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Resources for Learning and Teaching Remotely

This guide lists a few of the electronic resources that are available to help students and faculty in the distance learning environment

How do I request a Streaming Video?

The CSI Library currently has four streaming video platforms, Kanopy, Film Platform, Alexander Street, and Films on Demand (FOD) that can be accessed through the library's database listings with descriptions. Some of the platforms operate via 'ala carte' or per title access, some are subscription based, and others allow access through purchases based on usage data (aka., PDA or Patron Driven Acquisitions). Most if not all streaming videos are only available via temporary licenses that last one year, two years, or three years. 

If using streaming video for course content or research, it is important to let the library know course needs per semester, regardless of whether a film appears owned or currently not accessible on these platforms. Please use the library's Video Request form to either request or to make sure a film is available for coursework, as well as to explore streaming videos options. 

 What is the difference in content offerings for each platform?

All the platforms above are documentary, foreign film, and/or educational content . You are less likely to find major Hollywood studios or Netflix-like content on these platform. All the platforms offer multi-disciplinary topics. Some platforms specialize in working with specific movie distributors and/or production companies. For e.g., Kanopy specializes in working with the Criterion Collection, Media Education Foundation, and New Age Films. A portion of Kanopy's content is immediately available but other individual titles can be requested. The availability of content on any platform can changed based on publisher's potentially pulling their content  and other factors. The library also has a multitude of Open Access streaming video offerings for distance learning. Please review below.


The CSI Library has arranged for access to Swank, a Netflix-like streaming video platform. Please review any titles on this public site. However, some videos are 'immediately available' while others have 'additional time-constraints and fees' per studio request. To request any title to be 'immediately available' by Swank, please use Video Request form. We have a limited amount of licenses available, but will make every attempt to accommodate a request. Faculty will be notified when a video request is available. Access must be through the following Swank link in order to identify CSI users.

Please note that not all DVD's or older videos are available in streaming format.  Please also see Swank's link to supported web browsers (e.g., Safari is not supported). The library recommends using Google Chrome for most, if not all, digital resources. 

Free Online Video Resources

  • Open Video Collection Resources from the American Library Association.Digital Video Guide. A comprehensive listing across the sciences, broadcasting, history, humanities, etc. You will find just about everything here!
  • WatchDocumentaries is a leading online collection of educational documentaries and informative material organized in an accessible manner.  

  • List of Live Streaming Concerts and Live-Streamed Concert Database, which are lists of classical music performances
  • In the Life- The UCLA Film & Television Archive worked with the producers of “In the Life,” the longest running LGBT television news magazine, to create a digital portal to all of their television episodes and some contextual materials."
  • AdViews- A digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s from Duke University


  • The American Memory- Project from the Library of Congress provides access to several hundred early motion pictures


  • Civil Rights Digital Library- Provides access to online films, texts, images, and audio recordings related to the Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's.


  • Media Burn- A collection of over 6,000 independent, non-corporate tapes that reflect cultural, political and social reality as seen by independent producers, from 1969 to the present


  • VIMEO- A well known video sharing site specializing in user-generated content, media production how to videos, independent films


  • WGBH Open Vault- Unique and historical content published by public televisions and WGBH TV station 


  • YouTube MoviesProvides access to thousands of commercial films (mostly Studio) across most popular film genres. Though many films require a rental cost, there are hundreds of free films legally available in this section


  • National Film Board of Canada- Watch over 2,000 classic and brand-new NFB titles


  • British Pathe- World's leading multimedia resource with content from over a century ago in Britain 1890-2011


  • Internet Moving Image Archive- Contains a quarter of a million films in various areas


  • EVIA- Ethnographic film collection with collaboration by academic instructors and scholars


  • C-Span Archive- All videos cataloged since 1987 making it the most comprehensive collection of political and governmental content                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  • IMDB (Internet Movie Database)- Offering many free films and TV series with a free registered account.