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 the Expert Series
Helpful Research Links
Annotated Bibliography
Women in History
World War I
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 the Expert Series

National History Day works with the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct an Ask the NEH Expert Series every year. The videos cover the five categories, documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites.

The 2018 Ask the NEH Expert Series videos are below. They are also accessible on our SchoolTube page.
National History Day SchoolTube Page

View the 2017 Ask The NEH Expert Series


Watch on SchoolTube


Watch on SchoolTube


Watch on SchoolTube


Watch on SchoolTube


Watch on SchoolTube

Helpful Research Links

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

Featured Resource: Ken Burns UNUM

Filmmaker Ken Burns created this playlist of scenes from his films to explore this year’s NHD theme of Triumph & Tragedy. Watch the clips on Ken’s educational site, Ken Burns UNUM, and explore links to first-person documents, photographs, diary entries, maps, and letters to help as you complete your projects. On UNUM, Ken explores themes that run across his films and throughout our history - such as leadership, innovation, division, democracy. Students and educators can also hear perspectives from contemporary leaders and swim through a timeline to make new connections.

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
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 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 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
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 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

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 of history.

World War I

Together with the World War I Centennial Commission, NHD created lesson plans about World War I and its lasting legacies. This resource includes ten full length lesson plans about the Great War and its aftermath. The lesson plans 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. The lesson plans are available for download here.