Written by Shana Fung
Every August, rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders come to the New-York Historical Society for week-long sessions of Camp History to live out their dreams of being real historians! During the week, campers go behind the scenes at the Museum to meet with librarians, curators, exhibition designers, conservators, and more as they deep dive into a historical topic. On the final day of camp, parents are invited to the unveiling of a mini-exhibition that showcases everything the campers learned and did throughout the week.
This year, we were inspired by the hidden story of Clara Driscoll and the beautiful Tiffany lamps she designed (on display now in our Gallery of Tiffany Lamps!). Campers were challenged to comb through our Library and Museum collections for figures from the past that have been forgotten by history and to illuminate their stories on stained glass votives of their own making.
Hidden historical figures that the campers chose to bring to light included Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers, a woman who fought and lived as a man during the Civil War era; Henry Bergh, founder of the ASPCA; Belle Da Costa Greene, the librarian who helped build J.P. Morgan’s famed library collections; and Jupiter Hammon, a poet from the 1700s who started life as a slave.
Check out some photos we took during this summer’s camp sessions below!