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99 Incredible YouTube Channels for History Buffs

If you love history, or just want to learn more about it, YouTube has exactly what you need. Always up to the challege of providing thorough, accurate information, YouTube delivers channels from leading names in historical studies, from The Smithsonian to the Discovery Channel. You’re sure to find just the right information you need for your lecture, lesson plan, or perhaps just your personal viewing pleasure.

General History

These videos can give your students a better insight into historical events.

  1. Learn History: This YouTube channel provides loads of videos on historical events related to crime and punishment and the American West.
  2. Animated Bayeux Tapestry: Students learning about European history can watch this video which takes the Bayeux Tapestry and brings it to life.
  3. The Day the Music Died: This video can be a great introduction to pop culture in the 50’s and 60’s through the song "American Pie".
  4. Surviving the Holocaust: Teach students about the impact of the Holocaust by showing them how it impacted this individual.
  5. Oliver Cromwell: Here you’ll find photos and text that tell about the life of Oliver Cromwell.
  6. Elizabeth I: Let students learn about the history of England by watching this video presentation on Elizabeth I.
  7. Computer History: Technology is a big deal these days, and students can learn about where it all started by watching this video.
  8. Gettysburg Reenactment: Bring the American Civil War to life by showing students this reenactment of a battle.
  9. The Assassination of JFK: This famous video is a huge part of American history, and you can let students watch it via YouTube.
  10. Fall of the Berlin Wall: Classes studying modern history can learn about the impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall through this news report.
  11. How to Make a Mummy: Created by teachers, this animated video shows how the ancient Egyptians created their mummies.
  12. A Brief History of Mankind: This video sums up the history of mankind in just a few minutes, making it a good intro to history classes.

Art History

From ancient Greek sculpture to post-Modernism, YouTube has it all.

  1. The Smithsonian: Enjoy lectures by renowned experts covering the worlds of art, design, history, culture, science and technology.
  2. An Introduction to Art History: This is the introduction to a series of videos discussing art history. Each video will explore a single piece of work in overview.
  3. Art History Timeline: Take a brief look at the history of art around the world.
  4. Aboriginal Art History: Check this out to see the historical wonders from Down Under.
  5. Renaissance Art: From the Birth of Venus to the Dome of St. Peters, this link contains everything Renaissance.
  6. Greek Sculpture: The BBC shows you how Greek art "made the world."
  7. Surrealism: See how Salvador Dali and Max Ernst shaped this cultural movement.
  8. The Art of Pablo Picasso: Look at the work of Picasso, from his most famous to those you’ve likely never before seen.
  9. Van Gogh Documentary: This is brought to you by A&E, and covers Van Gogh from birth to death, from peasant to international art hero.
  10. Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Art: Get a quick but thorough glance at art throughout history.

Music History

How music has changed over the last several hundred years! This evolution continues to fascinate historians to this day, and their reflections can be found at the links below.

  1. The Baroque Era: Here you will find videos about baroque music, art, architecture, history and more.
  2. Music 1600-Present: Get a whopping 25 minutes of music history.
  3. Classical Music Only: This channel provides and introduction to your favorite Western music.
  4. Old World Music History: One hundred years of music history, with more than 78 different videos to view.
  5. History of Underground Chicago Music: This is about rock and roll, but more importantly, about music that rocks.
  6. 25 Great Jazz Soloists: You’ve probably heard jazz, but never like this.
  7. A History of Rock ‘n’ Roll: This awesome history link is informative yet incredibly fun.
  8. A History of the Beatles: John, Paul, George, and Ringo gain immortality through this awesome YouTube feature.
  9. The Blues: American History Today: This interesting video covers all the bases of Blues History, and includes interviews with Blues singers from the genre’s early days.
  10. A Documentary of American Folk Music: From the Carter Family’s "When The World’s On Fire" to Woody Guthrie’s "This Land Is Your Land," another brilliant documentary from the BBC.

Cultural History

Anthropology is an amazing study with many interesting debates intertwined in theory. Look at this controversial and beautiful topic through these video resources.

  1. 300 Years of Linnaean Taxonomy: The Smithsonian brings you everything you need to know about our current taxonomy system.
  2. Speaking Up: The Origins of Language: This history lesson highlights the evolution of language.
  3. Cultural Anthropology: Look at the study of people and cultures through time.
  4. The Multi-Cultural History of the United States: This country’s melting pot status has been around since its birth. Learn about its multi-cultural history here.
  5. Japanese History and Cultural Channel: If you love the samurai warriors, you’ll love this Japanese history channel.
  6. European Heritage Library: Check out European hertitage, including war and religion.
  7. The Other Side: A Gay History: A documentary about gay history in Los Angeles, including the practice of entrapment by the LAPD in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
  8. GLBT History Channel: Your home for queer history, featuring a research center, archive, and museum.
  9. The Women’s Movement of the 1970s: The second wave of the fight for women’s rights in the United States.
  10. The Smithsonian: The National Museum of Natural History takes you through thousands of years of human anthropology.

Aviation History

Aren’t you amazed you can get from Texas to California in just four hours? Aren’t you amazed we can even "fly" at all? Look at the changing dynamic of aviation at these YouTube channels and videos.

  1. European Aviation History: Learn all about flight history in Europe.
  2. Flight History: This video tells the history of flight, from the first flight of the Wright brothers to the airbus 380 landing.
  3. Why We Fly: The Story of Aviation: This video provides an overview of Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with flight and how his ideas and innovations have helped modern-man in their quest to explore the skies.
  4. The History of Flight: This channel provides more than 300 videos on the historical wonder of aviation.
  5. The Bonney Gull: During 1911, pioneer aviator W. Leonard Bonney of Long Island, New York, trained at the Wright School. He dreamed of building an airplane with the grace and maneuverability of a seagull.
  6. 1936 Model Aircraft National Championship: These awesome model airplanes demonstrate the movement in air travel during the early 1900s.
  7. Aviation Timeline: Jam out to the Top Gun theme song while viewing the incredible evolution of aviation.
  8. The Spruce Goose 1957: By far the biggest airplane ever built, the H-4, also known as the Hercules, had a wingspan of 320 feet — 20 feet longer than a football field. If you love history and flight, you’ll love this 1957 news clip.
  9. U.S. Coast Guard Aviation: This short tribute to Coast Guard search and rescue highlights the awesome aircrafts that are used, as well as the heroism of the pilots.
  10. Discovery Channel Top 10 Fighter Planes: This list is about the top ten fighters which have made the greatest influences on the world.

U.S. History

What a fascinating history this North American country has had. Follow its development, through the eyes of historians.

  1. U.S. History, 1865-Present: What was America like after the Civil War? What really went on during the Cuban Missile Crisis? And where do we stand now on the spectrum of accuracy in recording history? Six historians examine these questions and their answers.
  2. 1932, A Real History of the United States: Look at one of the most significant years in U.S. history.
  3. U.S. History in a Nutshell: Of course, a few events might not make the cut to get coverage, but the bulk of the information here is interesting and accurate.
  4. The Birth of the United States: A chronological timeline of the birth of the United States of America from 1763 to 1816.
  5. History of the Colonial United States: Explore colonial America, between 1497 and 1763.
  6. The American Revolution: U.S. history fans will love this feature on the events that marked 1775-1783.
  7. History of the Territorial Expansion of the United States: Even people who think they know everything there is to know about the Louisiana Purchase will love this.
  8. From Washington to Obama: Watch each face of the United States president morph into the next.
  9. Inagural Addresses: Take a look at the most moving, humbling, and inspiring words in history.
  10. U.S. Colonialism Concepts: Learn about life in Colonial America and how it lead to the U.S. Revolution.

World History

From the stone age to the Holocaust, the events that have taken place throughout history have made an overwhelming impact on where we are today.

  1. A Brief History of Man: These illustrations highlight man, from prehistoric to modern-day civilizations.
  2. World History to 1500: A quick but accurate look at civilizations throughout time.
  3. History Channel One: From Nostradamus to "Life After Humans," the History Channel gives you everything you need to know at the click of a button.
  4. Ancient Death Machines: The story of the ancient world’s most innovative torture and death machines.
  5. Lost Kingdoms of the Maya: The Maya established one of the most highly developed civilizations of their time in the jungles of Mexico and Central America.
  6. Aztecs: Inside the Hidden Empire: BBC brings you answers to every question you’ve ever had about the Aztecs.
  7. The Islamic History of Europe: A BBC documentary on the History of the Spread of Islam in Europe.
  8. European Ice Age: When building the foundations of the London Underground rail system, scientists and builders uncovered the edge of the Ice Sheet that once covered much of Europe.
  9. BBC’s Wild Europe and the Birth of the Atlantic: Excavation of rare rock in Bavaria has revealed the true history of Europe. A tropical lagoon teaming with rare animals including a part reptile, part bird creature.

Ancient History

Pyramids of kings past, mummification, Hellenic expansion, Roman empire collapse…these are few of a historian’s favorite things. When you need to know something about ancient history, or just want a quick refresher course, check these out:

  1. The Byzantine Empire: If you’re a history buff, you’ll love this channel’s tribute to the evolution of the Roman empire.
  2. Greek Macedonia: Understand the impact of Alexander the Great on the world’s history.
  3. Barbarians: Look at the men who took the world by storm for 300 years: the Vikings.
  4. Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire: Ancient Rome geeks will get their fix here.
  5. Egypt: The Mystery of the Rosetta Stone: Uncover one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
  6. How the Pyramids Were Built: Check out the unbelievable fortitude and architectural planning that resulted in Egypt’s massive pyramids.
  7. In The Footsteps of Alexander: Michael Wood embarks on a 2000 mile journey in the foot steps of Alexander’s triumphal march from Greece to India.
  8. The Dark Ages: The psychological and economic effects of the fall of the Roman Empire.
  9. The Crusades: Medieval knights and religious conquests make for interesting history and quite suspenseful documentaries!
  10. The Worst Jobs in History: From Roman gold miners to back-breaking plowing to executioners in Tudor times, these dirty, deadly jobs will astonish you.

Black History

African American history has been a topic of sadness, war, debate, and triumph for hundreds of years. Get the facts with the help of these sites.

  1. Stanford University’s Black History: Clay Carson’s Introduction to African American History Course.
  2. W.E.B. Dubois and Malcolm X: This shows the life and contrasting views of W.E.B. DuBois and Malcolm X.
  3. The History of Slavery in America: Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  4. The Underground Railroad: This wonderful tunnel to freedom marks a huge and marvelous part of black history.
  5. African Americans of D-Day: This pays tribute to the valor and sacrifice of African American soldiers while shedding light on the discrimination they faced.
  6. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The almost-forgotten religious side of King’s courageous career.
  7. Harriet Tubman: Harriet Tubman and her contribution to black history.
  8. George Washington Carver: This modern marvel of a man was born a slave but emerged a scientist, inventor, and revolutionary researcher.

War History

Love it or hate it, wars shape our history, perhaps more than any other single event.

  1. History’s Battle 360: Weapons: From the trusted History Channel, a look at weapons throughout history.
  2. The Most Evil Women in History: These war mongers and killers did things you’ll find hard to believe.
  3. U.S. Doolittle Raid: The post-Pearl Harbor raid few Americans know about.
  4. German WWII Weapons: A brief look at some of the artillery that changed the face of the second World War.
  5. Viet Nam’s Unseen War: Tim Page rescues long-buried photographs from the Viet Nam War.
  6. The Cuban Missle Crisis: See exactly how close the United States and Cuba came to nuclear war.
  7. Operation Desert Storm: The liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.
  8. The Cold War: After Stalin: Look at the amazing series of events that took place between 1945 and 1989.
  9. The Secrets of World War I: Documentary shedding light on some less known facts of the first world war, particularly the entry of the United States into the war.
  10. Iran-Iraq War: The story of the eight-year conflict between these two Middle Eastern countries.