About Us

Our Purpose

Founded in 2011 by historians trained at Harvard University, U.S. History Scene is a multimedia education website composed of historians and educators at over fifty universities dedicated to providing students and teachers with easy access to premier digital resources, live digital curriculum, and cutting-edge history scholarship. Our goal is to use innovative open source technology to democratize learning, narrow the achievement gap by helping history students realize their intellectual potential, and master United States history in a way that is entertaining, relevant, and intuitive. We bring you the best of the archives (without the dust!).

U.S. History Scene has been cited by the New York Times, the Washington Post,  The Atlantic, Salon.com, GQ, The Smithsonian, and Harvard University Press for its historical research. U.S. History Scene is in partnership with the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the National Council for History Education, the National Park Service, the Civil War Trust, Colonial Williamsburg, and more.


U.S. History Scene provides educators with free digital resources hand selected by historians. Using U.S. History Scene, teachers can incorporate into their curriculum cutting-edge research from top-tier universities (such as, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Chicago) that is relevant and pluralistic in scope. The content on U.S. History Scene helps teachers empower their students with a solid understanding of our shared past, without having to break the bank.




The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) History Exam released in June 2011 shows that only 12% of high school seniors (in both public and private schools) in the United States are able to perform at a “proficient” level. The exam further shows that only 1% of the students possess an “advanced” knowledge of United States history. President Barack Obama stated on September 23, 2011 that due to budget cuts, “subjects like history and science have been squeezed out” of the American curriculum at a time when their importance couldn’t be more urgent. This is a solvable problem.

Students are increasingly technologically literate and accustomed to thinking analytically with online film and sound. Using student’s interests and skill set to improve their reading comprehension, writing, and historical analysis will make classroom learning fun and intuitive. Instead of limiting lecture time to classrooms, students can now use their cell phone to access hundreds of history classes to watch on the subway or listen to while walking to school.

U.S. History Scene aims to assist economically challenged students and people with intellectual disabilities with equal access to a premier education. Videos, text, and image stimulate different memory techniques for students who are Visual or Auditory learners. Being able to learn directly from diverse historical subjects in their own words makes history relatable for students who question the applicability of history to the daily struggles they face in their own lives. If you have suggestions on how we can provide resources for your students, please contact us.

History Lovers

Our goal is to foster a digital community that enables history lovers to come together, network, and share their passion and knowledge about our country’s past. Whether you’re a closeted history buff looking to beef up before the next trivia night to score a free round of drinks or a full blown Colonial War Reenactor, we encourage you to explore U.S. History Scene and experience archives in a new way.

U.S. History Scene co-founders Rhae Lynn Barnes and Jennifer Ostwinkle in the Press Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.
U.S. History Scene co-founders Rhae Lynn Barnes and Jennifer Ostwinkle in the Press Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.


U.S. History Scene does not upload any video content onto the internet. We simply link to videos already accessible online. If you are the owner of copyrighted material and would like it removed from our site, please contact us and we will remove it immediately.