Ask an NEH Expert

National History Day works with the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct the Ask an NEH Expert series. Previous installments addressed the five National History Day categories (documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites), but the 2020-2021 episodes focus on specific skills crucial to all NHD students, in all five NHD categories.

Watch the NEW Ask an NEH Expert episodes now!


Multiple Perspectives


Anne Peterson, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation in Santa Barbara, California, explains how and why students should include multiple perspectives in their research to improve their analysis and gain a more thorough understanding of complex historical events. The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation was awarded a CARES Act grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop digital resources and expand access to their materials for schools and the public.
Wide Research



Jeff Ludwig, Education Director at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, New York, offers guidance for conducting wide research and explains why it is important to consider different types of sources to provide information about a topic, and pieces of evidence for an argument. The Seward House was awarded a CARES Act grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop digital resources and expand access to their holdings for public schools and the public.
Historical Significance


Shatavia Elder, Vice President of Education at the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta, Georgia, explains the meaning and importance of historical significance for students working on National History Day projects, and offers guidance for considering the short-term and long-term consequences of events to understand their impact in history. The Atlanta History Center was awarded a CARES Act grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop digital resources and expand access to those resources for schools and the public.
Building an Argument


Margaret Hughes, Historic Hudson Valley's Associate Director for Education, offers guidance on crafting an argument, and strategies for how to successfully incorporate that argument into a National History Day project. Margaret has been a judge for the Lower Hudson National History Day regional competition for many years.
Validating Sources



Leslie Hayes, the New-York Historical Society's Director of Education, offers valuable advice and questions students should ask in the process of validating primary and secondary sources for use in National History Day projects. Leslie is an NEH grant recipient and co-led a 2020 seminar for K-12 educators entitled, American Women, American Citizens: 1920-1948.
Writing & Editing


Dana Williams, Howard University's English Department Chair and professor of African American literature, shares her insight and guidance for success in the writing and editing process for National History Day projects. Dr. Williams has received five NEH grants, and is currently completing a book-length study on Toni Morrison's editorship, which will be published by Amistad, a division of Harper Collins, in 2021.

View the 2018 Ask an NEH Expert Series

View the 2017 Ask an NEH Expert Series