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NEH to Offer National History Day Student Award for Creative Use of the Chronicling America Historic Newspaper Archive

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2012) —  The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new contest to encourage middle and high school students to use Chronicling America, the NEH and Library of Congress-supported digital archive of historic newspapers, in their projects for National History Day.

At the closing ceremonies of National History Day, held on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland, NEH Chairman Jim Leach announced that NEH would begin offering recognition and prizes to students who make effective use of the Chronicling America database in 2013 National History Day submissions. This would include cash prizes for exceptional use of the newspaper archives for junior and senior students in all submission categories. All National History Day participants who incorporate Chronicling America in their project research will receive certificates of recognition.

Chronicling America offers students free access to nearly five million pages of hyper-local stories, advertisements, and opinions published between 1836 and 1922 in 28 states (and growing) across the country. In addition, EDSITEment, NEH’s educational website for teachers, students, and parents, will develop new educator and student resources to facilitate and encourage use of the newspaper material.

Created through a 7-year-old partnership between the NEH and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America allows visitors access to newspaper pages from Arizona, 1836-1922; California, 1860-1922; District of Columbia, 1836-1922; Florida, 1900-1910; Hawaii, 1836-1922; Illinois, 1860-1922; Kansas, 1860-1922; Kentucky, 1860-1922; Louisiana, 1860-1922; Minnesota, 1860-1922; Missouri, 1836-1922; Montana, 1860-1922; Nebraska, 1880-1922; New Mexico, 1836-1922; New York, 1880-1922; Ohio, 1836-1922; Oklahoma, 1860-1922; Oregon, 1860-1922; Pennsylvania, 1836-1922; South Carolina, 1860-1922; Tennessee, 1836-1922; Texas, 1860-1922; Utah, 1860-1922; Vermont, 1836-1922; Virginia, 1860-1922; and Washington, 1836-1922. The project is conducted in phases, with new states being added to the list each year.

National History Day is a national year-long academic program focused on historical research for 6th to 12th grade students.  Each year, more than half a million students chose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research to prepare original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries for entry into local, state, and national History Day competitions.  The program culminates in the national contest, held each June at the University of Maryland. 

Watch a live webcast of the 2012 National History Day awards ceremony online, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 14:


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or