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Virginia History Day 2018: Coordinator's Corner

October 10, 2017

Photograph of Christina Vida, Virginia Historical Society CoordinatorGreetings! I’m the new Virginia History Day Coordinator at the Virginia Historical Society. I’m focused full-time on making our 2018 Virginia History Day (VHD) the best yet for teachers and students. My sophomore year in high school, in Jacksonville, FL, I participated in the National History Day (NHD) program as part of my world history class. My group exhibit was on Levi’s jeans, and we made it to the state competition in Tallahassee. Alas, that’s the last time I produced my own NDH project, although I’ve been an avid researcher throughout undergrad, graduate school, and almost a decade working in museums.

To get back in the mindset, I’m kicking off our #VHD2018 year by starting my own History Day project. I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress throughout the year, with regular updates on my topic selection, category choice, research, analysis, project construction, bibliography compilation, and process paper writing.

Photograph of Gas Mask on display in the Story of Virginia exhibition. VHS accession number: 1995.28.7_2First up? Topic selection. This year’s theme, Conflict and Compromise in History, is broad enough that I don’t have to choose a single battle or peace treaty. In my three weeks at the Virginia Historical Society, I’ve learned that we have two exhibits opening in 2018 on World War I. It just seems like a natural fit for me to pick a topic revolving around our institutional goals. Because we’re focused on Virginia history, I’ll also narrow my WWI topic to a Virginia story. And, ideally I’ll find a person, group, or event that connects WWI, Virginia, and the VHS institution itself. Our Story of Virginia exhibit doesn’t have a ton of material on WW1, but we do display this gas mask. I think the VHS research library will be a better starting point and that’s next on my list!

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