Congratulations on your decision to participate in this year’s National History Day competition! National History Day is a wonderful experience that not only will allow you to learn about history and develop your research skills, but also is a meaningful experience that you will remember long after the competition.
We at the IHRC would be happy to assist you in your research. As our name suggests, we specialize in collecting primary documents relating to American immigration. Given that National History Day’s theme for 2014 is "Rights and Responsibilities in History" doing a presentation based on immigration allows numerous possibilities that would fulfill the theme’s requirements.
At the IHRC, we know one of the most difficult tasks about doing a history project is selecting which topic you want to present. The IHRC archives contain hundreds of collections that we feel will inspire your imagination, engage your analytical skills, and allow you to develop your own interpretation. In order to view our complete collection of archived materials, please see our search page at http://ihrc.umn.edu/research/vitrage/index.php. Note that many IHRC collections are in English, but many others are in other languages. You will want to choose a collection that matches your language abilities.
Regardless of the topic you choose, your next step should be to contact the IHRC and provide a short description of your topic. You can make an appointment with an archivist after we have located the materials for your topic. Our collections are large and include many ethnic groups, so it is important that you send us as much information about your topic as possible so we can best help you. Both the IHRC’s office hours and also the Reading Room hours are posted on the Web site. The materials can only be used on site, so it is important that you plan ahead. In order to make an appointment--you or a parent should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations on your decision to compete in National History Day. We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon!
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