Age of Revolution Essay Contest

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History cordially invites your high school students (grades 9–12) to participate in its annual Age of Revolution Essay Contest. This contest, which recognizes excellence in primary source research and writing, is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of the Age of Revolution.

Students will develop an original essay based on primary source documents in the Sid Lapidus ’59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution at Princeton University. Students are also advised to use complementary documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Detailed information about the contest is provided in the 2016–2017 Age of Revolution Guidelines packet.


  • $1,000 to the authors of the top ten student essays and $500 to each winner’s school
  • $100 Gilder Lehrman History Shop gift card to each winner’s school

Submission Requirements

  • The Age of Revolution Essay Contest is open to high school students (grades 9–12) in Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools. (Check whether your school is an Affiliate School or register here.)
  • The 2016–2017 contest is now closed. Detailed information regarding the contest, including a scoring rubric and other important details on submissions, can be found in the 2016–2017 Age of Revolution Guidelines packet (PDF).

If you have additional questions, email [email protected]

The Sid Lapidus ’59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution

The Sid Lapidus ’59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution features more than 150 important books, pamphlets, and prints representing the major themes of Sidney Lapidus’s interests: the intellectual origins of the American Revolution; the Revolution itself; the early years of the republic; the resulting spread of democratic ideas in the Atlantic World; and the effort to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain and the United States. All materials in the collection have been digitized and are freely available online at the Princeton University Digital Library.