Information for Students


Check here throughout the NHD program year for information on Google Hangouts, UCI Best Sources Workshop, Archivists’ Event and more.

To register click the title of the event:
Theme Webinar flyer - save the date 9/12/18, 7pm ET


First, find out if your school has an NHD program.  Actual participation varies from school to school.  Some students participate through after school clubs and scouting programs, others participate as part of their history curriculum and still others participate on their own (with the help of a coach).  If your school does not have a program, you need to find a teacher or trusted adult who is willing to act as a coach for the NHD project year.  The coaches help their students with time management and serve as mentors as students conduct research and create their projects. 

2019 NHD Theme:  Triumph & Tragedy IN HISTORY

Each year NHD establishes an annual theme.  Students may begin to work on projects as soon as the NHD finals competition ends in mid-June.  The theme is purposely broad so that nearly any topic will work.  To learn more about this year’s theme, go to Theme Sheet. 
Once you have an understanding of the theme, your next step in the NHD process is to choose a topic.  Student entries may address any local, state, national, international or global topic of interest that connects to the theme.  You will be working on this project for many months so make sure you select a topic that really interests you.  The topic should be narrow and researchable.  A topic such as exploration is far too large.  Instead, you should choose an aspect of exploration, for example, Columbus's Triumph & Tragedy exploring new lands.
Remember – topics and projects should be appropriate for fellow students (even young ones!) and parents to view.  The list on the NHD-CA website provides Topic ideas.
NHD also offers a list of topic possibilities as part of its NHD Theme Book.


Here are some RESOURCES that will come in handy as you begin working on your NHD project:


To see SAMPLES of winning projects in each entry category, go to NHD Student Project Examples.
Another useful resource is the UC Irvine Primary Sources and Research Guide.


The NHD-OC 2019 contest will take place on Friday, March 8, 2019 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Senior Documentary and Perfomance only) and on Saturday, March 9, 2019 all other divisions and categories at the Orange County Department of Education.  The Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at Orange County Department of Education. 
*The Elementary Division awards will be given to champions on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Finalist announcements.
NHD 2018-2019 Calendar – Key dates for the county, state and national competition.

Online Registration -  opens January 16, 2019

Upload Your Documentary Instructions - NHD-OC 2018

Three entry categories require submission prior to the NHD-OC contest.  The submission date for the following categories is Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
  • Documentaries – See Upload Your Documentary Instructions - NHD-OC 2018.  for step by step instructions.
  • Websites – will be locked at 9:00 p.m. No changes can be made after the lockout.
  • Historical Papers – must be submitted as one PDF with annotated bibliography via email to
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