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. Students acquire essential research skills and a more in-depth understanding of what primary sources are and where to find them as they write papers, produce documentaries, or construct exhibits. Libraries and archives provide the essential building blocks participants need to achieve their goals and we are pleased to support the 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 April 24, 2021.
For more information on the state and national contests:
Download Flyer (PDF)
National History Day 2020 -21 Theme:
Communication in History: The Key to Understanding
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. 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:
Finding Aids for State Archives Collections related to this year’s topic:
Hands that Built Texas: The Texas Writers’ Project Texas Writers' Project records
“Don’t Mess with Texas” Public Relations Campaign Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation Travel and Information Division films and audiotapes
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)
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.