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November 28, 2016
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



New York State Archives Invites Students to Enter Student Research Awards Contest

The New York State Archives invites students statewide to enter the 27th Annual Student Research Awards Contest. The contest is open to all New York State students in grades 4 – 12 who use historical records in their research projects. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2017. Three awards will be presented in the fall of 2017.

“We’re proud to host the Student Research Awards Contest for the children of our state,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa. “Students are invited to use primary source materials to conduct a research project and discover new things about history, their communities and themselves.”

“Through programs like the Student Research Awards Contest, we recognize and encourage the excellent research students do across the state,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “I ask teachers to encourage your students to submit their research projects that use historical records in this contest. We look forward to naming the award winners next fall.”

“The Student Research Award program encourages students to go beyond textbooks to access the real documents of history,” said State Archivist Thomas Ruller. “These valuable historical resources can be found in every community across the state and in every family. These historical resources contain first-hand information about the past that engages students and allows them to do the same work as professional historians.”

The Student Research Awards Contest is designed to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records found 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 located in their communities by visiting county, city, town and village clerk’s offices; public libraries; historical societies; and businesses. Examples of historical records include letters, diaries, photographs, board meeting minutes, police and court records, ledgers, census records, deeds, and wills. The State Archives has a variety of instructional videos showcasing how to find and use historical records on its website.

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 welcome.

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 cash award, and an invitation to an awards ceremony in Albany. Certificates of Merit are awarded to students, other than the winners, whose projects are exemplary.

The Student Research Awards are supported by the Laura and Robert Chodos endowment, private contributions, and special grants raised by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to ensuring that the New York State Archives records are preserved and available for future generations.

The New York State Archives is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Archives is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-6926 or visiting the Archives’ website at