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National History Day

Participate in National History Day!

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) welcomes students and teachers from 6th-12th grades who are interested in conducting research for National History Day. As one of the largest privately held collections of items and books on the life of Abraham Lincoln, the ALLM can aid students as they search for primary sources. Likewise, the Museum staff possess a wide range of research and technical abilities, and are happy to mentor students through the research, writing, and technical processes.

What is National History Day?


2019/2020 National History Day Theme: Breaking Barriers in History

This year's NHD theme is Breaking Barriers in History. From our materials on African American soldier Benjamin Trail, to Union nurse Julia Wheelock, to Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the ALLM is prepared to assist you as you explore and write about a topic related to this year's theme. Each year, NHD provides a theme book to guide student projects. Click on this link to access this year's theme book.

Where can I compete in my state?

Located at the intersection of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, the ALLM aids any student or teacher in the surrounding area who may be interested in participating in National History Day. Click on the links below to learn how you can compete in your home state.

Tennessee History Day website

Kentucky History Day website

Virginia History Day website


In the 2019-2020 season, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is proud to sponsor the Tennessee district competition for Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, and Union counties. If you are a public, private, or homeschool teacher or student who is interested in participating in the district competition, register here.

How can the ALLM be a resource to me?

The ALLM is happy to provide research, development, and technical support to students who are participating in National History Day. If you are a local teacher in Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, or Union counties in TN; Bell County, KY; or Lee County, VA, we are happy to hold a National History Day workshop with your class, either in-person or by Skype. Please email for more information.

If you are a homeschool parent or co-op coordinator, we are also happy to provide a National History Day workshop as a part of our monthly Firelight Learners program. In September, you and your students can learn more about National History Day in a special workshop crafted just for you. Please email for more information.


Access this free National History Day Archival Guide to learn about the collections your students can explore at the ALLM:

National History Day Archival Guide


Access the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum's resources:

Museum Lesson Plans (includes primary source and context lessons)

Online Exhibits


Access these free guides to accessing primary source databases online:

Chronicling America Guide

Library of Congress Guide

Tennessee Virtual Archive Guide

Virginia Memory Guide