National History Day

  • Time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the past! This year the National History Day's theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History. National History Day Before you begin, make sure you review the research process. When you're ready, jump into your research with the primary sources listed below.

    If you run into a question on the research process or need help finding sources on your topic, ask a librarian!


    Primary Sources Collections

    *Not everything in all of these will be a primary source. Evaluate your results carefully.

    • Minnesota Digital Library: Minnesota Reflections: Digitized collections from more than 150 museums, libraries, and historical societies around the state covering MN history and geography.
    • Digital Public Library of America: Search digitized collections from museums, archives, and libraries from all over the United States by keyword, time, or place.
    • Library of Congress: The world's largest library and largest collection of American history and culture. Do a general search or explore by topic or collection highlights.
    • History Pin: Think Pinterest for history: old and new photos posted by people around the globe. Search for photos by location (city, state, or country), then refine by date or subject.
    • Student Research Center: General database on all topics for 6th-12th graders. Make sure you only check primary source documents for inclusion in your search.
    • Points of View Reference Center: This database focuses on presenting all points of view for current or controversial issues. Use the Advanced Search option to search for primary sources only.
    • Europeana: Search digitized collections from museums, archives, and libraries from all over Europe. Includes text, photos, and even videos.


    Tips for Finding More Primary Sources

    Mary archives, museums, and government offices have digitized parts of their primary source collections. Type your usual terms into a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) and add one of the terms listed below.

    • Oral history
    • Digital library 
    • Primary sources

    You can also search for primary sources in any library catalog. Just type in your usual search terms and add one of the terms on the list. Try it out at one of the libraries below by clicking on their logo.

    • Diaries 
    • Correspondence 
    • Personal narratives 
    • Pictorial works 
    • Interviews 
    • Description and travel 
    • Autobiography 
    • Memoirs

    Saint Paul Public Schools  

       Saint Paul Public Library Ramsey County Library



  • Places to Go

    Some things you just can't find online. Luckily, we have many amazing museums, historical centers, and libraries in the Twin Cities that you can visit to find primary sources and ask questions of experts and librarians. This map shows you many of these places.