Division of Archives and Records Service

Utah History Day 2024: Archival Research Winners

Lauren Katz
May 1, 2024

Every year in April, 4th through 12th grade students from across the state embark on a research project for Utah History Day, part of the larger National History Day (NHD) contest. Students choose a historical topic related to the annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research in libraries, archives, and museums. The final projects are presented in one of five ways: an exhibit, documentary, performance, paper, or website. To celebrate 50 years of NHD, the 2023-2024 theme was Turning Points in History, which invited students to consider questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance.

Archival Research Prize

As a repository that holds millions of primary records, the Utah State Archives and Records Service Division loves to participate in Utah History Day! This year, we teamed up with the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) to sponsor a brand new award for outstanding archival research! Students who utilized an archival collection to find primary sources for their project were awarded an “Amateur Archival Researcher” rosette ribbon. There were 168 students who received a ribbon this year, and after a tough review process, two website projects took home top honors and a $250 prize!

Power in Simplicity: Dr. Virginia Apgar’s Life-Saving Test for Newborns

Virginia Apgar examining a newborn baby. Taken by Elizabeth Wilcox at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in the late 1950s.

The winner of the Archival Research prize for the Junior Division is Christian Clarke, an eighth grader at Lakeridge Junior High. His website showcases Dr. Virginia Apgar, who created a powerful and simple test in 1952 to assess newborn health. Over seven decades later, the Apgar score is still used worldwide and has been attributed to saving millions of lives. We were impressed with Christian’s use of the Mount Holyoke Archives and the virtual interview he conducted with Dr. Selma H. Calmes, co-founder of the Anesthesia History Association. Good luck at Nationals, Christian!

Impressionism: The Change from Still Life to Real Life

Woman with a Parasol, Madame Monet and Her Son, Claude Monet, 1875

The winner of the Archival Research prize for the Senior Division is Cyan Schatz, a junior at Ogden High School. Leaning into her love of art, Cyan’s website dives into impressionism as an art movement including its development, significance in history, and influence today. The website features a plethora of paintings by renowned impressionists such as Renoir, Monet, and Degas that she sourced from the National Gallery of Art. Good luck at Nationals, Cyan!