Visual sources to teach history
a Schoolhistory thread ( Carole Faithorn , Donald Cumming, Dan Moorhouse...)
2 adresses à exploiter  : Affiches, posters et caricatures (XXe)

VLIB History & Images Index 


Web Gallery of Art - a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from 12th to mid-19th centuries. Has some good 'guided tours'

British Pathe preview items from the entire 3500 hour British Pathe Film Archive which covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970.  All content is free of charge for use by UK Maintained Schools in the classroom.

British Library Image Library Online .... this is the subject index which is searchable.

Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature (University of Canterbury)
All those David Low cartoons + much more.

science/technology images

women's history sources

Huge collection of Propaganda Posters (Free Information Society)..... but not categorised in any way.

Audio and Video Clips (BBC) ..... includes a useful selection from Schama's 'History of Britain'

Illingworth Cartoon Collection ..... covers Illingworth's cartoons both by theme and chronologically. Also has pupil and teacher resources.

National Portrait Gallery ... searchable

Mary Evans Picture Library ..... this is the link to the portal of images on key historical themes. The whole site is searchable.

EASE History .... "EASE History is a rich online environment that supports the learning and teaching of US History. Hundreds of historical videos and photographs are currently available in EASE History." Brilliant stuff and good for American Politics too.

Cartoons for the Classroom .... American site. Has links to 8 different sites with cartoons ranging from the Reconstruction era to Vietnam and beyond.

Conversations with History (Institute of International Studies, UC Berkely) .....The Research Galleries are probably the best way in to these "lively and unedited video interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists. The interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world.". Good for A Level/IB and General Studies.

Outline maps (America and Western/World): Modern and Historical .... downloadable pdfs. 

Kings and Queens of England from 871 to Present

40 different categories of History related stuff

Blank and Outline maps (.pdf) to print. Covers the world and continents. Some are historical. Very useful.

Earth Station .... historical sound & image archive. 

Historical Maps ( Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection) This is the index page.

Online library of historical and everyday maps (from The History Channel). Good site. Maps organised by geographical region, but can also view the whole list.

Medieval and Modern :

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts - selected highlights collected by theme. Wonderful!

Medieval woodcuts
Sea Monsters and shepherds

Audio lectures on aspects of the European Reformations ... Stream or download. Good on Calvin and Luther. Suitable for A Level

Reformation Picture Gallery - European reformers

Painting of Henry VIII on his death bed pointing to Edward VI ..... a good sized image. A source often used when considering C16th propaganda.

Elizabeth I and her time (Carol Faithorn & Schoolhistory)  

Queen Elizabeth I Gallery - a good range of portraits here

Themes Index of the Famous Artworks exhibition (WebMuseum, Paris) - Gothic to PopArt

Turning the Pages (British Library) Leaf through 15 books and magnify the details. Includes sketches by Leonardo, Mercator's Atlas, selctions from the Luttrell Psaltar and Vesalius' Anatomy. Uses the Shockwave plug-in to simulate the action of turning the pages of a real book. The volumes may not open if you block popups on your computer.

A treasure trove of 18th century pictures
William Hogarth



Historical Atlas of the C20th Hugely useful site which is useful for Citizenship, Geog and Politics too. Also has a comparative Timeline.

Vintage Video: 1914: "This page of the Vintage Video section of the website contains archive footage of personalities and events filmed during 1914, both before and after the war had opened."
Footage includes the arrival at Sarajevo town hall of the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand; shortly after he re-emergedhe was assassinated, setting off a train of events that led to the onset of war a month later." +much more.

Hidden Lives Revealed: "Hidden Lives Revealed focuses on the period 1881-1918, and includes unique archive material about poor and disadvantaged children cared for by The Waifs and Strays' Society. The Society cared for children across England and Wales - in both the densest urban conurbations and some of the smallest rural villages." This link is to the photographs page. The whole site is well worth exploring and has some good materials for teachers.

An edited version of the Sarajevo assassination from the BBC 'Days that Shook the World' series From the International School of Toulouse (Richard Jones Nerzic) site. It's meant to be a good illustration of how drama can enhance historical understanding. 

First World War Posters

War and Propaganda Posters - a portal to posters on various topics: WWI, WWII, Spanish Civil War, Soviet (as above)

First World War: Propaganda Posters: British ...... This is from FirstWorldWar.com which has a great deal more visual material on WWI.

Photos taken at the beginning of WWI This is a link to a Forum thread where, amidst the discussion, are some good photos taken in various countries at the beginning of WWI.

The Great War in Colour Scroll down for the links to pages with these "first real colour photographs". There is a great deal more on this site and some of the photos are very gruesome so perhaps not one to use directly in class.

Trench Experience Video Clips (National Archives Learning Curve) These video clips are reconstructions of life in the trenches, told from the viewpoint of a World War One soldier

First World War campaign and situation maps .... a long list from an excellent site on WWI from the British perspective. Eg has a good section on the Tommy's Army Life

Russian Social Pyramid: Pre-Revolution (1) and another version of the same ...... courtesy of Doug Belshaw.

George Grosz - first of 3 pages of Grosz's paintings.



Weimar Republic Political Parties: representation in the Reichstag 1920 - 1933. And if you have problems using it because of its size see the original thread.

Photographs of Hitler - a wide categorised selection.

Hitler on the Jewish Question, Speech to the Reichstag Jan 30th 1939 (Real Audio file)

BBC Nazi Propaganda Gallery - - a really good short selection with commentary by David Welch

The German Propaganda Archive (Calvin College) has some excellent visual sources:
Pre 1933 Nazi Posters
Nazi Posters 1933 1945
Links to a whole range of other visual material from Nazi Germany

John Heartfield anti-nazi collages

The Third Reich in Ruins ...... photos of historical sites associated with Germany's Third Reich (1933-1945), both as they appeared while in use, and as the remains appear today

(and from that site ...... Haus der Deutschen Kunst, Munich which features portraits of the Führer and his homeland, and other approved themes, Part 2 shows portraits of other Nazi leaders and Party themes, Part 3 features artwork with military themes, and Part 4 covers sculptures.)

'Do Politics' (Electoral Commission) this link is to a range of downloadable posters showing how politics affects a range of issues from what music you listen to to the food you eat. Good for Citizenship. The site also has many more resources
Neville Chamberlain: Sounds and Pictures (Earth Station)

Radio Days: Munich Crisis ...... Description of the Crisis. At the bottom of the page are links to a number of 'soundbytes'


War and Propaganda Posters - a portal to posters on various topics: WWI, WWII, Spanish Civil War, Soviet (as above)

Photographs of D Day - has an American emphasis


British Propaganda Posters: WWII .... categorised into 6 key themes.

World War II Propaganda, Cartoons, Film, Music, & Art ..... Portal site with extensive links.

War and Propaganda Posters - a portal to posters on various topics: WWI, WWII, Spanish Civil War, Soviet (as above)

University of New Hampshire Library Special Collections: World Wars I and II ...... has links to other sites with visual materials too.

Educational Cartoon Strip 'Stories' this link is to the archives page which is worth exploring since there is masses of material there useful for classroom displays (?) on topics with an American emphasis. Includes things such as American Indians, Slavery, Korean War, Rosa Parks - and much more. Also good if you teach American Politics.

Countdown to World War Two (BBC Archive): ..... a selection of audio clips covering: Germany's 16-Point Plan, Invasion of Poland, Evacuation of Children, Chamberlain's Declaration of War, King's Speech to the Nation.

Video Nation (BBC) biggrin.gif -Day .... Short, punchy collections and stories from the 6th June 1944. [It's worth having a look at the Archive page as well. There's lots there that could be useful in Citizenship and Geography.]

Blank map of Europe: 1945

Map of Europe after WWII. Smaller maps show zones of Germany and Berlin. 


Cybrary of the Holocaust: Images - photos of camps, survivor art, historical images, Warsaw Ghetto etc

Holocaust Denial : This Clip is an interesting 7 minute chat-show extract about a Holocaust denier and the moral dilemma of how to deal with him. Could be a useful starter to a lesson!

Fortunoff Video Archive of Holocaust Testimonies (Yale University) ..... short video clips from 9 testimonies.

Galleries of Holocaust images (from A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust, University of Florida) ...... 10 sections ranging from archival to modern photos, memorials etc and includes art.

A huge collection of maps mainly dealing with aspects of the Holocaust (same site as above). Also includes - some are blank - maps of Europe at significant dates (pre 1919 >>> the present). Very useful.

Virtual Reality movies of various concentration and death camps (same site as above). Needs QuickTime.

Movie Clips Short QuickTime movies of survivor testimony, Kristallnacht, ghettos, transports, camps and other Holocaust themes. Good for lesson starters? Needs QuickTime.

Music Files A collection of music files appropriate to a study of the Holocaust. (same site as above). Useful to accompany a PPT? Needs Quick Time

Holocaust History Museum (Yad Vashem) : Online Exhibitions Index page. The exhibitions include those which are largely visual such as 'Photos of the Warsaw Ghetto' and 'The Auschwitz Album'

Mapping the Holocaust (part of the excellent United States Holocaust Memorial Museum); Form this page you can access animated maps with commentaries. The one on 'The Holocaust' would make a good starter, but there are several more including one on Jewish Resistance which is an aspect often neglected in our teaching I feel.


Growth of a Nation: A free, ten minute movie which depicts the geographic history of the United States from the beginning of the nation to fifty states. Geographic elements are interactive, as is the timeline. 

US History Image Library (same site as above) Over 300 images in chronological order taken from an American Educational publishers history survey textbooks. The site is searchable. Some interesting/useful images for American history topics.

Native American Diminishing Lands... Short Flash movie showing how native Americans were pushed east at various points in time.

American Historical Images Online

Mainly US images

James Gillray Caricatures

Remembering Jim Crow (American Radio Works) ..... Excellent site with categorised audio clips and slide shows. Black and white Americans remember the era of the Jim Crow laws.

FDR Cartoon Archive .... wonderful collection of cartoons of the New Deal era.

New Deal Photo Library


Russian Posters: Bolshevik Era

Soviet Union: NEP Posters

Soviet Union: Five Year Plan Posters

Soviet Union: Great Patriotic War Posters

Soviet Union: Posters 1945 > the present

Stalinism as a way of life: Image Gallery (Yale University) .... Some great photos and posters. Part of a bigger site on the topic.

Berlin Airlift photos ... a hyperlinked list of captions to all the photos. Part of a site on the Berlin Airlift from the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.

BBC Motion Gallery Use the 'Watch a Reel' drop down menu to see a 2 min clip on the Civil Rights Movement. Also see this Forum thread for discussion at the time this was first mentioned. I can't quite sort out whether the rest of the site is all 'pay for' now.


'The Chairman Smiles' (International Institute of Social History) ..... this is the front page to collections of posters from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and China.

Chinese Propaganda Posters .... at the bottom of this page are links to all the different categories Eg. The Mao Cult, Cultural Revolution Campaigns, Population Policy.

Dr Seuss goes to war

Anti war propaganda posters (mainly Iraq)

Multimedia Middle Eastern Studies - varied materials