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Massachusetts History Day!
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Support Massachusetts History Day

            You can help support MHD by judging and/or by donating special prizes or making a tax-deductible donation.

                                              Interested in Judging for Massachusetts History Day?

         What is History Day?  ~ a quick summary…

History Day is a national competition, like a science fair, but for history.  It is focused
on thorough research and in-depth analysis of a specific, historically-significant topic.  There is a national theme which changes every year.  After winning at a school level, regional level, & state level, students compete at the national level in Washington, D.C.

Students are divided up into 2 divisions: junior (grades 6-8) & senior (grades 9-12).  They may do a paper, performance, documentary, exhibit, or website.  A student
may work alone or in a group.  While the physical rules vary from category to
category, the underlying rules (historical accuracy, relation to theme, quality of bibliography, etc.) are the same across the board, from historical research papers
to websites.

Who are the Judges?

Hundreds of judges are needed across the four District contests, as well as for the state finals.  We have judges from all walks of life - educators, librarians, archivists, history students, professors, PhD candidates, museum personnel, national park rangers, History Day alumni/parents, even armchair historians & history buffs. 
Judges are always needed!  Anyone who loves kids, history, research or even
just the pursuit of knowledge is more than welcome to judge. 

This year’s contest dates can be found on the District Contest page.  The state finals contest date & location can be found on our Home Page.  Please contact the coordinator of the contest closest to/most convenient for you.

Northeast District  - Beverly, MA
Kathleen Barker, District Contest Coordinator

Greater Boston District – Stoneham, MA
Paula Sampson, District Contest Coordinator

South Shore District – Foxborough, MA
Leah Cardullo, District Contest Coordinator

Central-West District – Barre, MA
Bob Jones, District Contest Coordinator

Kate Melchior, State Contest Judges Coordinator

What Happens on Contest Day?
The day starts approximately 8:00 AM and generally ends about 2:00 PM, although some judging groups will finish earlier, depending on the number of entries in that category. We provide morning coffee and pastry as well as a nice lunch at mid-day.

We do a judge’s orientation in the morning, before you meet with the students.
  It is very important that you attend this orientation, even if you have judged in the past.  This provides an opportunity to review any rule changes, discuss the annual theme, and to answer any questions you have about specific entries.

 Judges are more than welcome to stay for the student awards ceremony and see the smiles on the faces of the winners.

What else do I need to know about Judging for MHD?

 Judges are paired in teams of three.  Judging assignments are handed out on contest day, with the exception of Papers and Websites.  Those judges receive projects in advance to review.  (Web judges will be provided URL links to access the projects online.  Papers are emailed in Adobe.PDF formats, or you may choose to receive hard copies of in the mail, should you prefer.)  On contest day, web & paper judges will have a brief interview with students and then time to deliberate with your team.  All other category judges will both view projects and interview students on contest day.  Once your interviews are complete, you will again meet with your team to decide the final winners and fill out the judges’ consensus forms that are then handed back to students.

Please remember, students are counting on you. They have been working on these projects since September!  If for any reason you cannot fulfill your commitment, please call or email the contest coordinator as early as possible before contest day.

State Contest  - location varies, see Home Page for this year’s location

                                         Interested in Donating to Massachusetts History Day?

Special Prizes & Donations WANTED!

Tax-Deductible Donations

Massachusetts History Day is an all-volunteer organization.  But like any organization, however, we do have some associated costs, and we depend on the generosity of our community to help us.  We do our best to subsidize the travel costs of students who participate in upper-level competitions, so that no student is deprived of this valuable experience because their family cannot afford to pay.  We also incur annual operating costs renting space for competitions, printing programs and certificates, as well as providing award medals and other incentives to our talented students. 

We need your help!  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to ensure that History Day can continue to provide this opportunity for students in years to come.  We also have corporate sponsorship opportunities available, so please keep us in mind if you know of businesses that are looking for ways to make a difference for local students.  Massachusetts History Day would not be possible without the generous support of parents and friends like you.

Click HERE to download the donation form for your tax-deductible donation, or copy and paste the link below into your browser:


Special Prizes Needed!  

Since 2012, MHD has been generously co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society.  But many wonderful organizations, institutions museums and even families also generously support MHD by supplying judges or donating special prizes.  

Prizes can be monetary, a certificate, a book, a t-shirt, a gift certificate to your museum store, some admission passes, etc.  Prizes can be made in a loved one’s memory.  We will work with you to select appropriate criteria that reflects your organization or interest, for example:

  • Best Use of Periodicals
  • Best Use of Primary Sources
  • Best Use of Maps
  • Best Project on Women’s/Gender History
  • Best Project on Local History
  • Best Project on Military History
  • Best Project on Maritime History
  • Best Project on Industrial History
  • Best Project on Immigration History

 We would like to thank the following organizations for their support:

  • AHL Worcester Sharks
  • American Antiquarian Society
  • American Textile History Museum
  • Central Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies
  • Clara Barton Birthplace Museum
  • Concord Museum
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car
  • Essex National Heritage Area Commission
  • Fruitlands Museum
  • Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies
  • Massachusetts Geographic Alliance
  • Massachusetts Historical Society (*MHD sponsor*)
  • Merrimack Valley Council for the Social Studies
  • Museum of Russian Icons
  • National Archives and Records Administration of Waltham, MA
  • National Maritime Historical Society
  • New England History Teachers Association
  • Old Sturbridge Village
  • Rand McNally Educational Publications
  • Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History
  • Tsongas Industrial History Center
  • USS Constitution Museum
  • Willard House & Clock Museum
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • Worcester Historical Museum   

If you are interested in donating a special prize or supporting Massachusetts History Day, please contact MHD Coordinator Kathleen Barker: kbarker@masshist.org

Help us recognize and reward the students’ hard work!