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National History Day: Research Links for NHD

Resources for NHD


This site is under construction. Please check frequently for updated materials.

Research Outline

Primary Source Definition

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.

Examples: Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records, original photographs


Secondary Source Definition

A secondary source analyzes and interprets primary sources, provides a second-hand account of an historical event, interprets creative work. Secondary sources are usually written years after the event occurred, by people who did not live through or experience the event.

Examples: journal articles, databases, website articles, biographies, photographs


Primary Source Analysis Worksheet

Writing Help


On-line Resources

NHD On-Line Resources 

Recommended by Mr. Holden

Student Resources NHD Site


Presidential Libraries


Contains 18 million catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources in the Library of Congress collections.

A collection arranged by broad categories in American history

The Recorded Sound Reference Center provides access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress

Millions of primary sources chronicling the Nation's history

Website that features more than 60,000 unique historical documents 

Works Cited and Note Taking

Annotations in a Bibliography/Work Cited

Annotation: The annotation should be one to two sentences long. The contest rule book says “an annotation must explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic.” DO NOT retell what the sources say. You may include a justification of why you source is primary or secondary if it is likely to be questionable. And, you can use the annotation to explain that a book or other secondary source includes several primary sources.

Annotating Sources on Noodletools

1.How does this source connect to the theme?
2.How does the information I learned from this source help defend my thesis?
3.Primary or Secondary? Why?

Link to Google Document