The National Archives Through Children’s Eyes

A few months ago, I received 15 handcrafted thank you notes from a group of school children who had visited with their parents and teachers from the Saltonstall School in Salem, Massachusetts.


I had the opportunity to answer their questions before their tour of the National Archives. My favorite question was from a young boy who asked, “Which is older, this building or you?” The question certainly stopped me in my tracks — and the parents and teachers were rolling in the aisles! And when I calculated the answer, I was appalled that the building opened ONLY ten years before I was born!

From their thank you notes, you can tell the visit made a big impression. Here are my favorite quotes: 

“It was an incredible experience being just a few feet away from the documents that made our nation as it is today.” ~Cindy N.

“Thanks for showing us the most important Archives in the United States.” ~Sabrina O.

“Seeing all of the old documents will help me on my project about Washington, DC.” ~Marina W.

“Just knowing that I was staring right at our nation’s history means a lot.” ~Madyson P.

“I have only seen pictures of the Declaration of Independence, and it was really cool to see it in person.” ~Maise S.

“My favorite part was seeing you in the auditorium.” ~Sophia B.

“I guess that this letter will go into all the other documents that you have.” ~Jake M.

“Honestly, I thought that the Archives would just have the special papers and inventions, not all of the fun things we got to experience.” ~Michelle L.

“I’m very thankful to have seen these historical papers that made our country what it is today.” ~Brent C.

It was an honor to host these young researchers, and help them with their projects on Washington, DC.  I am delighted to know that “it was really cool” to see the Declaration of Independence in person.

One thought on “The National Archives Through Children’s Eyes

  1. David, how cool was it that at least one of them made the connection between the thank yous they sent you and archives. Recruit him for the profession now!

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