History of the Institute


  • The Hamilton Education Program expands to Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area in spring 2017.


  • The 10,000th school—Blades Elementary School in Saint Louis, Missouri—joins the Affiliate School Program.
  • The Gilder Lehrman Collection adds new twentieth-century materials, including archives of soldiers’ letters from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts, bringing the total number of historical documents to 65,000.
  • The Hamilton Education Program begins. In 2016, approximately 7,000 students from 100 Title I schools in New York City participate in the educational programming and attend the musical Hamilton.


  • Membership in the Affiliate School Program reaches more than 7,700 schools across the nation and around the world.
  • More than 5,000,000 unique visitors come to the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s website in 2015.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda receives George Washington Prize for Hamilton: An American Musical.
  • Hamilton, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute partner to provide 20,000 NYC public school students with the opportunity to see Hamilton on Broadway and integrate the show into classroom studies.
  • The Institute is invited to partner with the Google Cultural Institute in online exhibitions of Gilder Lehrman Institute material.
  • The online SAT US History Study Guide is launched.
  • Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation, an exhibition co-curated by the Morgan Library & Museum and Gilder Lehrman, is on display at the Morgan Library & Museum. A complete online version of the exhibition, along with supplemental materials, is available at abrahamlincoln.org.



  • The Affiliate School Program network continues to expand and reaches 3,000 schools across the nation on June 25, 2013.
  • May 2013: The Gilder Lehrman Institute honors Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman at the 2nd annual gala.
  • Nine months after the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s new website launched, the site hits one million unique users in January 2013.




  • Demand for Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars continues to increase. Gilder Lehrman offers a total of forty Teacher Seminars and receives thousands of applicants yearly.
  • Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman complete their donation of the Gilder Lehrman Collection to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


  • Gilder Lehrman’s American History: An Introduction (History in a Box series) wins award from the American Association of Museums.
  • Gilder Lehrman receives We the People Challenge Grant of $1,000,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


  • The Gilder Lehrman Special Exhibits Gallery opens at the Gettysburg National Military Park’s new Museum and Visitors Center.
  • Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor leads special Gilder Lehrman teacher seminar on “The History of the Judiciary” in Washington, DC.
  • The Council of Independent Colleges presents the Award for Academic Excellence to the Gilder Lehrman Institute.


  • Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman receive the National Humanities Medal for their work in advancing history education and for co-founding the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  • Gilder Lehrman partners with Washington College and Mount Vernon to found the George Washington Book Prize. The first George Washington Book Prize is awarded to Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton.
  • The first History in a Box, The Founding Era: People, Places, and Politics, is published.
  • The Gilder Lehrman Gallery at Mount Vernon opens.
  • The Organization of American Historians presents the Institute with the Friend of History Award.


  • Gilder Lehrman increases number of Teacher Seminars offered to twenty, raising the number of attendees to more than 600 each summer.
  • Kathleen Kean, teacher at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin, wins the first National History Teacher of the Year Award, presented by First Lady Laura Bush.
  • Gilder Lehrman launches History Now, a quarterly online journal.


  • Gilder Lehrman partners with school districts on its first three Teaching American History grants.
  • History Scholars Program for undergraduates begins.
  • Gilder Lehrman Collection placed on deposit at the New-York Historical Society.


  • First website launched with the Gilder Lehrman Collection searchable online catalogue.




  • Gilder Lehrman creates first traveling exhibition, Free at Last: History of the Abolition of Slavery in America.
  • The Institute co-sponsors the Lincoln Prize with Gettysburg College.


  • The first history high school, the Academy of American Studies, opens in Long Island City, New York.
  • Gilder Lehrman launches Historians’ Forums, a lecture series by eminent historians on their most recent books.


  • Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman found the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  • Seeds of Discord: The Politics of Slavery, an exhibition at the Pierpont Morgan Library, opens, featuring documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection.
  • The first Gilder Lehrman teacher seminar, “The Origins and Nature of New World Slavery,” is held at Yale University and led by Professor David Brion Davis.