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On this page you will find several openly licensed History textbooks along with supplemental material, interactive simulations, and other resources.
Discipline-specific pages are not intended to be exhaustive, but to showcase content that may be of interest to faculty considering adopting open educational resources for use in their classes.
For more information about Creative Commons including license descriptions, please see the Creative Commons tab.
The American Yawp
Publication Date: 2019
The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors - experienced college-level instructors - volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.
U. S. History (OpenStax)
Publication Date: 2014
U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender. U.S. History by OpenStax is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License v4.0
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500
Publication Date: 2016
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six USG faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
Additional Sources of Open Textbooks
OER Commons -- History
OER Commons offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.
Open Textbook Library - History
The Open Textbook Library is a collection of open textbooks that features reviews written by professors. A project of the University of Minnesota, The Open Textbook Library provides a review rubric for faculty to use when evaluating textbooks and displays them for the benefit of potential adopters. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License v4.0.
OpenStax believes that everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach. Offers thousands of textbooks, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.
Course materials: Lecture Videos, Interactive Simulations etc.
Merlot - History Materials
The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers. This subset of the MERLOT collection features openly licensed textbooks for use by students and faculty. MERLOT allows its users to rate materials and comment on specific resources.
MIT Open Courseware - History
The MIT History Faculty offers about 70 subjects in the areas of Ancient, North American, European, East Asian, and Middle Eastern history.
Open Yale Courses: History
Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.
World War II Open Learning Course
The course World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II is a thematic exploration of the war and its time through feature films, primary sources, and scholarly interpretations. The free video lectures of this course are made available as part of Harvard Extension School's Opening Learning Initiative.
TED Talks on History
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.
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