Traveling Trunks

Hands-on classroom resources

The 2024-2025 school year application window for Traveling Trunks will be open from July 8-August 23, 2024.  

The Traveling Trunk program provides reproduction artifacts, clothing, and other various materials for teachers to utilize during their early U.S. history instruction. The trunks foster greater interest in history and battlefield preservation by allowing students to have a hands-on experience. 

American Battlefield Trust offers Revolutionary War Traveling Trunks and Civil War Traveling Trunks. On the application, you can specify if you have a preference for the Revolutionary War or Civil War Trunks, and we will do our best to consider and accommodate those requests!

Trunks are provided free of charge to classrooms around the country. In the 2023-2024 school year, the trunks visited 150 schools. Over the years of the program, the trunks have visited all 50 states! The American Battlefield Trust covers shipping charges associated with the program. Traveling Trunks are available for the 2024-2025 school year, from September 16, 2024 to June 13, 2025. 

The Revolutionary War and Civil War Traveling Trunks are FREE for teachers!

This is an image of Civil War Era currency.

Trunks & Resources:

Rental Rules & Procedures:

  1. Request a trunk by filling out the Rental Request Form prior to August 23, 2024. Please do not email or call the American Battlefield Trust to request a trunk, you must use the Rental Request Form to request a Traveling Trunk. 
  2. Requests are not fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see our selection criteria section below for more information.
  3. All applicants will be notified by email at provided address on or before September 6, 2024. Teachers selected to receive a trunk will receive a confirmation email on or before September 6 and must reply to that email to confirm the trunk for their classroom.
  4. Each class has the trunk for five business days, Monday-Friday. If selected to receive a trunk, the Trust will create a schedule based on the requests received and contact you to let you know your dates within three weeks of your application. 
  5. Teachers will be emailed an inventory of the trunk as well as a link to online versions of several of the lesson plans and other materials in the trunk for planning purposes. Teachers must return a completed inventory and survey to the American Battlefield Trust within 5 business days of the trunk's departure from your school. 
  6. Assuming that there are no shipping problems, you will receive the trunk about three (3) days before your scheduled week.
  7. The American Battlefield Trust assumes responsibility for shipping costs to and from your school. 
  8. The trunk will only be shipped to a valid school address. In no case will the trunk be shipped to a private residence, homeschool, or homeschool co-op. Trunks will also only be distributed to active classroom teachers and to schools and school districts. In no case will a trunk be shipped to a PTA, parent, or any other non-classroom affiliate.
  9. School districts will not receive more than one trunk per school year. 
  10. While you have the trunk, we encourage you to take pictures of your students using the trunk and send the pictures to the Trust!
  11. On Thursday during your scheduled week, a member of the Trust's education team will email you shipping instructions and a prepaid UPS label to get the trunk to the next teacher.  Then simply attach the label and take the trunk to a UPS store or pick-up location.
  12. All trunks must be passed to the next school, or back to the American Battlefield Trust, in good condition. If the trunk is not passed on in good condition, the teacher and/or school district will be held financially responsible for any damage to the trunk or its contents in excess of $50.00, the school district will not receive any future trunks, and the school district will not be eligible for the History Field Trip Grant Program. 
  13. Please keep in mind that the demand for the trunks is at an all-time high. We do not have enough trunks to accommodate each and every request. Just because you apply for a trunk, does not mean that you will receive one. The American Battlefield Trust staff will contact you and let you know if you will receive a trunk. 

Selection Criteria

The Traveling Trunk program is the American Battlefield Trust's most popular and in-demand educational program. We do not have enough trunks to fulfill every request. It is our goal to have the trunks reach as many students in as many cities and states in the country as possible so that we have the greatest impact on K-12 education. Teachers should not grow to depend on receiving a trunk each and every school year. Again, we cannot fulfill every request. 

Fulfillment requests are based upon a variety of factors including but not limited to the following review criteria:

  • The completeness and honesty of your application. 
  • The number of times a school district or individual educator has received the Traveling Trunk in the past. 
  • The number of times the applicant has received History Field Trip Grant Program funding and/or travel scholarships to our National Teacher Institute. 
  • The number of applications received from a school district, city, or state.
  • The certitude of the applicant's required dates and the certitude of the dates provided for all fall and spring breaks (if applicable).
  • Availability of trunks during the timeframes that you provide on your application. 
  • Schools and educators who received a trunk during the 2023-2024 school year are less likely to receive a trunk during the 2024-2025 school year due to efforts to widely circulate the trunks. However, you are still welcome to apply!
  • Educators who received a trunk in the past and did not utilize it in their classroom or those educators who no called-no showed at the National Teacher Institute are not eligible to receive a trunk. 
  • Educators who have been verbally abusive to the American Battlefield Trust staff are not eligible to receive a trunk.
  • Please Note: Requests are not fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.


See where the Traveling Trunk traveled to during the 2022-2023 school year

Additional Traveling Trunk Resources