Via the collective weblog MetaFilter: I just ran into Charles Dickens: The Life of the Author, an extremely readable six-part seminar by Kenneth Benson of the New York Public Library. This is part of Fathom, a large archive of free content developed by various US and UK libraries and musuems; although the aim is educational, it's not in the least dumbed down or didactic.
Just skimming the start of the list, I found the following. American Film Institute: Modern Film Adaptations of Shakespeare and Movie scientists: before their time. The British Library: Patricia Lovett on Calligraphy, Heraldry and Illumination; Michael Twyman on The Encyclopedia of Ephemera; and the rise to fame and downfall of Oscar Wilde. Or the British Museum: Agath Christie and archaeology; and Early Collectors. Cambridge University Press: Shakespeare, Films and the Marketplace; How to read Joyce; and Committing Shakespeare to print.
You could spend hours reading this; I haven't even got started on the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science Museum lists. - Ray