Student Resources

National History Day® offers students a variety of resources to help in the creation of their National History Day projects.

How to Enter the Contest
Ask an NEH Expert Series
Helpful Research Links
Annotated Bibliography
Women in History
World War I
NHD Student Videos
Quick Digital Research Tips
NHD Quick Tips
NHD Topic Tips
How to Enter the Contest

The first step to entering the National History Day Contest is by creating an entry and submitting it at your local level. The top entries from each level move on to the next level. Each state/affiliate has a contest between January and May. The top two projects in every category are invited from these state/affiliate contests to attend the National Contest.

Ask an NEH Expert Series

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 episodes focus on specific skills crucial to all NHD students in all categories.

The 2020 Ask an NEH Expert Series videos are below.

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 five 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 will be co-leading a summer 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

Helpful Research Links

Below is a list of links designed to help students with their NHD project. NHD does not maintain or necessarily endorse any of these sites, and is not responsible for their content.

Organizations and Institutions

The American Foundation for the Blind - Helen Keller Archive
American Association for State and Local History
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training
American Baptist Historical Society
American Catholic Historical Society
American Historical Association
American Jewish Historical Society
Arnold-Liebster Foundation - Nazi persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Center for Civic Education
Center for History & New Media
Citizen U Primary Source Nexus
Civil War Preservation Trust
D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History
Digital Public Library of America
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
History Channel
History of Science Society
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
Library of Congress
NASA History
National Archives and Records Administration
National Endowment for the Humanities
NEH Edsitement
National Genealogical Society
National Park Service
National Trust for Historic Preservation
National Women's History Museum
National Women's History Project
Naval Historical Foundation
Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
Oral History Association
Organization of American Historians
Society for American Baseball Research
Society for History in the Federal Government
Society for Industrial Archeology
Society for the History of Technology
Society of American Archivists
Southern Historical Association
Thinkport Education - Teaching with Primary Sources
U.S. Census Bureau
USC Shoah Foundation
U.S.House of Representatives
U.S. Postal Museum
U.S. Senate
Veterans History Project
Western History Association
White House Historical Association

Museums and Historic Sites

American Numismatic Association - Money Museum
Army Museum System
Australian Museum
British Museum
British National Museum of Science & Industry
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Chicago Maritime Museum
Israel Museum
Jackie Robinson Museum
Library of Congress Exhibitions
National Air and Space Museum
National WWII Museum
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
National Museum of Health and Medicine
National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of Naval Aviation
National Park Service
National Portrait Gallery
National Postal Museum
National Trust for Historic Preservation
National Women's History Museum
Oriental Institute Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Smithsonian Institution
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Navy Seabee Museum
United States Patent and Trademark Museum
Virtual Museum (UK National Archives)
World Heritage Sites

National Libraries, Archives and Directories

American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB)
American Library Association (ALA)
Archival and Manuscript Repositories in the United States
Bainbridge Island Historical Society
Chronicling America
Digital Public Library of America - Primary Source Sets
The George C. Marshall Foundation Research Library
History, Art, and Archives: United States House of Representatives
History, Genealogy, and Archives: Databases and E-Resources
The International Federation of Film Archives
Librarians' Internet Index: History
Library of Congress
Medieval Digital Resources
The Moving Image Collection
NARA Archival Research Catalog
NASA Historical Archive for Manned Missions
National Agricultural Library
National Anthropological Archives
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Newspaper Archive
Presidential Libraries
United States Historical Societies Directory
World Wide Web Virtual Library

U.S. History Primary Sources and Major Websites

American Labor Studies Center
American Memory Project from the Library of Congress
Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
Beyond the Bubble
Cornell Making of America Digital Library
Documents for the Study of American History
Duke University-Special Collections
Electronic Texts
Making of America
Online Speech Bank
Primary Sources Research Colloquium
Scholarly Resources Microfilm
Social Welfare History Project
UNUM Ken Burns

Civil War History
Secession Era Editorials Project
U.S. Civil War Center

African American History
Africans in America
Documenting the American South
Dred Scott Digital Archive
Freedmen and Southern Society Project
Freedom's Journal
Race and Place: African American Community Histories
Roanoke Island Freedmens Colony
Southern Oral History
Tangled Roots
UMBRA Search - African American History

Native American History
National Archives Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
National Archives Records of the Indian Claims Commission
Plains Indian Ledger Art Digital Publishing Project

Military History
Air Force Historical Research AgencyU.S. Army Center of Military History
U.S. Navy History
The Wars for Viet Nam

Colonial History
Colonial Williamsburg History Explorer
Virtual Jamestown

US Government History
FBI - Freedom of Information Act - Reading Room
Federal Land Patent Records
National Security Archive
Oyez: Supreme Court Multimedia Database
Resources for the Study of International Relations and Foreign Policy
Supreme Court Opinions

Presidential History
Abraham Lincoln Online
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Digital Archives
George Washington Papers
Project Whistlestop
THOMAS -- Legislative Information from the U.S. Congress on the Internet
White House Historical Association

Immigration & Genealogy
American Family Immigration History Center
Genealogy Resources on the Internet

Women's History
The American Foundation for the Blind - Helen Keller Archive
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930
Women's Studies: Women in the Jewish Community
Worcester Women's History Project

Western US History
America, Russia, and the Meeting of Frontiers
Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
New Perspectives on the West
Web de Anza: An Interactive Study Environment on Spanish Exploration and Colonization of "Alta California" 1774-1776

World History Primary Sources and Major Websites

Aboriginal Digital Collections
Africa Research Central
Anarchy Archives: An Online Research Center
Australian Federation Debates of the 1890s
Brazilian Government Document Digitization Project
The Byzantine Empire
Byzantium: The Byzantine Studies Page
Cartoon and Caricature Collection, University of Kent
Centropa: 20th century Central and Eastern European History
The Chairman Smiles: Posters from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and China
Cold War International History Project (CWIHP)
Country Studies/Area Handbooks
Digital South Asia Library
Early Canadiana Online
Eighteenth-Century Resources
Electronic Resources for Classicists
EuroDocs: Western European Primary Historical Documents
Gateway to Missionary Collections in the United Kingdom
German Propaganda Archive
History of Economic Thought
Inscriptions from the Land of Israel
Internet History Sourcebooks Project
Internet Classics Archive
Internet Library of Early Journals
Latin American Studies
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution
Online Medieval and Classical Library
Perseus Project
Resources for the Study of International Relations and Foreign Policy
Richard III and Yorkist History Server
The Siege and Commune of Paris
South African Historical Documents Archive
Victorian Web
Victorian Women Writers' Project
Voice of the Shuttle: History Page

Photos, Maps and Other Images

Ad Access
America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA and OWI, 1935-1945
American Institute of Physics
Australian Images
British Columbia Historical Photographs Online
Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
Canadian Heritage Gallery
Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature
Civil War Photographs
Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864
Digital History
Egypt and the Sudan: 1905-1907 Breasted Expedition: A Photographic Study
The Empire That Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated
Great Images in NASA Library (GRIN)
Historic American Buildings Survey/Engineering Record (HABS/HAER)
History of Costume by Braun & Scheider
Images of England
Internet Archive Movie Collection
Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (1860-1899)
Library of Congress Manuscripts
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Maryland Historical Society Digitized Photograph Collections
Maryland Historical Society Photographs on Tumblr
NASA Image eXchange (NIX)
NASA Space Image Libraries
National Library of Australia Documentary Image Collection
New Deal Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943
New Perspectives on the West
Northeast Historic Film: Film and Videotape of Northern New England
Panoramic Photographs Collection
Persepolis and Ancient Iran
Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies
Schomburg Images of African Americans from the 19th Century
Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network
Social Welfare History Project Image Portal
SouthEast Asian Images & Texts Project
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880 - 1920, Library of Congress,
Trust Territory of the Pacific Archives
TV News Archive
United States Holocaust Museum Research Collections Photographs
Western History Photograph Collection
World's Transportation Commission Photograph Collection, 1894-1896

American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789
Civil War Maps
Digital Maps from the University of Berkeley
Map History / History of Cartography
Military Maps from the US Military Academy
OSSHE Historic & Cultural Atlas Information Page
Outline Maps
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
US State Topography Images


American Sheet Music, 1870-1885
America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets
Civil War Sheet Music from the Stern Collection
Folk Music of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and America
Lyrics World
Shanties and Sailor Songs / Shantys und Seemannslieder

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is required for all National History Day Contest categories.

Creating an annotated bibliography lets your reader know what sources you used in the creation of your project. First, an annotated bibliography tells the reader how many sources you used and the quality and range of sources used in your research. It provides evidence of the many hours that you spent doing research in libraries, archives, classrooms, and on the internet. Second, the annotation informs the reader about how you used your sources and why they were valuable to understanding your topic. An annotated bibliography is crucial to the NHD process because it shows judges the scope and depth of your research.

Women in History

Together with HISTORY® we created a resource about Women in American History. This resource includes an overview of 20 women from American history. There are also classroom activities for teachers to help students learn more about these extraordinary women.

World War I

Together with several partners, NHD created a variety of resources about World War I and its legacies. The materials cover the experiences of soldiers, women, and immigrants, as well as changes as a wartime society. Additionally, the lesson plans include primary sources that can be used in an NHD project. To access all of the World War I materials, click here.

NHD Student Videos

National History Day

2021 Theme Introduction Video

The Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training

Introducing the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training
Navigating and Searching the ADST Digital Collections

Visit to search their digital collections.
Explore 800 moments in diplomatic history.

Echoes and Reflections

Researching your NHD Project with Echoes and Reflections

National Archives and Records Administration

Get Ready for NHD 2021 with the National Archives and Records Administration

Looking for more NHD inspiration? The National Archives and Records Administration curates their own National History Day page. Visit NARA's NHD page to start researching.

National Museum of the American Indian

Resources from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Did American Indians Really Use Smoke Signals? (NHD 2021 Topics)

National Park Service

Exploring History in the National Park Service

Explore the NPS's Best Practices for History.
Visit Research and Education at the National Park Service.

The White House Historical Association

Exploring Communication in History: The Key to Understanding with The White House Historical Association

Explore WHHA's Digital Library and Educational Resources page.
Visit the NHD Resources page at The White House Historical Association's website.

NHD Performers Workshop with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Join experts from the National Museum of American History for a performers workshop to hone your craft and get ideas for the 2021 Communication in History: They Key to Understanding theme.

Every NHD student is a writer! Learn more about writing history

Join NHD Teacher (and coordinator) Matthew Elms, author of When the Akimotos Went to War, for a conversation about researching and writing history.
Download a PDF copy of When the Akimotos Went to War here.

Performing Perspectives: Who Tells Your Story?

Quick Digital Research Tips
Digital Research Quick Tips

Researching your NHD project virtually? Check out these quick digital research tips to find primary and secondary sources!

Finding Primary Sources in Secondary Sources

Mining Wikipedia

How to Use Google Books

Smart Site Searching

Smart Searching the Library of Congress

Library of Congress Online Resources

NHD Quick Tips
NHD Quick Tips

Working on your NHD project? Check out these quick tips on different aspects of your NHD project.

NHD Quick Tip: What is an Primary Source?

NHD Quick Tip: Oral Histories versus Interviews with Experts

NHD Quick Tip: How to Engage with Professionals

NHD Quick Tip: What is a Secondary Source?

NHD Quick Tip: What is Student Voice?

NHD Quick Tip: What is Historical Context?

NHD Quick Tip: What is Wide Research?

NHD Quick Tip: Why Include Multiple Perspectives?

NHD Quick Tip: What is Historical Significance?

NHD Quick Tip: What is an Annotated Bibliography? (Overview)

NHD Quick Tip: What is an Annotated Bibliography? (Citations)

NHD Quick Tip: What is an Annotated Bibliography? (Annotations)

NHD Topic Tips
NHD Quick Tips

Working on your NHD project? Check out these quick tips on different topics for NHD project!

NHD Topic Tip: Can I do Local History for my NHD Project?

NHD Topic Tip: Can I do a European History Topic for my NHD Project?

NHD Topic Tip: Can I do an Ancient History Topic for my NHD Project?

NHD Topic Tip: Can I do World History for my NHD Project?

NHD's Partner Resources Page

Looking for digital archives and collections for your NHD project? Check out NHD's partner resources page.