The following feedback is from past NEH Teaching Seminars led by the Smith Center.

Here’s what past participants have to say about their experience at the Newberry:


Participants in an NEH Teacher Seminar at The Newberry, Summer 2018.

“I appreciated that our [directors] allowed us to take a deep dive into the Newberry archives and created an atmosphere where everyone was encouraged to look at maps and ephemera without hesitation.”

“Newberry Library staff was so helpful and made my research process so easy. They were always there to help and I never needed anything!”

“I truly enjoyed how the program had different access points for all. We went on field trips to the neighborhoods we talked about, we had lectures, we had whole group discussions, we had small group work, we played with manipulatives, it truly provided multi-modal ways to access the information given.”

“The library is gorgeous and the staff was very polite and attentive.”

“This is one of the most impressive institutes I have ever attended. I learned not only from Dr. Akerman and Dr. Nekola, but also from my fellow educators in the workshop. We were immersed in the history, reading, and interpretation of maps. This workshop has left a marked impression upon me that will not only effect my teaching, but my daily life as well.”

“The seminar has helped me understand on a much deeper level the necessity of applying critical reading and thinking skills to maps.”

“This was a topnotch seminar, by far the best of three I have attended in the past 5 years. The daily readings were challenging but relevant, the discussions were stimulating, the hands-on workshops where we analyzed and presented pairs of maps were interesting, the field trips were relevant and gave us all a sense of ‘place,’ and the opportunity to conduct our own research with so many excellent primary sources was incredible.”

“The map analysis workshops were the best!”

“This institute was absolutely top notch. The level of scholarship approximated a graduate-level class. The participants were carefully selected to have a mix of voices and perspectives. The ability to interact with material maps and the curator of these maps at the Newberry was a true honor as well. I anticipate being able to use digital map collections in an enhanced way now that I have so much more understanding of the physicality of the maps.”

“I loved this seminar. I came to it with a cursory interest in maps but an interest to learn how to use physical maps to better improve my teaching and my students’ learning. By the end of the seminar, my love for cartography and reading material maps had blossomed and I can’t wait to use the skills I learned in the course in my classroom. The research portion of the seminar was by far my favorite experience of the summer. It was such a pleasure to use the Newberry’s resources and to conduct research in this spectacular library.”

“The Newberry Library is a gem, a treasure. I loved every moment I spent looking through its collection in the company of my peers and on my own. The opportunity to physically interact with maps ranging from a few years to centuries old cannot be understated. The maps themselves speak to you through the materials and processes that created them. It allows you to reach through time and space to consider the creators of these treasures, engage with them, and have a deep understanding of the world that they lived in and were trying to represent.”

Summer Seminar: Reading Material Maps in the Digital Age

Participants in an NEH Teacher Seminar at The Newberry, Summer 2018.