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History Day research

Minnesota History Day sample topic list with linked Mnopedia articles  



Featured Resources


ELM Electronic Library for Minnesota. Access to research databases and other sources not always located in your local library. 

MNopedia. An online encyclopedia about Minnesota created by the Minnesota Historical Society, MNopedia houses essays and images on topics from the environment to architecture. With each essay is a timeline, bibliography, related resources, images of artifacts and photographs.

Minnesota Resources

Minnesota Digital Library Primary Source Sets. These sets are collections on Minnesota topics with both primary and secondary sources for students to use beginning with an overview of the topic. They include: photographs, letters, advertisements, oral histories, postcards, newsletters, papers, speeches, and much more. Teachers can also find a guide for using these in the classroom.

Minnesota Historical Society. Through the library and collections pages, students can find Minnesota topic suggestions, e-Books, television news clips and images. The library website has “History Topics” that will provide a bibliography on different Minnesota related subject. The website also has television and newspaper archives, photo databases, Civil War documents, maps, and medical documents.

Minnesota Historical Society Library. In addition to the online collections catalog, the Minnesota Historical Society provides online access to a variety of specialized collections, including the Death Certificate Index, the Visual Resource database, and Christie family Civil War Letters.

Minnesota Reflections. Images and documents relating to Minnesota’s history.

Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK). The Minnesota Library Information Network (MnLINK) is a statewide virtual library that electronically links major Minnesota libraries. This resource allows students to simultaneously search multiple libraries by region of the state.

General Collections

Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, and it serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 120 million items. The Library’s website provides access to the catalog and numerous online resources including historic documents, online exhibits, and legislative documents.

American Memory Project, Library of Congress. American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Chronicling America, Library of Congress. Digital collection of historic American newspapers from 23 states, from 1860-1922. Search by state, newspaper, dates, keyword, or use pre-determined search dates and keywords organized by topic, in “Topics in Chronicling America.”

IPL2: Information You Can Trust, is a website vetted by librarians. If features special collections, newspapers, and resources by subject matter. 

National Archives. “The nation's record-keeper” houses general American documents, military service records and naturalization of immigrants. There are online exhibits and searchable databases.

DocsTeach Documents, National Archives. Documents from 1754 to the present, sorted into eras and into document types. Includes historically significant documents as well as other historical documents, such as family trees, receipts, marriage announcements, arrest warrants and informational films.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project, Fordham University. Links to a wide variety of historical texts from around the world broken down by timeframe and region.  Sources range from Ancient Greek texts to modern American history.  Great for world history and European history topics!

World Digital Library, Library of Congress. This search engine includes world history topics, timelines, maps, and more interactives. Also includes sources in other languages.

Specific Collections

American Journeys. American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration. Students can view, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. Comprehensive collection of documents related to the study of the presidency. Documents include executive orders, State of the Union addresses, inauguration addresses, and addresses to the nation.

Army Heritage Center Foundation. The Army Heritage Center Foundation has developed interactive teaching tools that tell soldier stories using collections found at the Army Heritage and Education Center.

The Avalon Project, Yale Law School. Documents in law, history and diplomacy, ranging from 4000 BCE to the present. Documents are grouped by century and listed alphabetically. Full text, and source of document listed at the end.

Digital Public Library of America, features over 7 million resources from libraries, archives, and museums. You are able to search through exhibitions, maps, and timelines to find what you may be looking for. 

Famous Trials at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Douglas Linder, a law professor at UMKC, has taken 60 famous trials from national and world history and provided information to understand and interpret the trial decision and results. Trial information includes chronology, primary documents and, when, available, images.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Collections on American History, including over 60,000 primary sources. 

HarpWeek: Explore History, Harper’s Weekly. Collection of political cartoons dating from the 1860s, including each presidential election from 1860 to 1912, and mid-19th century political controversies. Also includes other features from “Harper’s Weekly”, lesson plans, simulations and a cartoon search engine by topic or date.

International Encyclopedia of the First World War "The multi-perspective, open-access knowledge base is the result of an international collaborative project involving more than 1,000 authors, editors, and partners from over fifty countries. More than 1,000 articles will be gradually published. Innovative navigation schemes based on Semantic Media Wiki technology provide nonlinear access to the encyclopedia’s content." 

The Living Room Candidate, Museum of the Moving Image. Television commercials from presidential elections, 1952-2012.

Open Collections Program, Harvard University Library. Extensive collections of primary sources in different categories: Islamic Heritage Project, Expeditions and Discoveries, Immigration to the United States 1789-1930, and Women Working 1800-1930.

Our Documents. The Our Documents initiative provides online access to 100 milestone documents of American history. Resources include images of the actual document, transcriptions, and context.

Umbra. Search over 400,000 resources available on African American history.