American Experience

Dear National Archives Foundation Friends and Family,

There’s an important story being written in our country today. The National Archives Foundation cannot ignore the social unrest across the nation, and we’ve chosen to take a break from our regularly scheduled Archives at Home newsletter series. This week, we are taking time to watch, listen and learn as history unfolds before us. Below, we have provided a few resources as you reflect on current events and the past.

The Foundation’s job is to support an institution whose responsibility is to serve as our country’s memory by preserving the records that tell our collective story. The Foundation helps audiences look at our modern world through the lens of what has come before.

Facing social justice issues is not a new conversation for the United States nor the National Archives. Examining the heavy history of yesterday provides us with the context, nuance and complexity of the moment and serves as a launchpoint for meaningful, honest conversations.

A few years ago, we hosted a series of programs called the “National Conversations on Rights and Justice.” At each event, we opened the program with an important video featuring U.S. Representative John Lewis and narrated by Cokie Roberts. I invite you to watch and reflect on the power of our past as we grapple with our days ahead.

Patrick Madden
Executive Director
National Archives Foundation


Additional Resources

    • Visit the DocsTeach website. “Rights in America” includes lesson plans, Archives records and student activity discussions about race in America.
    • Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has created a portal of resources to help people explore race, racism and racial identity.
    • In 2015, the National Archives Foundation honored Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch with its Records of Achievement Award, in recognition of Branch’s lifelong work to chronicle the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Learn about Branch’s work in our tribute film from that evening.

Last Week and More

We want to bring the Archives to you. If you missed last week or our content in the past, have no fear! We’ve collected everything we’ve dug up from holdings. Click on an icon below to learn more!

  • We the People
  • History Pix
  • Archives Encore
  • History Quirks
  • Patent Pending
  • Cooking Club

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And if you have a favorite fun memory of the National Archives, or love history and just want to share, post on social media using #ArchivesAtHome and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The National Archives Foundation strives to inspire citizens to explore the past and cultivate a deeper understanding of their civic history and civic responsibility. Join the Foundation today and learn how you can help support our mission!