Signature Documentary Series:
- The Civil War (1990)
- Baseball (1994)
- JAZZ (2001)
- The War (2007)
- Brooklyn Bridge (1981)
- Remembering Chicago and World War 2(1982)
- The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God(1984)
- The Statue of Liberty(1985)
- Huey Long (1985)
- Thomas Hart Benton (1988)
- William Segal (1992)
- Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (1991)
- Thomas Jefferson (1997)
- Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997)
- Vezelay (1997)
- Frank Lloyd Wright (1998)
- Not For Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1999)
- In the Marketplace(2000)
- Mark Twain(2001)
- Horatio's Drive (2003)
- Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004)
- The Central Park Five (2012)
- The Civil War, 1991, Outstanding Informational Series, Outstanding Individual Achievement
- Baseball, 1994, Outstanding Informational Series
- Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, 2002, Outstanding Nonfiction Special
Books and DVDs:
- The Civil War: An Illustrated History, with Geoffrey C. Ward, Knopf, 1990
- Baseball: An Illustrated History, with Geoffrey C. Ward, Random House, 1994
- Lewis and Clark: An Illustrated History, with Dayton Duncan, Knopf, 1997
- Mark Twain, with Geoffrey C. Ward, Random House, 2001
- Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, with Dayton Duncan, Knopf, 2003
- All of Burns' films are available on DVD and/or VHS, and can be easily obtained at Amazon.com, local bookstores or public libraries.
- Several of the films are available on audio cassettes .
The Ken Burns Effect:
Burns is best known for epic documentary series in which he presents the biggest possible picture and most comprehensive coverage of his subject, be it The Civil War, Baseball or Jazz. Most Burns films are made for and aired on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
Burns' first epic series, the Emmy Award winning The Civil War, is probably still the best known of his works. When the series premiered on PBS in September, 1990, it attracted a record-setting 40-million viewers. The Civil War, eleven hours long and consisting of nine episodes, explores in depth the realities and effects of the bloody, bitter War Between The States. During production, Burns filmed some 16,000 archived photographs, period paintings, drawings and newspaper images, using them to tell the personal stories of soldiers and others whose lives were transformed by the war. Narration is provided by author David McCullough, with Sam Waterston as Abraham Lincoln, Jason Robards as Ulysses S. Grant, Garrison Keillor as Walt Whitman and Morgan Freeman as Frederick Douglass. Burns created a uniquely moving, extraordinarily engaging account of the human aspect of the War Between The Stares.
The second of Burns’ epic documentary series is Baseball. It is, of course, about America’s self-invented favorite pastime. The series, covering the game's history from the 1840s to the present, took more than four years to complete and consists of nine two-hour episodes. Using archival photographs, as he did in The Civil War, and adding fascinating newsreel footage, Burns reveals baseball to be a mirror of American society, reflecting the nation‘s achievements and problems. The series premiered during nine nights in September, 1994, and attracted some 45-million viewers, becoming one of the most-watched series in PBS history.
Jazz, the most recent in Burns’ epic documentary series, explores the roots and flowering of America's home grown art form. The ten-part series is 19 hours long, and traces the development of jazz through swing, bebop and fusion. It premiered on PBS in January, 2001.
His latest series, The War, about World War II, premiers in September, 2007.