Theme - Historyday


Minnesota Local History - weblog

Primary Resources Online

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Some of you may have students who are already thinking about primary sources for their History Day projects. But even if that step is far in the future for you and your students, it’s not a bad idea to start compiling a list of reliable websites where students can access some excellent primary sources. Of course, we always encourage students to get their hands on actual primary sources at libraries and archives, but the Internet is becoming a better and better resource for young researchers.

Here are a few sites that have some excellent primary sources available:

Library of Congress American Memory: Encourage your students to narrow the field as much as possible by choosing specific collections. The Teachers’ section of this website also has some excellent, subject-sorted sources.

National Archives History Day Resources: The Archives assembled some of their sources related to particular Innovation topics, as well as connections to other topics within the subject areas.

Harvard University Library Open Collections: Harvard has collected some intriguing sources based on four different topics — Women and Work, Immigration, Diseases and Epidemics, and Expeditions and Discoveries. Women Working is particularly helpful.

Yale Law School Avalon Project: The documents from Yale Law span several thousand years, although more are available in recent centuries. The topics are mainly law and diplomacy.

Famous Trials: A law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has assembled documents and context about more than 50 famous trials, from the Trial of Socrates to the Trial of Zacarias Moussaoui.

American Journeys: This collection contains thousands of documents related to the exploration of America, from 1000 to 1844, including the journals of Lewis and Clark.

There are many more fantastic websites with extensive primary sources, but these are a few reliable sites with vast holdings. If you encounter others, feel free to pass along the tip!

Paper and Website Judging

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

For those teachers who had students submit papers or websites for judging yesterday, here is what your students can expect from the judging process.

  1. This week, the History Day staff will sort all the papers and websites into judge teams and send them out to our judges.
  2. The judges will evaluate the papers and websites and choose their top entries. Judge decisions are due to us by March 27.
  3. Paper and website finalists will be notified by the History Day staff of their advancement to the next level by April 3. Students who do not receive notification will not be advancing.
  4. Finalists will receive their judge sheets and can make any revisions they choose for the state competition. Revised papers and websites are due to the History Day office by April 20.
  5. Although only notified finalists will be interviewed at the state contest, all paper and website students will receive their judge sheets by about the second week of April.
  6. Finalists will be interviewed at the state competition on Saturday, May 2. Two papers and two websites from each age division will be chosen to represent Minnesota at the national competition. Non-finalist papers will be on display at the state event, but unfortunately, space and technology will not allow us to display all websites.

If you have any questions about this process, please let us know. Finalists are encouraged to make changes before state, based on judge comments and teacher input.