The Morgan Book Project

"Arts at the Core of Collaboration and Cross Curricular Skills"

 In the News: Teaching Children the Value of Pre-Web PagesThe New York Times

The Morgan Book Project is a free program, in which the Morgan collaborates with public school teachers to develop a unit of study designed to engage students in writing, illustrating, and building a book. The Morgan Book Project Award is the program's culminating event.

The Morgan Book Project follows an eight-month timeline:

JULY 7–10, 2014 OCTOBER 2014 DECEMBER 11, 2014 OCTOBER 2014 through MARCH 2015 MARCH 2015 (Date TBD) Mid APRIL 2015 (Date TBD)
The Summer Institute for Teachers Class trip to the Morgan Technical Support Meeting Class project with Morgan program staff Book submission to jury The Morgan Book Project Award


Photo of teachers
Teacher team making paint with natural pigments.

JULY 7–10, 2014
The Summer Institute for Teachers
This four-day workshop is designed to accommodate school teams of one Visual Arts teacher + one Social Studies or Language Arts or classroom teacher, for grades 3 to 8.

Teachers will:


  • the Morgan as a resource and complement to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, as well as The New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts


  • exceptional primary sources, including medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from the Morgan's collection and the exhibition The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece (October 17, 2014-January 4, 2015)


  • collaborative planning
  • activities offering cross-disciplinary models that support the five strands of the Blueprint
  • strategies to teach basic book art techniques in the classroom


  • a comprehensive cross-disciplinary unit of study around an integrated art project for implementation in the the 2014–2015 school year
  • a handmade book using traditional professional grade materials


Handouts include:

  • Two teacher's guides: Illumination for the Classroom and Build an Accordion Book.
  • Reference material related to book arts
  • Professional grade bookbinding materials, as well as traditional and unusual art supplies to carry out the book project in the classroom


Photo of student
Student blowing on glue before applying gold leaf.

Class trip to the Morgan
Students will draw upon the Morgan's superb collection of illuminated manuscripts and relate them to world history in a way that will deepen their understanding of cultural identity and interaction among diverse peoples across time and space. They will then reflect on the books' aesthetics and make numerous sketches in preparation of their own book projects.

Dates for the class trip will be discussed with teachers during the Summer Institute.

DECEMBER 11, 2014
Technical Support Meeting
A Technical Support meeting of participating teachers and consultants will be held between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Morgan to ascertain the progress of the project and to share challenges and successes.

Classroom project
Teacher teams will implement the cross-disciplinary unit of study developed during the Summer Institute as they lead their students in the writing, illustration, and binding of manuscript books. Morgan program staff will be available for support. One technical support meeting will be scheduled in December to address any issues teachers may have with the project.

MARCH 2015 (date TBD)
Books submission deadline
Teachers submit their best student book projects to a jury of artists, book professionals, and school librarians.

Photo of student
Student after receiving Award in the Gilder Lehrman Hall.

Mid APRIL 2015 (date TBD)
The Morgan Book Project Award
The winning books are featured in a one-day installation at the Morgan, while the students whose books are selected receive an award in the presence of their families, schoolteachers, and principals in the Morgan's Gilder Lehrman Hall.

The Special Award
The judges select several particularly remarkable books among winning entries, whose authors will receive a Special Award. These books will be publicly exhibited at the Morgan for two weeks. To see the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Special Award winners, click here.


NEW application deadline: June 23, 2014
Space is limited to ten teaching teams.

If selected, applicants will be notified the week following the deadline.

Who may apply?
This program is reserved for New York City Public School teachers.

Teachers must apply as a team. Each team must include one Visual Arts teacher + one Social Studies or Language Arts or classroom teacher for grades 3 to 8.

Both teachers in the team must commit to attend the full four-day Summer Institute. (We reserve the right to reject teachers who arrive without a teammate.) Teams must commit to carry out the project in the classroom and submit four student works to The Morgan Book Project Award on the March deadline (date TBD).

We particularly encourage Title I schools with a strong dedication to the arts to apply.

Because space is limited, we will accept only one teacher team per school.

Application Process

Applicants will be selected based on samples of their current or past student work.

To apply please do the following:

  1. Print and fill out the early application form / general application form.
  2. Copy photos of at least three samples of your students' art work done this year or within the past three years onto a CD (JPEG format, 5x4 inches, 300 dpi).
  3. Photocopy at least three samples of your students' writing (any topic) done this year or within the past three years.
  4. Clearly label every item with the school name and address.
  5. Mail application form, CD, and photocopies by March 1, 2014 (Early Application) or May 3 (General Application) to:

The Morgan Book Project/Education Department
The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Only the applicants who have been accepted in the program will be contacted. A confirmation letter will be sent to them and their principal by March 15 (Early Application) or May 15 (General Application).

Please note

  • Do not e-mail us photos. We may not be able to open the files.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, we cannot mail back any material that is sent to us.

If you have questions, please contact us at