Mississippi History Day

National History Day (NHD) is a nationwide competition that encourages middle and high school students to develop creative, original historical research based around an annual theme. The 2025 theme is Rights and Responsibilities.

Mississippi History Day, the state’s NHD affiliate, is a cross-curricular program focusing on in-depth research and critical analysis. While the program’s basis is in history, students are able to study topics that fit all subject matter, from science to math to foreign languages and cultures. Students are even able to display their technology, art, or acting skills in different categories. Participants must be a Mississippi student, but sponsors can be teachers from any discipline, club sponsors, advisors, or family members.

Students can participate in one of five categories, which are organized in two separate divisions, Junior Division (6–8 grade) and Senior Division (9–12 grade). The categories have individual and group options, with the exception of the paper category. Groups can have up to five members.

  • Paper (individual only)
  • Website (individual or group)
  • Performance (individual or group)
  • Exhibit (individual or group)
  • Documentary (individual or group)

Students are encouraged to research primary and secondary sources through archives, digital archives, libraries, museums, and historic sites. A solid foundation of primary sources with supporting secondary sources are vital to a successful project.

Students present their work at a regional contest in the early spring, followed by a state contest in April. First and second place finishers in each category at the state contest will qualify for the National History Day National Contest in June at the University of Maryland at College Park. While placing in each category has no monetary award, students at the state and national level have the opportunity to win monetary prizes through special awards, such as best project in African American history, military history, Mississippi history, and women's history.

Mississippi History Day’s primary sponsor is the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, with the University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi University for Women serving as regional competition sponsors.

For more information, please contact our state coordinator:

Bently Cochran 
Outreach Programs Coordinator, MDAH 
State Coordinator, Mississippi History Day 

Mississippi History Day 2025 Important Dates*

February 22, 2025
Southern Regional at the University of Southern Mississippi

February TBD, 2025
Northern Regional at Mississippi University for Women

April 5, 2025
State Contest at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, MS

June 9 – 12, 2025
National Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park

*Dates are subject to change

Getting Started

Additional Resources

One of the keys to a successful Mississippi History Day project is quality primary and secondary sources. We have compiled a list of sites with excellent sources for many subject areas below.

Mississippi History

Against All Odds
A Bicentennial History of Mississippi
Delta State University Archives
Jackson State University Library
Mississippi Civil Rights Project
Mississippi Department of Archives and History Digital Archives
Mississippi Digital Library
Mississippi Encyclopedia
Mississippi Gulf Coast Museum of Historical Photography
Mississippi History Now
Mississippi History Through the Arts
Mississippi History Timeline
Mississippi State University Digital Collections
Mississippi University for Women’s Library
Mississippi: A Thread Through Time
Ocean Springs Archives
Tougaloo College Archives
University of Mississippi Digital Collections
University of Southern Mississippi Digital Collections
Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi

United States History

Archives of Maryland Online
Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship
Chronicling America
Cornell University Making of America
C-SPAN Video Library
Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities 
Freedmen and Southern Society Project
HarpWeek: Explore History
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Historical Voices
Library of Congress
Library of Congress American Memory
Maryland Historical Society Online Collections
Museum of the Moving Image
National Archives
National Historic Geographic Information System
PBS Africans in America
Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
SNCC Digital Gateway 
Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Southern Foodways Alliance Oral Histories
The Freedom Archives
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents
Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
United States Census Bureau
University of Houston Digital History
University of Michigan Making of America
University of North Carolina Documenting the American South
USDA Economic Research Service
Vanderbilt University Television News Archive

World History

BBC A History of the World
Fordham University Internet History Sourcebooks
Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies
George Mason University Other Women’s Voices
George Mason University World History Sources
International Slavery Museum
McMaster University Digital Collections
Slave Voyages
Understanding Slavery Initiative
United Nations Documents
University of Pittsburgh World Historical Dataverse


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