The annual National History Day® contest theme is designed to help you think of a topic from any aspect of local, regional, national, or world history. With this focus, you can begin to ask questions that your research will help you answer, including how your topic is significant in history. 

National History Day Theme 2023: Frontiers in History

2023 Contest Theme

Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas

People, places, and ideas can all be frontiers. This year’s theme invites you to consider questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. 

Students are encouraged to select topics in history where a frontier has been crossed. Once a frontier is crossed, history changes. In addition to geography, frontiers encompass topics in the history of science, art, technology, medicine, religion, politics, social change, or the military.

The following resources are available to start defining your topic and begin your research.

Theme Overview Video

Theme Book

Theme Book Graphic Organizer

This graphic organizer will help you to select a topic for your NHD project.

Teacher’s Introduction

With Dr. Kathleen Duval, Bowman & Gordon Gray Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2023 Theme Topic Inspiration

These theme resources will help you explore topic ideas for your NHD project.

Ready to Start Your Project?

Step-by-step guide and resources for creating your National History Day project

National History Day is proud to have the following sponsors