Recently, American Experiencethe award-winning history series from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)ran a six-hour special, titled “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided.” In April, “A House Divided” will be available as a three-DVD package containing the entire film plus several special features:
o Interviews with director David Grubin and his cinematographer, who talk about the challenges of making documentaries on historical subjects;
o “The Time of the Lincolns,” a collection of voices from the era, incorporating narrated primary sources, photographs, and other illustrations;
o Links to further resources, including tours of historic sites, maps, galleries of photographs, an extensive teacher’s guide, and many more primary sources, on a rich web site created by American Experience at http://www.pbs.org/lincolns; and
o Access features that make the DVD available to people who are hearing impaired through closed captioning and to those who are visually impaired through Descriptive Video Service, a special narration track.
Limited numbers of the DVD package, which has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be distributed at no charge to interested educators and libraries. (PBS will be selling the DVD to the general public as well.) In exchange, American Experience seeks feedback on the DVD and its potential for classroom use.
To receive a free copy of “A House Divided” on DVD, register online at the American Experience web site. Quantities are limited, and requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.