As COVID-19 restrictions impact both students and teachers, find out how young researchers are still taking on exciting projects for this year’s National History Day program.

Last year Seekers and Scholars recorded National History Day—transforming students’ lives in archives, (Episode 33). A unique educational program, National History Day invites middle school and high school students to venture into the world of historical archives and collections, creating projects that focus on a yearly theme. After they build expertise on a chosen topic, participants communicate what they’ve learned, either developing a website, writing a paper, designing an exhibit, producing a documentary video, or creating a performance.

Around half a million NHD students work on the projects they present in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. They also have the opportunity to compete in regional, state, and national contests. But this year has brought changes and complications. So we decided to invite last year’s guests back for a followup conversation. They spotlight how NHD continues to be meaningful in a time of social distancing and remote learning. Find out how it’s still an exciting program for students, families, teachers—and supportive institutions like The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Podcast guests

Kate MelchiorKate Melchior is Assistant Director of Education at the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as a State Affiliate Coordinator of National History Day in Massachusetts. She received a master’s degree in history from the University of Bristol, a bachelor’s in English from Northwestern University, and a bachelor of music in vocal performance, also from Northwestern. An Austria 2012 Fulbright alum, Melchior performed research in the field of public memory. She has previously worked at Boston’s Old North Church & Historic Site, and the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts.


Dorothy RiveraDorothy Rivera has worked as a researcher at The Mary Baker Eddy Library since November 2014 and now serves as Manager of Research & Reference Services. She came to the Library from the National Archives and Records Administration, where she worked as an archives technician. She holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a bachelor’s in history and political science from Johns Hopkins University.

Dan Bullman is Digital and Photographic Collections Archivist at The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Previously he was Archives and Research Assistant at Tufts University Digital Collections. He was also Archives and Manuscript End Processing Assistant at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University. Bullman holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in library science from Simmons College. He is himself an avid photographer and loves sharing what he has learned with others, including through instructional videos and blog posts.

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