2/7/2013 State Archives Sponsors 23rd Annual Student Research Contest

ALBANY, NY -- To promote and recognize excellence in student research, the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department in the Office of Cultural Education, is sponsoring the 23rd annual Student Research Awards contest. The program is open to all New York State students in grades 4-12 who use historical records in their research projects. The entry deadline is July 1, 2013.

The contest is designed to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records across New York State and to increase cooperation between schools and organizations that manage historical records.  The State Archives encourages students to explore the historical records found in their communities such as county, city, town and village clerk’s offices; public library local history collections, historical societies, businesses, families and more. Examples of historical records include letters, diaries, photographs, and board meeting minutes, police and court records, ledgers, census records, deeds and wills.

Individual students and groups of students may submit projects to the contest.  Eligible projects include: computer-based entries, such as websites or PowerPoint presentations; exhibits; documentaries; performances; proposals for a historical marker, property or district; and traditional research papers. 

All students must use historical records, as well as other primary and secondary sources, in their research, and each entry must be accompanied by an annotated bibliography that briefly describes how each source was used and how it contributed to the project. 

Projects must be nominated by teachers or administrators in the school attended by the student(s).  Community members, such as municipal historians and public librarians, may also nominate students.  Entries from home schooled students are encouraged.

Three awards are presented each year; one for grades 4-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. The awards consist of a framed certificate, a check for $125 (from an endowment established with the New York State Archives Partnership Trust by Regent Emerita Laura Chodos and her late husband Robert Chodos), an invitation to an awards luncheon and ceremony in Albany, and a tour of archival treasures at the State Archives. Certificates of Merit are awarded to students, other than the winners, whose projects are exemplary.

“The Student Research Award program encourages students to go beyond textbooks and school libraries to access the real documents of history,” said State Archivist Christine Ward.  “These valuable historical resources can be found in every community across the state and in every family.  Conducting research in historical records allows students to become real historians. It provides students with real-life experience that engages and challenges them to utilize, and further develop, valuable critical thinking skills.”

For information about this year’s program, click on “Education” at, call (518) 474-6926 or email