National History Day

Welcome to the NHD online pathfinder! Here are links to great databases and websites, as well as some research tips and tricks. If you have questions or need support while you’re working from home, you can join the 8th grade Library & Research Edmodo Group by following this link: https://edmo.do/j/zmuivu.

You can get to all the online databases from home without any extra logins or passwords by using MackinVIA. Instructions are here.

Getting Started

The National History Day website has information about the official competition, entry formats, and research resources.

Remember to keep EasyBib open in a separate window or tab as you research. That way, you can easily copy and paste websites or database citations into your bibliography as you go. For information on citing specific types of sources in EasyBib, see the tutorials. Click on the drop-down menu to the right where it says “citation guides” for more types of sources.

If you’re still stumped as to how to cite a particular source, the Purdue Online Writing Lab can help!

Online Databases

What is a database and why should I care?

  • ABC-CLIO Databases – Published articles from magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias, as well as government documents, primary sources, images, maps, videos, and podcasts. This is a great source for pictures and primary source documents, including court cases and speeches! Choose from:
    • World at War
    • US Geography
    • World Geography
    • World History – Ancient & Medieval eras
    • World History – Modern Era
    • American History
    • African American Experience
  • Annals of American History – Browse primary source documents, including speeches, letters, legislation (laws), and images, from American History by time period or topic. You can also do a key word search!
  • Britannica Academic Edition – This is an encyclopedia like the World Book, but articles are on a more advanced reading level. You can search for general information and then use the links on the left-hand side to see related videos, images, web links, and a dictionary that will define unfamiliar words.
  • Britannica School – This is an encyclopedia like the World Book. This one has articles on different reading levels so you can choose what you are comfortable with! Browse by topic or search using key words, then use the tabs at the top of the article to go to videos and images or related articles. In each article, you can choose from different reading levels in the top right-hand corner.
  • CultureGrams – This is a great database to find information about a country or state. Each listing includes history, geography, economic information, cultural traditions, recipes, and images as well as statistical data. You can find articles on an easier reading level by clicking the Kids edition.
  • U.S. History in Context – Use a key word search or browse topics to find articles from encyclopedias, books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as podcasts, videos, and pictures. This database also has a lot of primary sources. One of the cool features is that it allows you to search only for images, primary sources, magazine articles, etc. Many topics have overview pages with links to hundreds of related articles, and these let you search within the page for more specific information.
  • World History in Context – Use a key word search or browse topics to find articles from encyclopedias, books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as podcasts, videos, and pictures. This database also has a lot of primary sources. One of the cool features is that it allows you to search only for images, primary sources, magazine articles, etc. Many topics have overview pages with links to hundreds of related articles, and these let you search within the page for more specific information..
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers – See newspaper articles from US papers published between 1850 and 2002. You can search or browse by topic or time period.
  • EBSCO History Reference Center – Choose US or World history, then search using key words or browse by topic. You can find primary sources and published articles from magazines, newspapers, and journals.
  • SIRS Researcher – Choose SIRS Issues Researcher for articles related to current issues. SIRS Government Reporter gives you the full text of government documents including court cases and legislation. Or choose SIRS Discoverer for information from news, magazine, and encyclopedia articles.

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Websites

  • US History primary sources – list of links to websites with US history primary sources on the NHD website
  • World History primary sources – list of links to websites with world history primary sources on the NHD website
  • Our Documents – full text of historical documents from US history. To search, click “search” in the right-hand menu.
  • National Archives Digital Vault – Images of the actual historical documents from the National Archives (so US history) in a visual browsing layout. You can easily link to related documents.
  • Library of Congress – Search the Library of Congress’ extensive online resources. Find primary sources from US and some from world history.

Searching the Web

Yyou can use the EasyBib Research tab to search sources used in other students’ bibliographies. If you do need to use a search engine like Google or Bing, please keep in mind that they do not distinguish between credible and non-credible sources. Anyone can create a website and populate it with whatever information they choose. You wouldn’t trust just any stranger to give you information in real life, so apply that same skepticism to the information you find online! You can use the ResearchReady Website Evaluator to help you decide whether a site is credible enough to use.

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