Inside the Vault

Join us on July 7, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 to 5:00 p.m. PT) when our curators will discuss Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense with Eric Slauter, Associate Professor of English, University of Chicago. Published anonymously in January 1776, Common Sense advocates for colonial independence from Great Britain. Around 500,000 copies were sold, and it is considered one of the most influential pamphlets in American history. What made this pamphlet so powerful, and how did it help bring about American independence? We will address these questions and more.

Submit your questions for Professor Slauter here.

This event is for teachers, students and their families—and everyone with an interest in history!

Everyone who registers will be sent a Zoom meeting link and instructions in the confirmation email.

PD certificates will be sent to all who attend the entirety of the program.


Inside the Vault: Highlights from the Gilder Lehrman Collection is an online program that highlights unique primary sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. From iconic historical treasures, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation, to personal letters that reveal the contributions of ordinary American citizens, each session will investigate primary sources and discuss their background, impact, and potential use in the classroom.

Upcoming Programs

August 4, 2022: Join us on August 4, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 to 5:00 p.m. PT) when our curators will discuss campaign materials from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third presidential election with Barbara Perry, the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. The handbills featured in this program showcase the successes of Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives. These documents helped Roosevelt become the only US president to serve a third term, and we will explore the reasons why.

View the full archive of past sessions