National History Day

DPLA is proud to be a part of National History Day, a series of contests in which students present research projects related to a historical theme that they’ve developed using primary and secondary sources. Containing millions of primary and secondary sources, DPLA is the perfect complement to National History Day. The page below contains information and resources related to our efforts to increase access to DPLA resources for National History Day students. Questions? Email us at 2019-20 National History Day theme is Breaking Barriers in History.

2019-20 Theme: Breaking Barriers in History

The 2019-20 National History Day theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.” Students should begin their research with secondary sources to gain a broader context, then progress to finding primary sources, and finally make an argument about the effects of a topic in history. Below are selected National History Topics from the 2019-20 Theme Book and corresponding sample Primary Source Sets and Exhibitions available via DPLA.

Sample Topics

Slavery and Abolition

Civil Rights

Gay Rights

Women’s Rights


Science and Technology

Music and Literature

About National History Day