Teachers Digitize Immigration Documents in Washington, DC

Educators from around the country participated in our Primarily Teaching summer institute in Washington, DC, last week. They explored documents in the holdings of the National Archives that were created or received by immigration and naturalization officials from the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

Primarily Teaching DC 2014 Participants
Educators Participating in Primarily Teaching, with National Archives Staff and Interns, in the Boeing Learning Center at the National Archives
Postcards to the President urging strict immigration laws
These 1911 postcards were pre-addressed to the President so that supporters only had to fill in their name and address. The message urges strict immigration laws against the “foreign hordes.”

The teachers found and described over 50 documents relating to operations at Ellis Island, public opinion about immigration, and immigration policy reforms.

We scanned and loaded them all onto DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents, so that they can be used in interactive activities for students. See them all on DocsTeach!

Washington, DC, is just one of four Primarily Teaching locations this summer. All of the workshops fit within the national theme of “Leadership and Legacy in History,” matching that of National History Day in 2015. Educators at each location are exploring a specific case study, with original documents in our archival holdings, that fits within this broader theme.

Photograph of three Italian men
This photograph was included with a letter explaining that these three Italian men were were excluded from entry and deported because they had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, through the support of Texas Instruments.

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