We’ve Got A Video For That! –#historyvideos

Pinsker at Gettysburg(Carlisle, PA) To try to support K-12 and college educators who are heading online during the 2020 pandemic, we are launching a campaign to raise awareness about our extensive library of classroom-friendly videos that have been built over the years to enhance the teaching of 19th-century American history and history methods.  These 120+ short videos include virtual field trips, close reading models, interviews with leading historians, student-produced documentaries, technology & research tutorials and even some music videos –all providing effective, easy-to-navigate educational content. 

The House Divided Project’s multi-media content has definitely been “teacher approved.” Our YouTube channel already has over 1 million views and nearly 1,000 subscribers.  We have conducted teacher trainings with our digital resources for over 5,000 educators from 48 states. In addition, our project director, Matthew Pinsker, has now been featured in dozens of professionally produced educational videos for the History Channel, C-SPAN, Gilder Lehrman Institute (GLI) and other organizations.  Starting today, video highlights from these collections will be curated here and easily available for all types of educators to navigate.  We also plan to highlight individual videos and to encourage other academic colleagues to do the same for their own productions under the social media hashtag:  #historyvideos


Virtual Field Trips

Did you have to cancel a trip to Gettysburg or Washington, DC?  We’ve got some excellent in-depth video tours, especially designed for classroom use, led by historian Matthew Pinsker:

Abraham Lincoln

Are you looking for new ways to bring Lincoln’s words to life in your classroom?  Try some of these multi-media resources, including video analysis of his top writings from our project director, multi-media excerpts from a prize-winning Lincoln biography, top-quality student documentaries, a Dickinson college theatre professor reading dozens of Lincoln’s writings in his “voice,” and even a music video from a popular 1860 campaign song.

Slavery & Emancipation

One of our most popular classroom videos over the years has been a student-produced documentary short film about Henry Spradley, an escaped slave who became a longtime employee at Dickinson College.  His story helped spark numerous other video efforts about various Dickinsonians involved in the 19th-century battle between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces.  In partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the History Channel, we have also developed numerous multi-media resources on the Dred Scott Case and Emancipation Proclamation. 

Underground Railroad

From the summer of 2006 to 2008, Dickinson College hosted NEH-funded teacher workshops on the Underground Railroad that helped us produce a number of myth-busting videotaped interviews with leading scholars. More recently, the House Divided Project has embarked on a new partnership with the National Park Service regarding the critically important though often overlooked phenomenon of mass escapes from slavery, or “slave stampedes,” as they were called at the time.  Our student interns have begun to produce a series of short documentaries explaining the significance of these stampedes for understanding the coming of the Civil War. 

Civil War

Students at Dickinson College have produced a series of compelling documentary short films about the Civil War, often through the lens of the town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  The House Divided Project has also produced a revealing documentary about a Texas infantryman in the Confederate army who desperately missed his young daughter.


In 2016, the House Divided Project at Dickinson College hosted a multi-day conference and teacher workshop on Reconstruction featuring leading historians such Eric Foner, Gregory Downs, Jeffrey Rosen, and Anne Rubin.  Their presentations and interviews from that weekend are now feely available at our YouTube channel.

19th-Century to 19th Amendment

In 2017, the History Channel launched a new online video series called “Sound Smart” that offered short (2 minute) videos on a wide variety of American History topics.  Project director Matthew Pinsker contributed ten of these classroom-friendly videos:

Technology Tutorials

Some of our most popular video productions have been tutorials that help show students how to build various types of multi-media projects using a wide variety of free online tools.

History Methods

At House Divided Project, we are always interested in promoting historical thinking and the latest insights about mastering historical methods in the 21st-century classroom.  We’ve interviewed some leading historians and filmmakers about these topics.  Perhaps most important, however, some of our best student videos, like Colin Macfarlane’s documentary on Henry Spradley, help demonstrate first-rate historical methods in action. 


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