In April 2020, Yale’s History and History of Science and Medicine (HSHM) Departments cancelled senior essay prizes due to the constraints posed by COVID-19. To respond to this crisis, The Yale Historical Review partnered with faculty from the History and HSHM Departments to celebrate exceptional theses from graduating students. The pieces included in this special issue would have received high marks and accolades in another year. By publishing these essays and abstracts, we hope to celebrate the process and evaluation of original research.