National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is an exciting academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. The Library supports the program by annually hosting over 500 middle school students for tours and research visits. In addition to organizing and hosting the research tours, staff members from Archives, Youth Services, and Reference also act as judges at local and regional competitions and give one-on-one coaching to any student interested in improving their project for higher level competition. In May of each year, the library hosts its own contest, offering cash prizes for projects that demonstrate exceptional primary source research.

The 2016 NHD theme is Exploration, Encounter & Exchange in History.

Teachers, if you would like to bring a class for a research visit, email Teen Librarian Linda Jerome at We'd appreciate at least a week's notice.

Research and Primary Sources
Primary sources are the foundation of an outstanding NHD project. You can find print primary sources by searching our catalog with the words [primary source] + letters, diaries, journals, speeches, correspondence, and interviews. Books with primary source material are clearly marked with yellow tape that says "Primary Source."

The following resources are paid for and available to La Crosse city residents who have a valid library card.

The following resources are available to all State of Wisconsin residents who have a valid library card.

There is a wealth of primary source material to be found online. These resources are all free on the internet.

For students working on local history projects, you can browse or search for primary sources on local topics on the Archives Collections page and at La Crosse History Unbound. If you are unable to find materials locally, you can request books or other materials through Interlibrary Loan.

If you would like to improve your project before moving on to state or nationals, you can make an appointment with a librarian. Call the Reference Desk at 608.789.7122.