Catch Moments That Shaped The World With These 10 YouTube History Channels

Saikat Basu 06-06-2012

youtube history channelWe at love history. If you look back at some of the posts that featured events from the past (head below), you will see that they have grabbed eyeballs. Why not…after all we have a subconscious need to dig and find out about what came before us.

Call it the call of inquisitiveness or our thirst for knowledge, YouTube could be your exclusive go-to place for learning about all things historical. There are so many YouTube channels devoted to history that I can wear the skin of my fingers writing about them for you.

Instead, I will restrict myself to these ten. With these ten YouTube channels, I try to present a cross-section of history. Maybe you will like them. Maybe these will inspire you to compile your own list.

Computer History Museum

youtube history channel

The Computer History Museum is located in California and it exhibits a wide variety of collections on the people and developments that shaped the world of computers. What’s incredible is that something which was quite recently cutting edge is archaic now. The YouTube channel offers lectures, event showcases, and many historic films.

Smithsonian Videos

youtube history

Art, design, history, culture, science and technology come together in this YouTube video channel from the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research institution. The YouTube channel is part of their social connect initiative. Playlists take you behind the exhibits, into history and culture, and the fascinating accounts of the scientists who make all that happen.


youtube history

This YouTube channel is not about cinema as such but it is a collection of clips showing life and society as it was around the turn of the 20th century. There’s no common thread except the fact that these videos were probably taken when filmmaking was coming into its own.

Aviation History

youtube history

347 YouTube videos document the evolution of flight from the Graf Zeppelin to the modern combat missions. This historical channel on flying is a treasure trove for anyone who loves aviation. Quite a lot of the footage is devoted to the WWII years.

Yad Vashem

history channel on youtube

Most of the 540 videos here are titled – Surviving the Holocaust. That should explain what this channel is all about. As the introduction says, it is the world’s largest stock of holocaust material and Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the genocide. The YouTube channel has a large number of eyewitness accounts of survivors who escaped the concentration camps. Let’s not forget our history, lest we repeat it.

Adventures in American History

history channel on youtube

This is a solo channel with a good compilation of videos related to American history. The playlists covers the early Americas, early colonies at Jamestown, American Revolution and Civil War, and more. It is a commendable effort by the author Jay D’ Ambrosio, a history teacher, mentor, and writer who uses multimedia innovatively as an educational tool.

US National Archives

history channel on youtube

Their motto reads – Preserving the Past to Protect the Future. They are after all the keepers of all federal U.S. documents, so expect a lot of history there. The YouTube channel is a potpourri of videos, and you will have to be specific about the one you want to watch if you go hunting here. For instance, there are videos as mundane as those on the census to something as interesting as a space shuttle flight. Go for the playlists.

World History & Other Stuff

Catch Moments That Shaped The World With These 10 YouTube History Channels history videos08

This is a YouTube channel curated by a history teacher and even if you don’t attend Mr. Gregory Yankey’s world history class, you will find the videos interesting. The French Revolution, the British Empire, both the Great Wars, and a few others find mention here in an interesting mix.

HipHughes History

Catch Moments That Shaped The World With These 10 YouTube History Channels history videos09

Another history channel compiled by history teacher, Keith Hughes features short history lectures and study videos for AP U.S. history examinations. A playlist on world history cover high school history courses. The collection is small but relevant.

The History Channel

youtube history channel

Last but definitely not the least is HISTORY (the channel), a popular TV network that showcases original non-fiction content from our present world and the one that came before us. The YouTube arm is just one small part of the network that is the leading resource for all things history. And which features over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features. If you are a history buff, then I need not say more.

YouTube can be used as a complete teaching tool. I have covered only complete channels here. Then there are some very education videos on historic events and timelines. For instance, catch this video on the origins of language or our musical heritage. At, the history class is still not complete. Check our previous posts before you exit:

Have I missed a blinder in this list…a history channel that had to be included? Tell us about it in the comments.

Image Credit: History Typed On An Old Typewriter via Shutterstock

Related topics: Education Technology, Online Video, YouTube.

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  1. hiphughes
    July 16, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Just stumbles across this.... thanks for the shout out and great gems.

  2. Shehan Nirmal
    June 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

    History is gold... Sometimes....

  3. xvkarbear
    June 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm
    • Saikat Basu
      June 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

      So, surprising that such a nicely made channel doesn't rank higher on YouTube. Thanks so much for pointing this out.