More than 300 students attended National History Day at UW-Green Bay

More than 300 students from across four counties and representing 16 different schools made their way to UW-Green Bay on Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019 for the National History Day regional event. Almost 200 projects were presented at UW-Green Bay’s University Union and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall for the all-day event. This year’s theme was “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Learn more and see the 2019 results.

National History Day 2018 at UWGB

300 students from four counties to compete in National History Day regional event at UW-Green Bay, March 2

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host the Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition on Saturday, March 2, 2019, marking the 17th consecutive year the event has been held on the Green Bay campus. The 2019 National History Day competition will be held at UW-Green Bay’s University Union and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. The all-day event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., with judging taking place from 9:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at the Kress Events Center at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and media.

The competition will welcome more than 300 students, representing 16 schools from throughout the region, with a total of just fewer than 200 projects. Students hail from public and private schools in a four-county area. Brown, Oconto, Outagamie and Sheboygan counties are represented.

In keeping with this year’s theme of “Triumph and Tragedy in History,” project topics include the Persian Gulf War, Freddie Mercury, Radium Girls, Vincent Van Gogh, Video Games, Clara Barton, Julius Caesar, Kent State, Space Race, Polio Epidemic, Newsboy Strike, Hmong Immigration, Lou Gehrig, Social Security Act and many others. Many of this year’s entries have a tie to Northeastern Wisconsin, including projects about the Peshtigo Fire, Fox Locks System, Joseph McCarthy and Black Thursday (a student demonstration at UW-Oshkosh). Some students focused on World War II topics by using the letters and diaries of their grandfathers to tell personal story connected to history.

“We are proud to have UW-Green Bay serve as host for this exciting academic competition,” said UW-Green Bay’s Coordinator or Archives and Area research Center, Deb Anderson, who is National History Day coordinator for the Northeastern Wisconsin region. “National History Day provides students of all abilities and interests an opportunity to learn about a topic of their choosing and present it in a creative way. I am impressed by the depth and range demonstrated by the students in their topic selection, research and final projects.”

For most students, the projects are the result of months of research. Nearly 400 students visited UW-Green Bay in order to conduct research at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center located in the Cofrin Library. During one research field trip, a student remarked to his teacher, “Best day ever! I have never done anything this cool in school before.”

“We are excited to be part of creating a strong passion for history,” Anderson commented.

Students can enter the National History Day competition in a variety of categories, including historical papers, exhibit displays, documentaries, performances and websites. They are required to use primary sources for projects, which often include interviews with individuals who have lived history.

Winners from the regional competition will move on to the state contest on Saturday, Apr. 13, 2019, and may have the opportunity to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C. in June. On an annual basis, National History Day serves more than 600,000 students in all the U.S. states and territories.

In addition to students, families, educators and friends, the regional National History Day competition relies on over 100 volunteers, including UW-Green Bay students, faculty, alumni and community members. “The dedicated volunteers truly embrace the phrase ‘it takes a village,’” Anderson said.

For more information, contact Deb Anderson at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Cetner at 920-465-2539 or

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit


National History Day will be hosted at UW-Green Bay on Saturday, Mar. 2

The 2019 National History Day competition for the Northeastern Wisconsin region will be taking on Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019 at UW-Green Bay. Deb Anderson of the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center coordinates the Northeastern Wisconsin region. This year’s theme is “Triumph & Tragedy in History.” Read more.

Celebrating the Governor’s Archive Award 2018

Congratulations to the University Archives and Area Research Center staff on the Governor’s Archive Award 2018. Matt Blessing, state archivist and division administrator for the Wisconsin Historical Society, was on campus Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 to present the award to an appreciative crowd. Citing many thoughtful collaborative projects with UW-Green Bay faculty, Blessing said that UW-Green Bay Archivist Deb Anderson, along with her staff, are admired statewide for the leadership and collaboration they demonstrate as they work with faculty to immerse archives into the classroom experience. (Anderson also received the Governor’s Award for Archival Advocacy in 2005.)

Blessing applauded UW-Green Bay for being able to work with and across many varied departments and disciplines. The plaque says, “For broadening the use and study of archival collections across the undergraduate curriculum, presented to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Area Research Center, from the Wisconsin Historical Society.”

Speaking at the event on behalf of UW-Green Bay were Provost Greg Davis, Associate Prof. Caroline Boswell (Humanities), Assistant Vice Chancellor Paula Ganyard (who read a letter of appreciation from Associate Prof. Alison Staudinger, Democracy and Justice Studies) and Anderson, who accepted the award on behalf of the University.


Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Governor's Archives Awards

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center receives Governor’s Award

The Wisconsin Historical Society will be presenting the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center with the 2018 Governor’s Archives Award for Archival Innovation, with an award presentation will being held on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Cofrin Library, Room 705. WisPolitics has more.

UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center to receive 2018 Governor’s Archives Award

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center (ARC) will be presented with the 2018 Governor’s Archives Award for Archival Innovation. An award presentation will be held Wednesday, October 24 at 4:00 p.m. in the Archives of David A. Cofrin Library, Room 705, UW-Green Bay. The Wisconsin Historical Society will present the award.

“The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center is receiving this award for expanding the audiences served at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, specifically, broadening the use and study of archival collections across the undergraduate curriculum,” said Matt Blessing, State Archivist for the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Along with the formal award presentation, which lands during “Archives Month,” the program will include brief remarks by UW-Green Bay Provost Greg Davis and faculty members Alison Staudinger and Caroline Boswell.

The ARC demonstrated how it has effectively expanded experiential learning across the undergraduate curriculum, moving beyond established partnerships with humanities disciplines to reach new and diverse audiences. Archivist Deb Anderson is cited for “effectively building flexible instructional programs involving disciplines within the social sciences, first year seminars, public policy, nutrition, education, and human development.”

Expanding archival learning opportunities across the university curriculum required careful planning, engagement, and significant collaborations by the UW-Green Bay Archives: Examples

  • In a freshmen-level course, Everybody Dies!, students were introduced to coroner’s reports, condolence letters and diaries of the terminally ill. More than 100 first-year undergraduates considered the concepts of death and dying by exploring historical records.
  • For a course on prison voices, the archivist identified prisoner case files, warden records and prison inspection reports.
  • Collections of cartoons were used by political science students to curate a gallery exhibit.

These innovative research experiences required extensive use of the Wisconsin Area Research Center Network transfer system, including the transfer of state government records from Madison to the UW-Green Bay ARC.

“It is an honor to receive the “2018 Governor’s Award for Archival Innovation,” Archivist Anderson says.  “We value the opportunities we have to connect university students to the stories of the past through archival records. It is truly gratifying to witness students and faculty embracing historical materials in original and pioneering ways.”

This is not the first time the UW-Green Bay Archives has been recognized for its work. In 2005, Anderson won the Governor’s Archives Award for Advocacy.

“The Archives Instruction and Outreach program has taken years to develop and grow, and because of its success, we are now seeing an ever-increasing interest by faculty to give their students the opportunities to work with primary materials by collaborating with the Archives,” notes Paula Ganyard, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Library Services. “This ever-growing interest also has resulted in an increase in non-traditional presentations of historical research by students. While the traditional term paper still exists, we now see projects such as Twitter reenactments of historical events, the creation of oral histories, and even art exhibits developed by students as ways students are sharing their research.”

The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board (WHRAB) and the Wisconsin Historical Society award the Governor’s Archives Award to individuals, programs or organizations that have made significant contributions to preserving or increasing the availability of original historical documents in any format. For more information visit

Story by UW-Green Bay Marketing and University Communication and Wisconsin Historical Society.

Student working with archives collection

Join the celebration! Winner of the Governor’s Award is…

Join in the celebration as the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center is presented with the 2018 Governor’s Award for Archival Innovation by the Wisconsin State Historical Society. This award acknowledges the Archives’ leadership in building flexible instructional programs across the UW-Green Bay undergraduate curriculum. The Archives Department will be recognized for its innovative and extensive work connecting students with historical materials in unique and profound ways. RSVP by October 22.

Wednesday, October 24
4 p.m.

Archives and Area Research Center
David A. Cofrin Library 705
UW-Green Bay 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311

RSVP by October 22

Brief Remarks
Provost Greg Davis
Caroline Boswell
Alison Staudinger

Award Presentation
Wisconsin State Archivist Matt Blessing
2018 Governor’s Award for Archival Innovation


University Archives helps uncover how Door County’s Brussels got its name

Ever wondered how Brussels in Southern Door County got its name? It has a lot to do with crop shortages in Belgium, which sparked the emigration of Belgians to a new land called Wisconsin. A file unearthed in UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Library described a report by Ministère de la Région Wallonne, stating that even though the lands of Wisconsin weren’t ideal for cultivation, the Belgians cleared the lands and traded wooden shingles. The emigrants who settled in Wisconsin brought with their names from home, including the capital, Brussels. Read the full story on Door County Pulse