PreK-12 School Programs

Experience a Special Collections that turns an ordinary field trip into something extraordinary.

Pricing and Details

School Programs are available September-June, Monday through Friday during Library hours, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Our school programs offer curriculum-based experiences in History/Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Music, Library Media, and Art and include:

  • Guided tours of our rotating Special Collections exhibitions led by trained docents
  • Customizable programs utilizing rare books, archival material, manuscripts, photographs, maps, and ephemera
  • Walking tours of historic Southport Village
  • Writing field trips inspired by richly illustrated, early edition books by iconic authors
  • Access to our Special Collections reading room for research and projects, including CT History Day

Have a specific learning goal in mind? We’ll collaborate with you to customize a program that meets the needs of your students and your curriculum.

Pequot Library’s wide selection of primary source material, such as letters, photographs, maps, early-edition books, manuscripts, and other ephemera, is available for students to explore through our interactive school programs.


  • $5 per students in grades K-12
  • $2 per students in Pre-K
  • No charge for group leaders and chaperones
  • No charge for Title 1 schools. Bus subsidies available.


  • Programs offered Monday-Friday
  • Lunch space available upon request
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Please schedule 2-3 weeks in advance
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Bringing History to Life: Special Collections Exhibition School Tours

Our Special Collections are available for students to explore through interactive tours of our on-going series of exhibitions. Students examine primary source material, make connections between history and our 21st century world, and participate in a hands-on art or writing activity that allows them to respond creatively to what they’ve learned.

Cover to Cover: How People Bind their Books
(November 7, 2019 – February 9, 2020)

Grades K-12. Students examine different types of books, from miniature books to large-scale folios, gold-stamped publishers’ binding to stabstitched paper wrappers, treasured bibles to ephemeral almanacs, nineteenth century marbled papers to fifteenth century stamped leather. Peer into the ‘guts’ of historic bindings to see how they were constructed, from the bookbinder’s craft to the print and manuscript waste hiding inside, and then craft a book or journal and embellish in historical style. Learn more…

Riot, Sedition, & Insurrection: Media and the Road to the American Revolutionary War
(February 20, 2020 – May 3, 2020)

Grades 5-12. Students explore the pamphlets that memorialized and politicized key events in the early years of Revolution, from the Stamp Act to the Boston Massacre, to the Battle of Bunker Hill. By looking at the same works that circulated in the streets, coffeehouses, and homes of Revolutionary-era Americans, including a 1776 edition of Common Sense, students will experience the media environment that shifted public opinion from loyalty to rebellion. A writing exercise entails students crafting their own revolutionary content for social media. Learn more…

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Historic Southport Walking Tours

Grades 9-12. Students trace the history of Southport as it’s reflected through the architecture of the village, which was designated as a National Historic District in 1971. They follow its transition from swampland to the English occupation to the present, 21st century village of private homes. Students discover how architecture reflects Southport’s growth from port to commercial district to suburban enclave. May be offered with selections from Sloop Logs and Ledgers.

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Special Collections Programs

Treasures from Pequot’s on-site Special Collections storage repository are revealed during the following hands-on programs for students:

Living in the New World

Grades 3-12. Journey to the early days of the New World and explore the interactions between European settlers and Native Americans. To gain insight on the intersection of the two cultures, students will examine primers, language studies, maps, and histories as well as stunning 19th century portraits and biographies of Native American sachems and pictographs including those representing signers of the Deed of Sasqua. In a hands-on activity, students create and share their own pictograph stories, inspired by those discussed during the program. Learn more…


Egyptomania: The Western Fascination with Egypt

Grades 6-12. View the wonders of Egypt through a new lens, focusing on the western fascination with the country during the 19th century. This program features items that were acquired by library founder Virginia Marquand Monroe, who traveled to Egypt in around 1891. Examine 19th century photographs of monuments, landscapes, and people; Egyptian artifacts; and books and illustrations about Egypt- all of which are examples of the influences that have shaped western perceptions of Egypt. In an optional hands-on activity, students use Egyptian motifs as inspiration to create a model sarcophagus. Learn more…


Sloop Logs and Ledgers

Grades 6-12. This program features 19th-century sloop logs and ledgers illustrating Southport’s rich maritime legacy. These volumes capture the daily details of harbor life and emphasize our agricultural history and the preeminent role of the Southport Harbor. Students will also learn about the Sound’s own Titanic-like tragedy with the sinking of the steamboat The Lexington. Students will track Southport’s evolution from a working harbor and shipping grounds to a quaint village and sailor’s paradise. Learn more…

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The Great War and the United States Home Front

Grades 6-12. Discover first-hand the civic engagement that characterized U.S. Home Front efforts during WWI, by examining Pequot’s collection of vibrant posters issued by the U.S. government to promote civic activities in support of the war effort; pamphlets on the conservation of food, Victory gardens, Liberty loans, and political issues. In an optional hands-on activity, students create their own poster or pamphlet, in support of a contemporary civic initiative. Learn more…


Analyzing US Home Front Efforts: WWI vs. WWII

Grades 6-12. Compare and contrast US Home Front efforts during WWI and WWII, by analyzing propaganda posters, pamphlets, and other media from Pequot’s Special Collections. Discover similarities and differences between the patriotic and civilian efforts that took place on the American home front after the United States entered each war, including those related to Daily Life, Food Conservation and Victory Gardens, Women and the War, and The Military/War Production. Learn more…


Uncovering Shakespeare

Grades 9-12. Explore the gems from Pequot’s Shakespeare collection, in a hands-on program that will deepen students’ understanding of Shakespeare, encourage them to think about his writing in new ways, and share their perspectives on his works. Included in the program are historic books from 1623 to the 20th century, including extracts from the First Folio, as well as the complete Second, Third, and Fourth Folios. Students also examine examples of various exciting illustration styles used in modern editions of Shakespeare’s works. Three series – those of Hugh Thomson, the Players’ Shakespeare, and The New Temple Shakespeare with Eric Gill’s engravings – add a compelling visual character to the Bard and his works. Learn more…

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Writing Field Trips

Let Pequot Library’s Special Collections inspire your writers! During a two hour program, students compare and contrast richly illustrated, early edition books by iconic writers, and then create their own stories inspired by illustrations, in a writing workshop led by Pequot staff.

Illustration Inspiration: Comparing Poe and Austen

Grades 9-12. Students experience the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Jane Austen through exploration of timeless illustrations and text, and discuss how their literary themes have been imagined throughout time. They then create their own stories inspired by their choice of illustrations, from a work by either Poe or Austen.

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Pre-K Programs

Searching for Shapes at the Library

How many circles, squares, and triangles can you find? Preschoolers get to know the architecture of Pequot Library’s beautiful building, which is listed in The National Register of Historic Places, in a hunt for shapes that will take them through our Auditorium, Reading Room, Stacks, Mezzanine, and Children’s Room! Visit includes time with our resident bunny, Blossom.

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Research Support

Pequot Library supports students with research projects, including CT History Day projects, by offering access to our Special Collections in our rare books reading room, The Dillon Room, by appointment. Librarians are available to assist students with examination of materials while discussing methods for analyzing sources, comparing and corroborating information, and using reasoning to draw evidence-based conclusions.

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Special Collections Highlights

Pequot Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives were assembled initially by library founder Virginia Marquand Monroe (1837-1926) and her associate, the Rev. William Holman (1852 – 1936), who focused the first collection efforts on Early Americana. In addition to the extraordinary contributions from the Library’s founders, the Special Collections features a wide collection of holdings, including:

  • A collection of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts obtained by the Monroes, including papyrus fragments and cuneiform tablets
  • A twelfth-century manuscript of Sancti Gregorii magni epistolae [The Letters of Pope Gregory, ca. 540-604], the oldest book found in a public library in Fairfield County
  • Four incunabula (books printed before 1501)
  • The four Shakespeare Folios – two intact plays from the First (1623), and complete Second (1632), Third (1666), and Fourth (1685)
  • A collection of local manuscript materials and printed ephemera from the eighteenth century, including firsthand accounts of the Revolutionary War in Southport, and early printed currency
  • A collection of Kelmscott Press imprints, representing 40 of the 52 total Kelmscott editions produced, including a copy of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer and a copy of Childe Christopher printed on vellum
  • Margaret Mitchell’s manuscript of the final four chapters of Gone with the Wind, along with a substantial collection of international editions of the novel.
  • Several early editions of Phyllis Wheatley’s poems, including a copy of the first edition (1773), and a copy of the first American edition (1786)
  • A collection of propaganda posters and ephemera from World War I and World War II
  • A substantial Historic Children’s Book collection spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including primers, ephemera, and first editions of works by Louisa May Alcott and other notable authors.
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Please contact us for more information.

Ready for your Pequot Experience?

Custom Programs and Outreach

We are happy to design customized tours and programs to enhance your classroom or school curriculum. Let’s learn together!

Want us to come to your classroom? Find out more about how we can bring our specialized programs to you!

 For more information, contact or 203-259-0346 ext 117

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