The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced a new contest to encourage middle and high school students to use Chronicling America, the NEH and Library of Congress-supported digital archive of historic newspapers, in their projects for National History Day.
At the closing ceremonies of National History Day competition, held recently on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland, NEH Chairman Jim Leach announced that NEH would begin offering recognition and prizes to students who make effective use of the Chronicling America database in 2013 National History Day submissions. This would include cash prizes for exceptional use of the newspaper archives for junior and senior students in all submission categories. All National History Day participants who incorporate Chronicling America in their project research will receive certificates of recognition.
Chronicling America offers students free access to nearly five million pages of hyper-local stories, advertisements, and opinions published between 1836 and 1922 in 28 states (and growing) across the country. In addition, EDSITEment, NEH’s educational website for teachers, students, and parents, will develop new educator and student resources to facilitate and encourage use of the newspaper material.
Created through a 7-year-old partnership between the NEH and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America allows visitors access to newspaper pages from Arizona, 1836-1922; California, 1860-1922; District of Columbia, 1836-1922; Florida, 1900-1910; Hawaii, 1836-1922; Illinois, 1860-1922; Kansas, 1860-1922; Kentucky, 1860-1922; Louisiana, 1860-1922; Minnesota, 1860-1922; Missouri, 1836-1922; Montana, 1860-1922; Nebraska, 1880-1922; New Mexico, 1836-1922; New York, 1880-1922; Ohio, 1836-1922; Oklahoma, 1860-1922; Oregon, 1860-1922; Pennsylvania, 1836-1922; South Carolina, 1860-1922; Tennessee, 1836-1922; Texas, 1860-1922; Utah, 1860-1922; Vermont, 1836-1922; Virginia, 1860-1922; and Washington, 1836-1922. The project is conducted in phases, with new states being added to the list each year.
National History Day is a national year-long academic program focused on historical research for 6th to 12thgrade students. Each year, more than half a million students chose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research to prepare original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries for entry into local, state, and national History Day competitions. The program culminates in the national contest, held each June at the University of Maryland.