National History Day
The Massachusetts Historical Society is the sponsor of Massachusetts History Day, an affiliate of National History Day. More than 6,000 students in grades 6-12 participate in contests across the Commonwealth each year. Eighteen extraordinary projects are then selected to represent Massachusetts at the National Contest held at the University of Maryland.
Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at the local, state, and national level, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, NHD also helps students develop skills that are critical for future success, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills; research and reading skills; and oral and written communication and presentation skills.
Ready to begin? Follow these links to learn more about valuable MHS resources, this year's National History Day theme, or the competition process in Massachusetts.
Visit the National History Day website to learn more about this year’s theme and the different types of projects you can create!
Immerse yourself in this year's theme and discover resources that will help you research and create an amazing History Day project.
Learn about National History Day student workshops, research tools, and collections at MHS. Or go straight to our NHD 2020 theme page to get started!
The Society's library is free and open to researchers of all ages. Any person interested in using the collections can register as a researcher and use materials in the library.