of founding fathers, U.S. and world leaders, authors and poets, scholars and thinkers, social activists, celebrities and laymen. To say the least, The Lloyd W. Smith Archival Collection is not your typical National Park Service collection.


Sarah Minegar
Archives Technician/Museum Educator
sarah_minegar (at) nps (dot) gov
P 973.539.2016 ex 215
F 973.539.8361