Category Archives: News

National History Day at 50: A Salute

by George Bain and Connie Conner, Advocacy and Outreach Committee members.

The National History Day program was born in 1974, 50 years ago this year, as a modest venture in the area of Cleveland, Ohio under the direction of Case Western Reserve University History Professor David Van Tassel. But it was a dream that began to expand across the state and then over several years into other states and then became national in scope. Also known widely by its initials as well, NHD is an admirable educational entity that deserves recognition for stimulating the study of history. But why, as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary, is it of direct importance to the archival community?

Ohio History Day provides archivists the opportunity to help students learn to do research.  Participants in the program share that winning is fun, but the process of learning and sharing is motivating. OHD allows students to connect with history on a personal level. It offers freedom to explore topics that interest them and lean into their own skill set to showcase what they learn.

1981 Award Winners

There is a certain amount of genius in the design of the National History Day package. There is an annual theme announced each year on a rotating basis so that the same theme never repeats more frequently than the years it takes for a student to complete the cycle from middle school through high school. There are two divisions, a junior division for grades 6 through 8 and a senior division for grades 9 through 12.

The design package offers an especially rich variety of formats for student entrants. Individual participants can write a research paper. Additionally, either as an individual or a group, they can create a topical tabletop exhibit, a dramatic performance, or a documentary presentation or a web site. For those who participate in History Day for more than one year, they have the opportunity to continue with the same format, e.g., an individual exhibit, or to change course, e.g., from an individual dramatic performance one year to a documentary as part of a group the following year.

As noted earlier, it may seem a stretch for archivists to support NHD directly. But for archivists in Ohio, this is the state where NHD made its start 50 years ago. The Society of Ohio Archivists began presenting its annual History Day Awards in 1999 and was joined by the Ohio Records Advisory Board Awards in 2009. Members of SOA have the chance here and there to assist student participants in their research and some member archives host regional research days to help students learn how to perform historical research. Many SOA members serve as judges at the regional and the state contests. And archivists have recognized the program for its stellar character. In 1997 SOA gave its Merit Award to Prof. David Van Tassel. The Society of American Archivists presented NHD with its J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award in 2014, the year NHD turned 40. The Ohio History Day program and Society of Ohio Archives are mutually beneficial. Ohio archivists provide the primary resources and guidance for OHD participants who gain an understanding of history and the importance of archives that preserve the stuff of history.


black and white photo people looking at exhibits

1976 Exhibit Hall

With the OHD fiftieth anniversary festivities the connection between archivist and student is one worth celebrating. One former OHD kid, Stacia Kuceyeski, who is now the Chief Operating Officer at the Ohio History Connection, explains that “helping an Ohio History Day student navigate the world of primary sources and archives is an important role for archivists and librarians, but their impact goes beyond that.  They have an important role in the Ohio History Day process, because in many instances a student’s first engagement with an archive or their local history department in their local library is with their Ohio History Day project. That initial experience is something that can ignite not just a love of the past, but a love of sharing that past in the present. Working with an archival professional who is excited about their project is a great feeling for a student because that archival professional is another adult who is validating their great work, which can be an important boost for a student’s confidence.”


Ohio Archivist News & Notes Spring 2024

Ohio Archivist Call for News and Notes

It’s that time again – the Ohio Archivist editor is collecting submissions of News and Notes for the Spring 2024 issue of the Society of Ohio Archivists’ newsletter. You do not have to be a member of SOA to submit your news – all Ohio archives, records, and special collections news is welcome! Continue reading

SOA Strategic Plan 2023-2026 Now Available

Message from the Strategic Planning Committee Chair

I’m pleased to announce that SOA has completed our strategic planning process, and the 2023-2026 strategic plan is now available on the website. This plan has strategies for success across the organization to help SOA meet its vision to be the primary provider of professional development for archivists and historical records professionals in Ohio. You can follow our progress towards these goals by checking the task tracker on the site, which will be updated regularly.

I’d like to thank all the members of SOA’s leadership in 2022-23 and 2023-24 for their work in creating the plan and helping refine the goals and tasks. We would not have this plan without their active participation. I’d especially like to thank the members of the strategic planning committee over the past 18 months: Melissa Dalton, Sherri Goudy, Collette McDonough, and Nick Pavlik for their work every step of the way. Finally, thanks to Rob Colby for helping us start the process and Jennifer Souers Chevraux for helping us bring this plan to fruition.

I hope you take the time to read the plan and see what SOA hopes to achieve for our profession!

Amy Rohmiller
Past-President & Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

SOA Membership Fee Change Passes for 2023

In November, Society of Ohio Archivists members voted overwhelmingly to raise membership dues effective January 1, 2023. A vote by membership to waive the bylaws for this action was required in order for the change to be put in effect for the 2023 membership year.

SOA had not raised dues since 1996 while we worked to keep costs to members as low as possible. Even during the height of the pandemic we committed to offering free and low-cost programs for members and non-members alike, but rising inflation and costs have taken their toll on our finances.

The new dues structure will be:

  • Individual: $30
  • Student and bridge: $15
  • Patron: $50
  • Sponsor: $100

We are also committed to continuing our hardship program for those in need in these times of cuts to professional development funding and other struggles. Anyone who wants to renew their membership or join SOA but is struggling with the cost can contact the Membership & Awards Committee cochairs to access this program.

Thank you again for your continued support of SOA!
SOA Council

Internship: OBWC Library & Archives Intern

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation – Division of Safety & Hygiene welcomes applicants for the Library & Archives Intern position.

Institution: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation – Division of Safety & Hygiene
Position: Library & Archives Intern
Location: 30 West Spring Street, Columbus Ohio 43221
Details at
Availability: This is a temporary, part-time intern position working up to 29 hrs/week.
Application deadline: October 23, 2022
Paid: Yes. Up to $19.99 per hour depending on academic grade level. No benefits.
On-Going Program: No

SOA’s Internship and Volunteer listings page is a project of the Membership and Awards Committee. Contact committee member Mark Bloom to submit or update an entry.

Internship: Oberlin College Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Intern

The Oberlin College Libraries welcome applicants for the Archives and Special Collections Intern position.

Institution: Oberlin College Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Position: Archives and Special Collections Intern
Location: Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Details at
Availability: Begins October 3, 2022 and ends on March 31, 2023 with the possibility of an extension for another 6 months. This is a temporary, part-time intern position working up to 20 hrs/week.
Application deadline: Open until filled.
Paid: Yes. $15.00 per hour / No benefits.

SOA’s Internship and Volunteer listings page is a project of the Membership and Awards Committee. Contact committee member Mark Bloom to submit or update an entry.

Ohio Archives News: Ohio History Fund Applications Open

Apply for an Ohio History Fund Grant

Hello Grant Seekers and Ohio History Fund Friends!

Ohio History Fund grant applications are now available at The application deadline is Sept. 27, 2022.

The Ohio History Fund is a competitive matching grants program for history projects. Grants support all kinds of history projects about Ohio and its communities including
• Rehabilitation of National Register-listed historic buildings
• Museum collection storage initiatives,
• Educational programs
• Digitization of archival materials and historic photographs
• Surveys of buildings and archaeological surveys
• Exhibit development, including virtual exhibits
• Oral history projects
• Organizational development, including board training
• And more – contact us to discuss your idea!

See a list of last year’s grant recipients and projects. Continue reading

Ohio Archives News: Historic Marker Dedication July 17

Ohio Archives Month Poster 2020

Ohio Archives Month Poster 2020

The Society of Ohio Archivists is pleased to share this invitation (below) to the historic marker dedication for Ohio suffragist Jewelia Galloway Higgins, who was featured on our 2020 Ohio Archives Month poster “Ohio Women and the fight for the Right to Vote.”!



Patricia Smith Griffin, and The Charity’s Children Project, cordially invite you to attend the Historic Marker Dedication of their ancestor, Ohio suffragist Jewelia Galloway Higgins.

Please see the beautiful 3-page PDF version of the invitation, including photos of Jewelia Galloway Higgins. Continue reading

Ohio Archivist Call for News and Notes

Hello! I am now collecting submissions of “News and Notes” for the fall 2022 issue of the Society of Ohio Archivists’ newsletter Ohio Archivist.

You do not have to be a member of SOA to submit your news – all Ohio archives, records, and special collections news is welcome!

Think you don’t have anything to share? Think again! These are just a few examples, but you get the idea! You can check the News section of previous issues of the Ohio Archivist to get ideas of the kinds of things we are looking for. Continue reading