National History Day / Texas History Day Research Resources
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) offers this annual National History Day guide for educators and students seeking information and primary sources at the State Archives.
The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) coordinates the Texas History Day educational program each year as part of National History Day, with a state-level contest held in April and culminating in a national fair for winners from state affiliates. Throughout the school year, students work individually or in groups on a project requiring historical research on a topic related to the theme. As they write papers, produce documentaries, or construct exhibits, students acquire essential research skills and a more in-depth understanding of what primary sources are and where to find them.
Libraries and archives provide the essential building blocks participants need to achieve their goals, and we are pleased to support students’ efforts. In addition, we are associated with the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB), who offers a competitive award for both junior and senior divisions.
The next Texas History Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2024.
For more information on the state and national contests:
Sample Topics and Related Collections at the State Archives
Our curated list of topics connected to the current National History Day theme offers a starting point for delving into the extensive collections at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. As the central repository for the archives of the Texas government, our materials naturally support researchers interested in the history of the state. (Note: Texas History Day topics do not necessarily have to relate to Texas history, but students researching Texas history should find our collections worth investigating.) Many of our original documents are already available for viewing online and available to download for research purposes. Download the flyer for links to a range of access points and list of the links below.
Check with our reference staff for details on how to find out more about your topics of interest.
Online Exhibits and Digital Collections related to this year’s topic:
- Texas Annexation: 1836-1845
- The Story of the Texas Navy
- Texas Conventions and Constitutions
- 19th Century African American Legislators
- Women Win the Right to Vote
- Texans’ Struggle for Freedom and Equality
- Life in Texas During the Civil War
- Texans Take to the Trenches
- Evolution of the Texas Rangers, 1836-1920
- The Texas Highway Department Blazes Texas Trails
- Hazardous Business: Industry, Regulation, and the Texas Railroad Commission
- Texas in Transition Railroads, Oil, and the Rise of Urban Texas
- Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials include images from the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center
- The Texas State Archives Broadsides and printed ephemera collection contains printed documents used to distribute information to the public. Topics frequently included public decrees, commercial announcements, or government announcements. Try searching for the places, names, and dates involved in events or browse the collection as a whole.
Research Guides and Finding Aids for State Archives Collections related to this year’s topic:
- Republic of Texas Resources
- Texas Adjutant General's Department navy papers
- Texas Adjutant General's Department Reconstruction records
- Texas Adjutant General's Department Ranger records
- Texas State Archives Broadsides and printed ephemera collection
- Railroad Commission of Texas Oil and Gas Division correspondence and reports
Reference and Research Assistance from the State Archives
- Contact reference staff for assistance at email@example.com or 512-463-5455.
Help with Research Methods and Primary Sources
- National History Day and Archives Toolkit (Society of American Archivists/National History Day)
- National History Day Resources (National Archives)
- Getting Started with Primary Sources (Library of Congress)
- Texas History Day Special Award (THRAB)
Established in 2016, the purpose of the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board's (THRAB) Best Use of Texas Archival Collections award is to encourage the use of historical records as primary sources created in Texas or held in a Texas repository in support of National History Day in Texas. The awards are intended to recognize junior and senior division projects that utilize archival collections in a substantive way.