K-12 Educators Newsletter: History Day and other social studies resources

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Hennepin County Library K12 Educators newsletter

December 2020

As Hennepin County Library continues to adapt its services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please see our Current service information page for details.

History Day and other social studies resources

With many students working on their History Day projects this time of year, it is a great time to share some of our favorite Hennepin County Library online resources for social studies and history.

Online resources for articles, images, primary sources and more

screenshot of brittanica library

Students can pick up physical materials at most local libraries, but wait times for items placed on hold may be longer than usual. If your students need instant access to information, consider introducing them to eBooks and online databases with similar content. Our databases geared toward elementary, middle and high school students can be found on our Homework Help page.

  • For a general overview of a topic, check out Britannica Library or World Book Online (Student). If a student prefers to start with a simpler explanation, they can choose the option for children rather than young adult when opening Britannica Library, or look up their topic in World Book Kids
  • To find more in-depth articles, primary sources, and newspaper articles, our Gale in Context: Middle School and Gale in Context: High School databases support students in deepening their research. Students can filter by content type, including primary sources, images, newspaper articles, and video. 

Most of these resources also have an option to easily generate an MLA or APA citation, which many students appreciate! For more resources geared toward school-aged researchers, check out the Online Resources listed on our Homework Help page.

Researching local history

1936 photo of hennepin ave and 8th st

1936 photo of Hennepin Avenue at 8th Street

Students who want to research local history can find a wide array of primary sources in our Minneapolis and Hennepin County digitized collections., including photographs, letters, posters, programs, and menus. The collections can be searched or browsed, and all of the content can be viewed online and downloaded for free for student or classroom use. 

And while our Special Collections located at the Minneapolis Central Library are currently closed to the public, students can get in touch with Special Collections staff by phone (612-543-8200) or email (specialcoll@hclib.org) if they have specific questions about their project. 

Get History Day help at virtual Hullabaloos

history day logo

Minnesota libraries are teaming up to bring our Hullabaloo events online this year, where students can get personalized help researching their History Day topics. Mini-lessons on a range of topics will also be available. 

Find full details and information on how to register on the Minnesota Historical Society's website.  

Get a library card

It’s free to get a Hennepin County Library card, and anyone who needs to replace a lost or stolen library card can now do so without paying a fee. You can get a new or replacement card in-person at any open library location, or apply online for a library e-card to access the library's online resources, including eBooks and other downloads. Apply online for a library e-card.

eBooks and downloadable audiobooks can be accessed through our website, or through the OverDrive and Libby apps. (Note: RBdigital has merged with OverDrive and no longer exists as a separate platform.) 

Questions? Ask Us

You can Ask Us your questions via phone, email, text, or live chat with staff. Chat is available Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m. 

Please see our Current service information page for information on in-person services.

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