Press/Journalists

Press Release
June 23, 2008

National Archives Regional Administrator Wins "Outstanding History Educator" Award

Mid Atlantic Regional Administrator V. Chapman Smith takes top honors

Contact Information

  • National Archives Public Affairs Staff National Archives Public Affairs Staff 202-357-5300
  • HISTORY Contact HISTORY™
    Susan Raisch 718-667-5576
  • National History Day Contact National History Day
    Noah Shaw 301-314-8379

Washington, DC…National Archives’ Mid Atlantic Regional Administrator V. Chapman Smith has received the History™ 2008 Outstanding History Educator Award for her work in support of National History Day.

The awards ceremony, held June 19th on the University of Maryland campus, marks the culmination of a week of activities in which more than 2,000 student scholars, narrowed from a field of over half a million, present history projects to national judges for top honors. "We are proud to have V. Chapman Smith receive this important award," said Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. "The National Archives is fortunate to have an individual of such dedication and high professional achievement."

The National Archives supports National History Day at local, state, and national levels. Many National Archives employees volunteer their time to serve as contest judges. The National Archives contains a wealth of primary source materials for National History Day research projects at its facilities nationwide, and also provides NHD training workshops for teachers, and expansive online resources and guidance.

"Ms. V. Chapman-Smith has dedicated her professional life to the preservation of history so that current and future generations will benefit from its lessons. She has made it her mission to connect students to history and to their community," said Dr. Libby O’Connell, SVP Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, AETN. "We are delighted to join National History Day in presenting the 2008 Outstanding History Educator Award recognizing her creative and tireless efforts not only for Philadelphia but for the entire state of Pennsylvania and the nation."

"V. has been a tremendous asset to National History Day. Few have done as much to spread the word or to develop the history education experience. V.’s leadership in National History Day Philadelphia is exemplary, and we’re happy to see her recognized for her work," said Cathy Gorn, executive director of National History Day.

V. Chapman Smith, who attended Lycoming College and Temple University, joined the National Archives in 2002. She previously served as Assistant Education Commissioner/State Archivist of New York, a position in which she oversaw one of the largest state archival and records management operations in the nation. Prior to becoming State Archivist of New York, Ms. Chapman-Smith was the first records management professional appointed as Commissioner of Records for the City of Philadelphia in 1992.

After arriving in Philadelphia in 2002, Ms. Chapman-Smith spearheaded the effort to build a strong National History Day program - and to make this program available to all Philadelphia students - by enlisting the support of over 40 organizations, institutions and businesses, including:  Eastern State Penitentiary Site (contest coordination), National Constitution Center (contest host site), Independence Hall Association (web site host), PACSCL, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Atwater Kent Museum, Philadelphia Department of Records, and The Franklin Institute. As a result of her dedication and this extraordinary collaboration, Philadelphia students pay no fees to participate in the regional program, and those who qualify for state contests attend on full scholarship.

The National Archives - Mid Atlantic Region serves the geographic areas of Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. It helps Federal officials manage information by offering technical assistance and training and setting records retention and disposal guidelines. The region also provides cost-efficient offsite storage for non-current Federal agency records. The Regional Archives in Philadelphia maintains the historically significant Mid Atlantic Federal records from 1790 to the present. The historical records, as well as select court bankruptcy records, are open to the public. The National Archives - Mid Atlantic Region’s web site is: (www.archives.gov/midatlantic/).

National History Day, Inc. is not just one day, but a yearlong education organization that makes history come alive through educator professional development and active student learning. Through publications and education programs, National History Day trains teachers to move students beyond textbooks and expand their classrooms to include libraries, museums and archives. Nationwide 30,000 educators currently use National History Day curriculum materials. For additional information on NHD visit (www.nhd.org).

History™ and History HD™ are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning, original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the networks’ program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, The Universe, Cities of The Underworld and Ice Road Truckers, as well as acclaimed specials including King, Life After People, 1968 With Tom Brokaw, Lost Book of Nostradamus, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and Sherman’s March. History has earned four Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy® Awards, 10 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History™ campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take A Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. History’s web site, located at (www.History.com), is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games podcasts and more.

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Contacts:

For the National Archives
Public Affairs Staff
202-357-5300

For HISTORY™
Susan Raisch 718-667-5576

For National History Day
Noah Shaw 301-314-8379


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