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National History Day Resources

Lithographic image of three hands shaking. One hand is in a work glove, one is from a person wearing a suit jacket and dress shirt, and the third, in the middle, has a blue and white cuff.

National History Day 2022

Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences

Primary Sources at the Boston Athenæum

The Boston Athenæum holds a wide range of materials related to the 2022 National History Day theme.

Students can:

Teachers can:

The items listed below are examples of materials that may be useful to students working on History Day projects. Some items have been digitized. All items are available for in-library use during research appointments.

This page presents just a small sample of what is available at the Athenæum. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments to find materials best suited for their individual projects.

Contact Hannah Weisman at education@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 for help finding primary sources related to your History Day topic or to schedule a research appointment to study primary sources in person.

The Massachusetts Historical Society is the state sponsor for National History Day in Massachusetts.

[Image: Detail from Courtney Allen (artist). Together We Win: Get behind your labor-management committee. Poster. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943. The Richard W. Cheek WWII Graphic Arts Collection, 2016.]


Tracts (Pamphlets)

The BA has thousands of tracts, pamphlets that were inexpensive and quick to publish and distribute. They were a popular form of communication in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and helped people of all kinds—politicians, clergy, activists, poets, etc.—share their opinions and ideas. Tracts cover many different topics, including politics, religion, local affairs, obituaries and eulogies, immigration, abolition and slavery, social welfare, and more. Examples include:

Brown, William Wells. The Anti-Slavery Harp: A Collection of Songs for Anti-Slavery Meetings. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1849. Catalog record | [Item is not digitized]

Grimké, Angelina Emily. Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. New York, NY: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1836? Catalog record | Digital copy

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America.Philadelphia: R. Bell, 1776. Catalog record | Partial digital image


Richard W. Cheek World War II Graphic Arts Collection

Nearly 2,000 posters provide information about World War II and about life in the United States and the impact on every aspect of life for soldiers and civilians. Themes found in the collection include fundraising, war production, recruitment, patriotism, and the home front. More than 1,000 of the posters have been digitized. Examples include:

Allen, Courtney (artist). Together We Win: Get Behind Your Labor-Management Committee. Off-set lithograph poster. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943. Catalog record | Digital copy

Broder, S. (artist). The United Nations Fight for Freedom. OWI poster, no. 19. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942. Catalog record | Digital copy


Diplomatic Etiquette

McCaffree, Mary Jane. Protocol: The Complete Handbook of Diplomatic, Official, and Social Usage. Washington, DC: Devon Pub. Co., 1985. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Radlovic, I. Monte. Etiquette & Protocol; A Handbook of Conduct in American and International Circles. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1956. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Regulations for Consular Service. Washington, DC: publisher unknown, 1870. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Wood, John R. Diplomatic Ceremonial and Protocol; Principles, Procedures & Practices. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970. Catalog record | Item not digitized


Labor History and Disputes

Allen, Courtney (artist). Together We Win: Get Behind Your Labor-Management Committee. Off-set lithograph poster. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943. Catalog record | Digital copy

Davis, Theodore R. (artist). The Chinese in New England-North Adams, Massachusetts. Wood engraving accompanying an article in Harper’s Weekly, 23 July 1870 (vol. 14, page 468). Catalog record | Digital copy of the image (Multiple images and articles from Harper’s Weekly are available for in-library use during research appointments.)

I.W.W. Scrapbook, circa 1912-1918. Manuscript collection. Catalog record | Item not digitized

McPherson, John Bruce. The Lawrence Strike of 1912. Boston: The Rockwell and Churchill Press, 1912. Reprinted from the September, 1912, Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, Boston, Mass. Catalog record | Digital copy available from Google Books


Treaty of Versailles and the Aftermath of World War I

Burdon-Muller, Rowland. Letters, 1915-1923. Manuscript. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Kellogg, Frank B. The Settlement of International Controversies by Pacific Means: An Address. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1928. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Lansing, Robert. The Peace Negotiations: A Personal Narrative. Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Miller, David Hunter. The Peace Pact of Paris: A Study of the Briand-Kellogg Treaty. New York; London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1928. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Old Colony Trust Company. The Treaty of Versailles, American Opinion. Boston: Old Colony Trust Company, c. 1919. Catalog record | Digital copy available from Google Books


U.S. Secretaries of State—Selected Autobiographies and Memoirs

Albright, Madeleine Korbel with Bill Woodward. Madam Secretary. New York: Miramax Books, 2003. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Baker, James Addison. The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War, and Peace, 1989-1992. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Hard Choices. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Kissinger, Henry. Years of Upheaval. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Rice, Condoleezza. No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington. New York: Crown Publishers, 2011. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Seward, William H. Autobiography of William H. Seward, from 1801 to 1834: with a Memoir of His Life and Selections from His Letters from 1831 to 1846. New York: D. Appleton, 1877. Catalog record | Item not digitized

Stimson, Henry L. On Active Service in Peace and War. New York: Harper, 1948. Catalog record | Item not digitized


Voting Rights in the United States

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. The Nonsense of It. Short Answers to Common Objections against Woman Suffrage. Broadside. Boston: American Woman Suffrage Association, between 1870 and 1890. Catalog record | Digital copy

Impartial Suffrage League. Constitution of the Impartial Suffrage League. Boston: printer/publisher unknown, 1866. Catalog record | Digital copy available from the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image

Phelps, Edith (ed.). Selected Articles on Women’s Suffrage. Second and revised edition. Minneapolis: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1912. Catalog record | Digital copy

Stearns, George L. Universal Suffrage, and Complete Equality in Citizenship, the Safeguards of Democratic Institutions: Shown in Discourses by Henry Ward Beecher, Andrew Johnson, and Wendell Phillips. Boston: Press of Geo. C. Rand & Avery, 1865. Catalog record | [Item not digitized]

Sumner, Charles. No Compromise of Human Rights: No Admission in the Constitution of Inequality of Rights, or Disfranchisement on Account of Color. Washington: Printed at the Congressional Globe Office, 1866. Catalog record | [Item not digitized]

Ware, Susan (ed.). American Women’s Suffrage: Voices from the Long Struggle for the Vote 1776-1965. New York: Library of America, 2020. Catalog record | [Item not digitized]

Washington, Booker T. Booker T. Washington Typescript: Typescript Copy Signed. Between about 1890 and 1915.  Catalog record | Digital copy


Contact Hannah Weisman at education@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 for help identifying materials related to individual projects, to request images of collections items,to set up live virtual viewings of primary sources, or to arrange research and library orientation for a group of students.