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Discussion VRT Events at 2017 ALA Annual Conference

by Maureen Cropper on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 09:27 am

The ALA Video Round Table hopes you’ll join us in Chicago to learn, share ideas, meet old friends, and make valuable new connections. 

Please check out our wonderful lineup of programs!


VRT Gala: Tuned In, Turned On! Videofreex Tape the World

7-9 pm Sunday, June 25

The ALA Video Round Table hopes you’ll join us in Chicago to learn, share ideas, meet old friends, and make valuable new connections. 

Please check out our wonderful lineup of programs!


VRT Gala: Tuned In, Turned On! Videofreex Tape the World

7-9 pm Sunday, June 25

Join VRT for drinks and hors d'oeuvres followed by a presentation from Abina Manning, Director of Video Data Bank and Curator of a collection of over 1,400 tapes created by members of the Videofreex, one of the country's earliest radical video collectives. This dynamic multimedia presentation at the renowned Siskel Film Center will include rarely seen gems from the Videofreex archive featuring interviews with leading counter-cultural figures of the 1970s. This event coincides with the VRT and Cinema Guild co-sponsored "Now Showing @ALA" program screening of the feature length documentary "Here Come the Videofreex!"

ALA Ticketed Event

Tickets are limited; we encourage you to register early!



(Free with ALA Registration / Exact dates & times TBA soon)


Video as Research Data:  Challenges & Solutions in Video Data Preservation

Videos are often taken as a part of scholarly research projects, yet this presents challenges for librarians who advise researchers on federally-mandated data sharing and storage. What are best practices for preserving, sharing, consent/privacy considerations and cost management? Attendees will learn strategies they can assess against needs at their home institution.


Rocking the Small Screen (Without Losing Your Mind): Planning and Managing Library Promotional Videos

Video on the web is one of today's hottest social networking trends.  But what can online videos do to promote your library?  David Lee King from Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and Christina Norton & Justin Georges from Western Illinois University will share what they have learned and how realistic expectations can bring success.


Not Just Watching, Doing! Libraries Helping Youth Create Video Productions

Libraries are increasingly finding ways to help their school-age patrons to communicate creatively and make a positive impact in their communities through video projects. The Ak-Chin Indian Community Library in Arizona  and the Carson City Library in Nevada (partnered with the Carson City School District) will talk about their experiences and share tips.


How Are Our Instructors Truly Using Media:  A Multifaceted Approach to Developing Departmental Course Media Use Profiles

One of the greatest challenges for librarians working with media is deeply understanding the use of these materials in course context. This program will describe a multifaceted approach to this challenge that combines mining large corpora of departmental syllabi using text analysis software with reserves, survey, and interpersonal correspondence data.


Create, Communicate, Captivate: Inspiring Media Production in Your Library

Learn how academic, school and public libraries can help transform users from passive consumers of media into content creators. Attendees will be guided through key aspects of creating a thriving video production space, coaching users with effective instruction, and showcasing projects to promote and inspire more participation.


AMIA @ ALA Distributing Archives: Preservation, Restoration, and Access

Presented by the Association of Moving Image Archivists and co-sponsored by the VRT, this panel will feature representatives from Kino Lorber, Canyon Cinema, and Chicago-based Media Burn Archive. Attendees will learn about the difference between the preservation and restoration of moving images; and preserving the motion picture film projection experience.


We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Best Regards,

VRT 2017 Program Committee


Online Doc Digital Video Collections Guide

by Scott Spicer on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 01:37 pm



Digital Video Collections Guide

Below is a curated bibliography, mirrored from the University of Minnesota Digital Video Collections Guide, consisting of quality licensed and open digital video collections that has been inspired largely with support from Arizona State University (deg farrely) and some resources culled from various institutions in the LibGuides Community.  This resource is being shared on ALA Connect as an Online Doc with the hope that a community of media interested professionals will contribute further links/descriptions of quality licensed or open digital video collections, and repurposed as they see fit to meet the needs of their constituents.  Attribution is greatly appreciated, but please repurpose regardless.

Considerations for adding a resource:
Please add links only to legal digital video collections and those that you feel represent high quality content that would be of value to various constituencies.  This guide is currently academic focused, but as the Video Round Table represents diverse media needs, video for k-12, public libraries, special libraries, museums, etc.. are certainly appropriate.  Please do not include links to other video bibliographies unless the character of said resource is unique (e.g., Berkeley's MRC Guide).   When adding a link to a digital video collections, please submit the URL specifically to the video search page and/or sub-collection of video clips, not the primary homepage of the collections' sponsor (unless they are the same).  Accordingly, multiple links to sub-collections (e.g., LOC digital video collections) are acceptable. Finally, the licensed resources below are for the licensed collections at the University of Minnesota. If your institution subscribes to these collections, you will need to update the links for your own configurations. 

To Contribute New Resources: first, login (top right hand corner. Non-ALA Members register here free).  Then, feel free to add exemplar digital video collections, create new subject areas, clean up descriptions, revise links, and of course, repurpose for your audience! The goal of this guide is to promote digital video collections of content, not necessarily single titles.  Please do not include links to websites in the promotion of a single title.

I will try to maintain this site on an annual basis to insure the links are up to date and these collections are still active.  To assist with this process, the links below are referred through the UMN Libdata system, but feel free to add links directly to digital collections.   If you have any questions/comments please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly Scott Spicer (

Update: I created a couple of prototype Google Custom Search Engines to search a) licensed and selected freely available streaming video collections and b) select freely available streaming resources inspired from the list below.  See Connect posting for more details:

Many Licensed and Popular Educational Media Streaming Sites

Open Streaming Video Resources


Scott Spicer
Media Outreach and Learning Spaces Librarian
Past Chair, Video Round Table
University of Minnesota Libraries

Table of Contents:


Licensed Streaming Video Collections
These are amazing collections of streaming video titles the UMN Libraries have licensed. These collections are restricted to University affiliates (requiring .x500 for off campus access).
  • Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy Authentication Required
    Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy is a series of anatomy lessons on video presented by Robert Acland. Dr. Acland is a professor of surgery in the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The series uses unembalmed human specimens to illustrate anatomical structures.
  • Alexander Street Critical Video Editions
    Critical Video Editions provides subject-specific content developed by the BBC, Creative Arts Television, ArtHaus Musik, Pennebaker, Hegedus Films, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Insight Media, and many other publishers and broadcast companies. All content is indexed and searchable including full-text transcripts available for many of the videos. Users can search by date, performers, other names, scene, aria, etc. Sequential thumbnail photos for some videos facilitates previewing content quickly. The Alexander Street Press interface also provides ability to cite videos to the specific second with permanent URLs. Other features built into Critical Video Editions include custom clip-making tools, personal playlists, and embeddable links.
    • Counseling and Therapy in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Counseling and Therapy in Video provides the largest and richest online collection of video available for the study of counseling, social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling. The collection's wealth of video and multiplicity of perspectives allow students and scholars to see, experience, and study counseling in ways never before possible.
    • Dance in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Searchable database containing streaming video files of dance productions and documentaries by influential performers and companies of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance. Videos can be browsed by people, role, ensemble, genre, and venue. Material types include documentaries, editorials, instructional, interviews, and performances. Database users may create their own custom playlists and video clips.
    • Ethnographic Video Online (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Ethnographic Video Online is a comprehensive online resource for the study of human culture, behavior and society around the world. The collections contain over 1,300 hours of streaming video, including ethnographic films, documentaries, select feature films, and previously unpublished fieldwork.
    • Filmakers Library Online (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries with relevance across the curriculum—race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more. It presents points of view and historical and current experiences from diverse cultures and traditions world-wide.
    • Nursing Education in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Online, streaming collection of videos for the education and training of nurses and other healthcare workers. Contains over 250 full videos, with searchable, synchronized transcripts, which can easily be embedded into online courses. Topics covered include clinical skills, exam skills, procedures, communication (including cross-cultural communication), ethical issues, legal issues, and much more.
    • Opera in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Contains ~250 of the most important opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews, and documentaries. Selections represent the world’s best performers, conductors, and opera houses and are based on a work’s importance to the operatic canon. The collection presents an overview of the most commonly studied operas in music history, opera literature, and performance classes. Multiple performances and stagings worldwide of the major operas allow for analysis of stage design, vocal techniques, roles, and musical interpretation across time periods, opera houses, and conductors. 
    • Theatre in Video (Alexander Street Press) Authentication Required
      Contains more than 250 definitive performances of the world's leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video - more than 500 hours in all. This release contains over 180 titles, representing hundreds of leading playwrights, actors and directors. Included are landmark performances such as The Iceman Cometh, Awake and Sing, Dom Juan, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Playboy of the Western World. Notable actors include Claire Bloom, Laurence Olivier, Colleen Dewhurst, Richard Dreyfuss, Walter Matthau, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and more. For the first time, students, instructors and researchers can bookmark specific scenes, monologues and staging, and these landmark performances can become a permanent part of the curriculum.
  • Authentication Required
    The world's most detailed 3D model of human anatomy available online created by Primal Pictures. Includes features such as interactive zoom, rotation, angle, interactive layers, extensive text, MRI, clinical slides and xrays, live action movies, animations, radiology slides, dissection videos and slides, surface anatomy videos and slides. Focuses on muscles, ligaments, nerves, veins, arteries, bones.
  • BBC Shakespeare plays (Ambrose Digital Portal) Authentication Required
    Television adaptations of all 37 plays by William Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985. All productions are traditional interpretations of the plays set in either Shakespeare's own time (1564 to 1616) or in the historical period of the events depicted (such as ancient Rome for Julius Caesar, or c1400 for Richard II etc). Casts include notable classic actors such as John Gielgud, Patrick Stewart, Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins, Jane Lapotaire.
  • Birds of North America Online Authentication Required
    Provides detailed scientific information for each of the 716 species of birds nesting in the USA and Canada. A project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BNA is a living resource with account contents updated frequently. Includes image and video galleries showing behaviors, habitat, nests, eggs and nestlings, and recordings bird songs and calls.
  • CAMIOAuthentication Required
    OCLC's Catalog of Art Museum Images Online offers art images that are rights-cleared for educational use. CAMIO is a growing online collection documenting works of art from around the world, representing the collections of prominent museums. CAMIO highlights the creative output of cultures around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, and covering the complete range of expressive forms. Includes about 95,000 art images—photographs, paintings, sculpture, decorative and utilitarian objects, prints, drawings and watercolors, jewelry and costumes, textiles and architecture—plus audio, video and mixed media. CAMIO is licensed for use by students, faculty, and researchers at subscribing institutions. Works of art may be used for educational and research purposes during the term of the subscription, if they are properly credited. Images may not be published or otherwise distributed.
  • Clinical Key Authentication Required
    ClinicalKey is a clinical resource designed to provide fast, clinically-relevant answers. It contains an array of content from Elsevier and trusted third parties including over 1,000 books, 500 journals, thousands of videos, and millions of images, as well as point-of-care content from First Consult.
  • Coloribus Authentication Required
    Archive of commercial advertising for all media from around the world. Each advertisement includes detailed credits information and description. Search by advertiser, product, brand, release date, country of origin, and creative credits, among other attributes. Includes advertisements from TV and cinema, print magazines and newspapers, outdoor billboards and posters, online, direct marketing, radio, and others. Also includes information on advertising festivals and awards from 1969 to present.
  • Docuseek2
    Docuseek2 provides exclusive academic streaming access to over 560 titles from leading distributors of documentaries including Bullfrog Films, Collective Eye Films, Icarus Films, Kartemquin Films, KimStim, Scorpion TV and Terra Nova Films. The Docuseek2 collection provides exceptional depth in films about the environment, current events, global issues, anthropology, psychology, architecture and design, nursing education, philosophy and more.  Docuseek2 features the ability to curate your own collection, as well as clip-making tools and detailed analytics.
  • Digital Content Library (DCL - CLA) Authentication Required
    "The Digital Content Library (DCL) is a combined resource of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the College of Design (CDes). Together, there are almost 200,000 learning objects from many different disciplines in image, video, and audio formats. These objects come from a variety of sources including purchased and licensed, donations, and copystand photography."
  • FMG On Demand - Film Media Group Authentication Required
    Films OnDemand provides access to streaming video on a wide range of discipline areas from Arts & Humanities to Professional Programs (e.g., Nursing, Business), great for integrating (and embedding) into curriculum. The Libraries are currently licensing over 20 titles, please contact your subject librarian if you would like the Libraries to subscribe to additional Films for the Humanities titles.
  • Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
    Journal of Visualized Experiments (General Section) is a peer reviewed, PubMed-indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research in a video format. JoVE takes advantage of video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research. Visualization greatly facilitates the understanding and efficient reproduction of both basic and complex experimental techniques.
  • Kanopy
    Kanopy is a leading distributor of online educational film to colleges and schools around the country. Kanopy offers three core services: (1) a "catalog service" offering over 26,000 streaming films that can be licensed individually or in collections, (2) a "search and find service" to support schools in sourcing streaming rights to films they seek, and (3) a "hosting service"  offering colleges a solution through which to host their digital films. Kanopy's vast catalog includes the titles of over 800 leading filmmakers, producers and distributors from around the globe, including First Run Features, Media Education Foundation, Documentary Educational Resources, Green Planet Films, Kino Lorber, Medcom, Psychotherapy. net, Michael Blackwood, Ronin Films, The Roland Collection, and many more.
  • Training Video Series offers professionally produced training tutorials on a range of topics including: technical use of software, knowledge creation processes, leadership, career development, and idea generation (licensed by the UMN Office of Information Technology. Log-in with .x500 using the top right hand corner link).
    • Career Development Training Videos (
      Career development series of professionally produced training videos from "Whether you're trying to find a new job, get a promotion, or excel in a new career, our training can help you achieve your career development goals. Our experts offer tips on leadership, management techniques, productivity, resume writing, and more." (licensed by OIT at the University of Minnesota).
    • Leadership Video Training Series (
      This is a series of professionally produced, leadership training videos by Subjects range from project management, time management, hiring, managing performance, conflict resolution, and many more.. (licensed by the UMN Office of Information Technology).
    • Project Management Video Training Series (
      Series of professionally produced, project management videos from "Find out how to plan a project using software like Microsoft Project and Basecamp. Learn all about project management with our training, which delves into managing teams, setting project schedules, delegating tasks, and managing project resources" (licensed by the UMN Office of Information Technology).
  • Media Education Foundation Collection (hosted on Kanopy Streaming platform)
    The films in the Media Education Foundation (MEF) Collection are designed to encourage critical thinking about the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media. With a special focus on representations of gender and race, and the effect these representations have on identity and culture, MEF films are relevant in the disciplines of Women's Studies, Sociology, Race Studies,Communication, Anthropology, Education, and Psychology.
  • Authentication Required offers high-definition webcasts and streaming videos from leading music festivals, including Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Aspen, Glyndebourne, and Lucerne, as well as from such music venues as the Opéra National de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Pleyel in Paris, and Milan's La Scala. It also offers a video archive of performances by great musicians of the past, including Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, and many others. Documentaries on performers and composers, educational programs, and master classes are also included.
  • Naxos Video Library Authentication Required
    A performing arts video library with hundreds of operas, ballets, documentaries, live concerts, and musical tours of historic places. It includes the Naxos DVD label, Opus Arte, Arthaus, Dacapo, EuroArts, among others and is continuously updated to offer the best selection of performing arts videos.
  • PsycTHERAPY Authentication Required
    Database of streaming psychotherapy demonstrations featuring some of the most renowned therapists in North America working with participants on a host of therapeutic topics. Allows viewers to go straight to the heart of clinical practice with demonstrations of psychotherapy as it is done by today's leading practitioners. Resource for teaching and training in psychotherapy practice and for education about psychology. Searchable by titles, therapy topics, therapeutic approaches, and therapists.
  • Sage Research Methods Videos
    Commissioned videos from the SAGE Research Methods database, covering a range of topics related to research methods and design.
  • Student Resource Center Gold Authentication Required
    Offers easy access to award-winning content based on national curriculum standards. Covering all core curriculum areas, including history, literature, science, social studies, and more, SRC - Gold provides a premium selection of reference material, more than 1,100 full-text periodicals and newspapers, primary sources, creative works, and multimedia, including hours of video and audio clips and podcasts. Premier reference content includes the American Journey Series, American Decades, Career Information Center and the SRC Health Module. New to the database are Lexile reading levels for periodicals, an integrated national and state curriculum standards search with content correlated to the standards, and popular topic picklists.
  • Television News Archive Authentication Required
    The Television News Archive available from Vanderbilt University, is an index to more than 30,000 individual network evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS, and NBC (August 1968 - present), and CNN daily news (1995 - present). Also, there are more than 9,000 hours of special news-related programming including ABC's Nightline since September 1988. University faculty, staff, and students can view online video from the Archive's collection of CNN material; copies or compilations of other site material can be ordered for a cost-recovery fee paid to Vanderbilt. Note: 60 Minutes, 20/20, and other news magazine programs are not included here. Note: To view the CNN content, you will need the free RealOne media player from RealNetworks or Real Alternative.
  • VHA Visual History Archive Authentication Required
    With a collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's archive is the largest visual history archive in the world. The Institute interviewed Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah's Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti survivors (Gypsy), survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants. Developed by the USC Shoah Foundation for Visual History and Education Presented by the University of Minnesota Libraries and the University of Minnesota Office of Information Technology.
    Recommended Web browsers Windows: Internet Explorer; Mac: Safari
  • Victorian Popular Culture (digital video clips) Authentication Required
    The Victorian Popular Culture database includes approximately 50 early cinema streaming video clips (spanning 1894-1926), carefully curated from the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive.


Open Video Collection Websites

    Below is a guide of quality, freely accessible, collections of online video.*
  • Academic Earth
    This website contains video lectures from leading scholars in the areas of astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, English,entrepreneurship, history, law, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology and religion.
  • AdViews
    AdViews is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s from Duke University.
  • Al Jazeera Video (CC)
    Al Jazeera’s Creative Commons Repository contains broadcast footage that Al Jazeera has released under various Creative Commons licenses.
  • American Archive of Public Broadcasting
    The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a "collection of 40,000 hours contains thousands of high quality programs that have had national impact. The vast majority of this initial American Archive content, however, consists of regional and local programs that document American communities during the last half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first. This extraordinary collection includes local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of local communities, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion, and even filmmaking on a local level."
  • American Experience
    View complete episodes of select films from the acclaimed PBS documentary series.
  • American Indian Film Gallery
    Vintage motion pictures offering rich perspectives on the American Indian experience. The site organizes titles by tribes, linking to films for more than 100 tribes.  A text box to describe each film is nonfunctioning, providing only "lorum ipsum dolor" filler text as a place holder.  Apart from what displays in the film itself, no additional information (publication date, running time, etc.) is provided. These archival films are not perfect. Some were educational shorts used in American schools from the 1930s to the 1970s. Several have abbreviated titles or missing endings. Some are spliced or scratched; others have faded color.  These films are windows into the human past, stunning documents with much to tell us about our New World story.
  • American Memory (motion pictures)
    The American Memory project from the Library of Congress provides access to several hundred early motion pictures, organized into 11 discrete collections: America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915 American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916 Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904 Last Days of a President: Films of McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition, 1901 Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906 Origins of American Animation Prosperity and Thrift: the Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929 Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film.
  • American Rhetoric
    Features a growing collection of text, audio, and video versions of over 5,000 speeches. The site provides access to "public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events." Includes sections for Christian rhetoric, "Top 100 Speeches," "Rhetorical Figures in Sound," "Rhetoric of 9-11," and more. Notable is the selection of speeches from movies, arranged alphabetically by title. Not all speeches have accompanying videos. Site supported by advertising, and maintained by a speech communication professor.
  • AP Archive Video
    AP Archive is the film and video archive of The Associated Press -- the world's largest and oldest news agency. Our cameramen have been capturing the iconic moments that have shaped the world in which we live and we have over 1.7 million news, sports, entertainment and fashion stories dating back to 1895 to share with you, here and on our British Movietone channel -
  • Archaeology Channel Video
    The Archaeology Channel provides free access to a large collection of streaming media covering archaeology worldwide.
  • Archive of American Television
    Hosted by the TV Academy Foundation this archive provides access to hundreds of in-depth video interviews with TV's greatest legends and pioneers. These television history interviews can be browsed by person, show, topic or profession. New interviews and indexes are added regularly.
  • ARKive  
    DIGITAL MEDIA (IMAGES, VIDEOS). Unique collection of thousands of wildlife videos, images, and fact-files, with a special focus on the world's threatened species.
  • ART:21
    Created by P.B.S., this Web site is patterned after a nationally broadcast series on contemporary art, artists, and ideas. Among other things, this site has an online lesson library, teacher materials and discussions. Full episodes are available in the PBS video portal.
  • BBC History of the World in 100 Objects
    Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, narrates 100 programa that retell humanity's history through the objects we have made. Each episode consists of an image of the item discussed, and a radio naration lasting about 15 minutes.
  • BBC Online Media
    Provides online access to BBC's archives including themed collections of radio and TV programs, documents and photographs.
  • British National Archives Media Player
    Collections of British National Archives digitized and original video and audio content, including categories of Family History, Military History, Social History, Political History, Law and Order, Archives, and International.
  • British Pathé (YouTube)
    A collection of 85,000 films: "Spanning the years from 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage – not only from Britain, but from around the globe – of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture. The archive is particularly strong in its coverage of the First and Second World Wars."
  • British Movietone (see also: AP Archive)
    British Movietone is arguably the world’s greatest newsreel archive, spanning the period 1895 – 1986. Shot on 35mm film, this global archive contains many of the world’s enduring images and is rich in coverage of news events, celebrities, sports, music, social history, science, lifestyle and quirky happenings. It was the first newsreel to include sound, the first to use colour film, the first to break many exclusive stories, and is your first and last stop for newsreel footage. see also: AP Archive
  • CDC TV
    Web visitors can now view or download videos on a variety of health, safety and preparedness topics. The library of videos will expand to include single-topic presentations as well as different video series focused on children, parents, and public health professionals.
  • Cineteca (University of Chile)
    The Cineteca (University of Chile), the oldest film archive in the country, has made over 150 films spanning the entire history of national cinema freely available to download or stream online.
  • C-SPAN Video Library
    Contains all C-SPAN programs since 1987, indexed, abstracted, and cataloged by the C-SPAN Archives staff. Programs are indexed by subject, speaker names, titles, affiliations, sponsors, committees, categories, formats, policy groups, keywords, and location. The congressional sessions and committee hearings are indexed by person with full-text.
  • 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. CRDL is a partnership among librarians, technologists, archivists, educators, scholars, academic publishers, and public broadcasters. The initiative receives support through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The site provides both simple keyword searching and advanced searching. Content also can be browsed by Events, Places, People, Topics, Media Types (including print, government records, correspondences, etc.) Other features of the site include numerous instructional materials, including lesson plans, quizzes, slide shows, study guides, and worksheets.
  • CNN Video Almanac
    Archive of some of the most notable CNN video since the channel's beginning in 1980.
  • Creative Commons Video Sites
    This is a listing of over 200 Creative Commons (CC) licensed video media collections. This content is freely accessible, and depending on the specific CC license applied, may allow for greater reuse of this content above and beyond copyright fair use exemptions.
  • Critical Commons
    Professors post clips media analysis through the use of film clips.
  • Culture Unplugged
    Culture Unplugged (C.U.) provides access to hundreds of documentary films, that spans multiple facets of global issues, produced through a "socially and spiritually conscious" lens. Note: This link defaults to documentaries from CU's virtual film festival. Scroll down and select "Show Films from Archive" for access to more content.
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Video Collections
    The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. Individuals can access a trove of thousands of videos across these institutions through DPLA's search interface (by selecting the "moving images" filter on results after performing a keyword search).
  • Europeana
    A collection of 6 million digital images of paintings, music, films and books from Europe's galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Included are images, texts, sounds and videos.
  • EUscreen
    The EUscreen portal offers free online access to thousands of items of audiovisual heritage. It brings together clips that provide an insight into the social, cultural, political and economic events that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries. As well as chronicling important historical events, the EUscreen portal allows you to explore television programmes that focus on everyday experience. EUscreen is also intended to be a resource for educators, researchers and media professionals searching for new audiovisual content from across Europe.  Note: see for CC licensed content shared for repurposing.
  • EVIA Digital Archive Project - Ethnographic Video for Instruction & Analysis
    Collaborative endeavor to create a digital archive of ethnographic field video for use by scholars and instructors. Funded since 2001 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with significant contributions from Indiana University and the University of Michigan, the Project has been developed through the joint efforts of ethnographic scholars, archivists, librarians, technologists, and legal experts. Beyond the primary mission of digitally preserving ethnographic field video, the EVIA Project has also invested significantly in the creation of software and systems for the annotation, discovery, playback, peer review, and scholarly publication of video and accompanying descriptions. Viewing videos requires registering for an account and agreeing to the end-user license agreement.
  • Folkstreams
    Provides streaming access to a large collection of documentary films about American folk, or roots, cultures. Includes essays about the traditions and filmmakes, transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites. Site provides simple keyword and advanced searching, as well as ability to brose by subjects, regions, titles, filmmakers, and other categories. Video displays include links to additional, related films.
  • Frontline
    View complete episodes of a large selection of films from the acclaimed PBS public affairs series.
  • The Great Depression Interviews
    From the stock market crash of 1929 to the beginnings of World War II, The Great Depression tells the dramatic and diverse stories of struggle and survival during the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. Originally debuting on PBS stations in 1993, the 7-part series was met with critical acclaim, winning an Emmy for writing and a duPont-Columbia Award. These interviews are part of the Henry Hampton Collection housed at the Film & Media Archive at Washington University Libraries. Each video and transcript represents the entire interview conducted by Blackside, Inc., including portions that did not appear in the final program. For more information, please contact the Film & Media Archive.
  • HEAL: Health Education Assets Library
    A national repository/referatory of free, web-based multimedia teaching materials in the health sciences. The collection is comprised of images, animations, videos and audio-files. Registration is required.
  • HealthLibrary Online
    The Stanford Health Library provides a collection of online videos covering various health topics, including health and society, cancer support, and women's health. Videos may be viewable online through Stanford University iUniversity (iTunes interface) or QuickTime, or available for purchase on DVD. Not all videos are available for online viewing.
  • HippoCampus
    A project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), HippoCampus provides high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students. Content is organized by broad disciplines: Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, Statistics, US History. The site was designed as part of Open Education Resources (OER), a worldwide effort to improve access to quality education. Colleges and universities develop the content and contributes it to the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC), another MITE project. Both HippoCampus and NROC are supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
  • Hulu
    A partnership between NBC and ABC (Disney), Hulu is predominantly a site for television content. Hulu distributes video both on its own website and syndicates its hosting to other sites, and allows users to embed Hulu clips on their websites. In addition to NBC, ABC and FOX programs and movies, Hulu carries shows from other networks such as Comedy Central, PBS, USA Network, Bravo, FX, Syfy, Sundance, E!, and other commercial producers. The Channel link at the bottom of the Hulu homepage provides a broad subject organization of its content, including "News and Information" which includes sub-categories of Current News, Documentary & Biography, Live Events & Specials, and Politics.
  • Internet Archive: TV News
    The Internet Archive works to preserve the published works of human kind. Inspired by Vanderbilt University’s Television News Archive project, the Internet Archive collects and preserves television news. Like library collections of books and newspapers, this accessible archive of TV news enables anyone to reference and compare statements from this influential medium. The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C. The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired. Older materials are also being added.
  • Internet Archive
    The Moving Image Archive within the Internet Archive provides access to nearly a quarter million films, uploaded by Archive users, and ranging from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Videos in the Archive are organized into 15 broad sub-categories: Animation and Cartoons, Arts & Music, Computers & Technology, Cultural & Academic Films, Ephemeral Films, Home Movies, Movies, News & Public Affairs, Open Source Movies, Spirituality & Religion, Sports Videos, Video Games, Vlogs, and Youth Media. The Archive also contains the Prelinger Archive, the most complete and varied collection of ephemeral films (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) in existence.
  • Internet Movie Database
    The most comprehensive movie source on the web. Provides information on movies around the world, from earliest times to the latest releases. Includes filmographies, plot summaries, reviews, biographical data, etc.
  • iTunes U
    A diverse range of freely available courses spanning a wide array of disciplines from multiple institutions.
  • Khan Academy
    With a library of over 2,400 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 125 practice exercises, we're on a mission to help you learn whatever you want, whenever you want, at your own pace.
  • Learners TV
    This is a comprehensive site providing thousands of streaming and downloadable video lectures, live nnline Tests, and other materials in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Dentistry, Engineering, History, Language Training, Law, Literature, Management and Accounting, Mathematics, Medicine, Nursing, Physics, and Psychology. The site provides free video and audio lectures of whole courses conducted by university faculty from around the world. Most of the materials offered are licensed by the respective institutes under a Creative Commons License.
  • Med-Mem Mediterranean Memory
    A free video archive library; thousands of videos preserve the historic, cultural and tourism heritage of the area. English, French, and Arabic. Co-founded by the European Union.
  • Media Burn
    The Media Burn Archive is 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.
  • Media That Matters Film Festival
    Annual collection showcasing twelve short films on important topics of the day. Seven years of films available on the site, organized alphabetically by title, by year. A simple search interface facilitates finding films by keyword. Films may also be browsed by one of 15 issues: Criminal Justice, Economic Justice, Environment, Family & Society, Gay/Lesbian, Gender/Women, Health/Health Advocacy, Human Rights, Immigration, International, Media, Politics/Government, Racial Justice, Religous Freedom, and Youth.
  • Merlot
    Includes animations and other learning resources.
  • Mike Wallace, The Interviews
    Video of 65 interviews from the television series hosted by the late Mike Wallace from 1957 and 1958. Provided by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Each program includes a text transcript. Available interviewees include Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Margaret Sanger, and Salvador Dali among other notables of the time.
  • Movieclips
    Provides more than 12,000 short clips from feature films licensed from Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. The Movieclips player can be embedded in social networks as Facebook and MySpace, and shared on blogs, Twitter and other personal websites, and used in PowerPoint presentations. In addition to searching by title or actor, the site provide additional search capabilities for dialogue, genre, action, occassion, theme, and mood and categories including best kiss, tearjerkers, birthdays, holidays, awkward moments, action moments, bad guys and fight scenes. Reuse of the clips requires registering with the site.
  • National Film Board of Canada
    The National Film Board of Canada is a Canadian government agency that produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions. The NFB website provides information on over 13,000 National Film Board of Canada films, and includes free access to over 2,000 films, excerpts, trailers, and interactive works for online screening.
  • National Parks Service B-Roll Video
    This webpage provides links to public domain video of some of those sites, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites and related areas. This content is great for remixing, reuse in projects and publication.
  • NIHSeniorHealth - Health Information for Older Adults
    NIHSeniorHealth makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy to understand online health information. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • NOVA
    Provides access to selected programs from the acclaimed PBS science series. Programs are divided into chapters and have closed captioning. Available videos are organized by broad subject categories: Anthropology, Disasters, Earth, Exploration, Flight, Health, History, Investigations, Nature, Physics & Math, Space, and Technology.
  • Open Video Project
    A University of North Carolina project to create free repository of archival, documentary and educational video.
  • PBS Learning Media
    Developed by PBS, WNET, and KET, and 31 other PBS stations.  Content contributed from publicly funded organizations, including the National Archives, the Library of Congress and NPR, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Education, delivers thousands of resources for use in the classroom and with home-schoolers. Content aligns with Common Core State Standards for preK-16 classrooms.  This collection contains more that than 114,000 research-based instructional resources – including videos, interactives, images, audio files, mobile apps, lesson plans, and worksheets. Requires personal registration on the site.
  • PBS Great Performances
    Classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama, and performance documentaries.
  • PBS Video
    Provides access to selected programs from selected PBS series (such as Nature, American Experience, Nova, and Frontline, among others.)  Users can browse by Programs, Topics, or Collections. Individual programs are subdivided into smaller segments.
  • Penn Museum Film Archives
    The Penn Museum Archives has an extensive collection of films that, thanks to the generosity of the Internet Archive, are nearly all available online. The online film collection consists of over 700 archival films.
  • PopTech
    Videos of global tech innovators.
  • P.O.V. Video
    Provides a selection of full length films, short films, and lesson plan based clips from the acclaimed PBS documentary film series POV.
  • ScienceCinema
    Contains multimedia videos highlighting the U.S. Department of Energy's scientific research.  State-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology allows the user to search for specific words and phrases spoken by the presenter in these video files. Simply enter a term and the results list will point to the precise snippets of the video where the term was spoken.
  • Scripps Library and Multimedia Archive
    The Scripps Library and Multimedia Archive serves as a research facility for scholars of U. S. public policy....The Library's multimedia collection is a truly unique collection of material on U. S. public policy. The Library's multimedia archive includes more than 2,500 hours of secret White House recordings, hundreds of presidential oral history interviews, audio and video recordings of Miller Center Forums, and documents related to the executive branch of American government. The Library's digital archive on the American presidency is over 3 terabytes in size and growing.
  • Society of Biomaterials Video Library
    The surgical video library was created to bridge a difficult gap between classroom theory and clinical application. This library has a wide variety of surgical films which can be sorted through by search, alphabet, or category.
  • SnagFilms
    Provides access to full-length documentary films from established distributors and first-time filmmakers.  The Snag Films library includes more than 850 films. Filmmakers and distributors submit titles to SnagFilms for curatorial review.  Videos stream in Flash. The site organizes titles by broad Topics (such as Arts, Environment, Health, History, Women's Issues, etc.) and by Channels (including well-established film companies such as Alive Mind, Icarus, Fanlight, PBS, and National Geographic). The SnagFilms website encourages donating to causes by linking each film to a specific charity. Brief commercials precede and are interspersed through the video playback.
  • Thanhouser Films Online
    More than 50 films provide a representative cross section of the output produced by the Thanhouser film enterprise based in New Rochelle, New York between 1910 and 1917. The films were assembled over the past 25 years with the cooperation of archives around the world, including The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, The British Film Institute in London, England, George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York, the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles, California, the EYE Film Institute Netherlands in Amsterdam, Holland, and from the Thanhouser collection. Each film includes a summary and analysis written by film historian Victor Graf.  Andrew Crow, Raymond A. Brubacher and Ben Model composed and performed original musical accompaniment commissioned exclusively for this collection.
  • TIB|AV Portal
    The German National Library of Science and Technology`s AV-Portal (English/ German) provides access to scientific videos from the fields of engineering as well as architecture, chemistry, information technology, mathematics and physics. By combining multimedia analysis techniques, such as scene-, speech- and image recognition as well as a semantic search approach the TIB|AV Portal provides optimised search results. By using the open standard Media Fragment Identifier (MFID) a citable Digital Object Identifier is displayed for each video segment:
  • TPT MN Video Vault
    The MN Video Vault is a project of Twin Cities Public Television. The Vault contains hundreds of programs from the tpt archives: classic interviews and performances from Nighttimes Variety, Newsnight Minnesota and Almanac as well as a broad cross-section of tpt documentaries. Also included are current tpt productions, as well as programs from other regional public television stations. And soon, the MN Video Vault will feature new web-only tpt productions.
  • UC Berkeley Media Resources Center Online Media
    A collection online video and audio recordings of notable lectures, events, and readings held at University of California, Berkeley.  This database includes both video materials accessible by the general public, and videos licensed for access by current University of California, Berkeley students, faculty, and staff only (CalNet authentication required). Audio recordings in the collection are accessible by all users. Access to the videos in the collection requires Windows Media player. Macintosh users will need the free Flip4Mac plug-in.  Access to the audio recordings in the collection requires the Real player. The site includes a simple keyword search interface. Linked from within this site are audio, video, and text files from the UC Berkeley Library Social Activism Sound Recording Project.  This collection includes information onf the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panther Party, Anti-Vietnam War Protests in the San Francisco Area and Beyond, and LGBT History.
  • UCLA Preserved Silent Animation
    The collection of animation at UCLA Film & Television Archive from the years 1930-1950 is practically without peer. Nitrate prints of classic cartoons abound, as do original negatives or best-surviving printing elements for many of the films from animation’s “golden era.” Included here are most of the Max Fleischer and Famous Studios Paramount subjects; the George Pal “Puppetoons”; the independent productions of Ub Iwerks; many of the Van Beuren “Rainbow Parade” shorts; a large number of Warner Bros. cartoons; and a recent acquisition of “Terrytoons” still being sorted through as of this writing.
  • UMedia Archive (UMN)
    Discover and learn about the rich collections available through the UMedia Archive.
  • USDA Food Safety Videos
    View the various food safety and inspection streaming videos and audio files available from the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
  • USDA Youtube Channel
    The USDA YouTube channel contains over 300 videos of video features, training videos and speeches related to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Veoh
    Provides access to videos from major content publishers like CBS, ABC, WB, MTV Networks, ESPN, Sony/BMG and Lions Gate, other video sites like YouTube and Hulu, as well as independent filmmakers and content producers. Users can sort content by type using pull-down menus for Videos, TV Shows, or Movies, each with sub-menus including categories such as Documentary & Biography. Brief commercials precede video playback. Watching full-length videos via Veoh requires installation of the Veoh Web Player.
  • Vimeo
    Vimeo is a well known video sharing site specializing in user-generated content, media production howto videos, independent films, and educational video (several universities have an official Vimeo channel).
  • Wellcome Film: Digitizing Medical History
    Online collection of moving images on 20th-century healthcare and medicine. Over 450 titles - 100 hours of historical film and video - have been transferred and are freely available under Creative Commons licences.
  • WGBH Lab
    Categorized stock video clips from WGBH TV, this collection contains tons of rights-free archival footage perfect for creating mashups or short videos.
  • WGBH Open Vault
    Provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. The ever-expanding site contains video, audio, images, searchable transcripts, and resource management tools, all of which are available for individual and classroom learning.
  • Wikimedia Commons
    Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content including images, sound and video clips.
  • YouTube Movies
    YouTube Movies provides 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, some of which are public domain others, shared with permission from the rights holder.


    Acknowledgements: Much of the open content collections and compilation has been reproduced with permission, from the Arizona State University "Internet Sites for Streaming Video" Guide: Many thanks to ASU media librarian, deg farrelly, for his willingness to share this amazing bibliography! Many additional selections and resource descriptions were culled from the LibGuides Community as part of a comprehensive project to identify exemplar digital video collections.


    UMN Libraries is not responsible for any of the content linked from these sites. We cannot guarantee availability of the content they provide, nor assume responsibility for the functionality of these sites. Copyright use understanding is the responsibility of the patron - see the UMN copyright site for more information:




Discussion Survey About New Register of Copyrights

by Andrew Horbal on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 04:35 pm

Dear VRT members,

At our Executive Board Meeting at Midwinter on Monday, I mentioned that Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has created an online survey where members of the public (that's us!) can tell her what qualifications we think the new Register of Copyrights should have. The survey is available online here until January 31:

Dear VRT members,

At our Executive Board Meeting at Midwinter on Monday, I mentioned that Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has created an online survey where members of the public (that's us!) can tell her what qualifications we think the new Register of Copyrights should have. The survey is available online here until January 31:

In related news, the House Judiciary Committee has also requested written comments on what they're calling the first policy proposal to come out of their review of U.S. copyright law. More information can be found on the Judiciary Committee's website:

Although the VRT has no official position on either matter, we encourage all our members to respond to both calls for comments! I was also asked to share a list of the resources I use to keep current on copyright. Here are some of my favorites:

If you add these five sites to your RSS feed, you won't miss much! Two other resources you might want to check out are ACRL's SCHOLCOMM-L listserv and the Facebook group Schol Comm Pirates.

Last but (I hope!) not least, if you're a member of CCUMC, you might want to check out the Copyright Matters blog I edit, where among other things you will soon be able to find the full-text of my own personal response to Librarian Hayden's survey.

Hope this will help you all stay as informed as you want to be! 

Andy Horbal
VRT Vice Chair/Chair-Elect


Discussion VRT Events at ALA Midwinter 2017

by Maureen Cropper on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 08:47 am

Below is the VRT schedule for the ALA Midwinter Conference in Atlanta.  Questions?  E-mail VRT!

Events are open to all except where otherwise indicated.

Below is the VRT schedule for the ALA Midwinter Conference in Atlanta.  Questions?  E-mail VRT!

Events are open to all except where otherwise indicated.

Saturday: January 21st

8:00 - 5:00 PM Notable Videos for Adults Committee (closed meeting), Marriott,  L502 Boardroom

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee will be deliberating about all of the films they've watched through the year and creating a list of the best of them.  If you are an advocate of films that address relevant social issues, consider joining next year's committee.  Contact VRT!

6:00 - 8:00 PM VRT Dinner, Mary Mac’s Tea Room, 224 Ponce De Leon Avenue

Please consider joining the Video Round Table for our Midwinter dinner.
VRT members, non-members, and their guests are welcome to attend!  RSVP by email to Andy Horbal and see you there.


Mary Mac's Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308


Sunday: January 22nd

1:00 - 2:30 PM Digital Media Discussion Group, OMNI, Pine Room

The topics to be discussed include streaming distribution of films without educational availability.  Want more information?  Contact Ben Franz, the discussion leader!

Monday: January 23rd

8:30-12:30 PM VRT Executive Board and Membership Meeting, Georgia World Congress Center, A303

Hot coffee and tea for attendees courtesy of VRT!


Discussion Call for Proposals by VRT for 2017 ALA Annual in Chicago

by Deborah Benrubi (non-member) on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

ALA’s Video Round Table (VRT) is currently accepting program proposals for the 2017 ALA Annual Conference, June 22-27 in Chicago, Illinois.

The VRT Program Committee welcomes proposals on just about anything related to video and libraries! Proposals are due August 31, 2016.

ALA’s Video Round Table (VRT) is currently accepting program proposals for the 2017 ALA Annual Conference, June 22-27 in Chicago, Illinois.

The VRT Program Committee welcomes proposals on just about anything related to video and libraries! Proposals are due August 31, 2016.

If you’re interested in submitting a proposal, please read the guidelines and complete the online form at:

To spotlight the role the local community plays in this profession, we especially welcome submissions from Chicago-based video librarians, producers, educators and archivists that showcase your creative projects and programs.

The Program Committee will review all proposals and notify participants of proposal acceptance by Sept. 21, 2016.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Laine Thielstrom or Steven Milewski, the Program Committee co-chairs.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Discussion Celebrating Twenty-five Years of the Video Round Table: An Interview with Carleton Jackson

by Maureen Cropper on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 09:03 am

Carleton Jackson was one of the founding members of VRT. He is the Head of Library Media Services, University of Maryland Libraries, where he manages a library and staff specializing in physical and digital media collections.


What was happening in 1991 that (in your opinion) inspired the creation of VRT?

Carleton Jackson was one of the founding members of VRT. He is the Head of Library Media Services, University of Maryland Libraries, where he manages a library and staff specializing in physical and digital media collections.


What was happening in 1991 that (in your opinion) inspired the creation of VRT?

Actually the question should be what happened leading up to 1989, the beginning of the Video Interest Group. The VIG was created specifically to begin the process of creating VRT. The “Pearl Harbor” for this was the elimination of ALA Video and Special Projects unit (headed by Sally Mason-Robinson). That began a protest and organizational activity that lead a core group of media-oriented librarians to start creating a librarian-oriented and -driven group to meet our needs. It was led by a variety of folks who wanted immediate action. While there were about 20 of us who ran around and got signatures, went to hearings and lobbied folks (especially Gary Handman) the “official” figureheads became Sally Mason-Robinson (independent), Pat Lora (a public librarian) and Jennie Kreamer (a university librarian). VIG was created to be an umbrella interest group for all information that moves and/or makes a sound.

What was your role?

Even before that, many media interested folks started to loosely form with ALA groups that had similar interests and/or structures. For example, Gary Handman and I got together coming out of what was then known as “library instruction.” We came to video because each of our institutions were longtime film and video collectors. And we were relatively “young and groovy” (at least to ourselves). We had started working with others of like minds; now there was group to join in ALA that was media-oriented. ALA Video (which did create some early PR videos) was an internal ALA structure we could hang our skills on. There were groups outside of ALA for librarians (especially the American Film and Video Association) and university technology support (CCUMC) but there was no ALA member organization to join, per se. When ALA Video was cut because of budget constraints and the overwhelming short-sightedness of ALA, it was a call to arms!

The round table structure was identified as best for folks no matter what their institution. Public, school, university, and corporate librarians could find common ground. At that time a round table could only come from a demonstrated interest in a topic not already available, and two years of interest group activity was then the main way to demonstrate. So the Video Interest Group was formed, leading to the creation of the Video Round Table two years later.

What are some of the major changes you've seen over the years in both the VRT and media librarianship?

Note: There was then, and has been since discussion of the word “video” in the name. It was decided that the group was interested in all things media, but that video was “new” enough to hang the evolution of the group on. It was essentially an “emerging technology” though media had existed in other formats for a long time. But video (and other magnetic media) was making it a format “for the people.” It was cheaper to acquire, more readily able to be borrowed, and usable for groups and individuals. And publishing took off both for educational market and the new home market.

What may have created a second wave of media interest, was of course the opening of the digital frontier and evolution to the digital mainstream.  Media played a significant role in bringing text along with it. And the role of media-collection trained librarians expanded broadly first to collections and access, and later to media as data, creation of media-rich data, and instigated use.

Where do you see VRT—and the field of media librarianship—going in the future?

I don’t know if the name “video” is part of the future as much as some concept that shows that all data, all media, all material has become “transmedia” in collecting and access. Media librarians are now “everything” librarians, looking to a variety of methods of finding, creating, compiling, curating, using all data that are all about creation and use for all senses: visual (image, moving image, data visualization, presentation) audio (sounds, music, spoken word, raw and compiled data), big data curation for experiential learning, all the while still collecting, conserving, preserving and creating access and derivative uses. We are also now all about the crowd (sourcing) and the cloud.

You may note, either through luck or design, how many “original media” professionals are at the stages of their careers where they are directors, deans and heads of libraries, organizations, and institutions where media is not the specific mission, but where media collecting is very robust. It’s because we all know where we came from. ALA was publically behind for a long time even when the membership was far ahead. It’s the nature often of big groups to not reflect their own leaders for a time. But they catch up eventually.


Do you have any particular memories or stories from the early days of the VRT that you can share?

The most memorable of all activities is the networking and interaction of the members. We had battles with the ALA at first and later got ALA to support our skills and professional desires. But the networking of colleagues from all areas of librarianship and the interaction with those creators and distributors of media was always fantastic! We worked with top companies that dared to do more: the whole array of National Media Market companies and other independents. Some of the best were Films Incorporated, Time Life/Ambrose, Bullfrog Films, Women Make Movies, Films for the Humanities and Sciences (I like the old name still), Annenberg, National Film Board of Canada, First Run/Icarus Films. Really, there are too many to mention. In more recent years we’ve worked with companies that are part of the evolution to digital distribution like Alexander Street Press, Films Media Group, Media Education Foundation, etc. All were willing to work directly with libraries and librarians to move the industry and collections into the new world, sometimes a little late, but often before the wave.

And the folks who have been members of VRT and served the membership, and/or just got together for meetings, galas, programs and a whole lot of socializing are just really great, and often unique characters. To paraphrase Mr. McLuhan, the media librarians are the messengers and the messages!


*Many thanks to Carleton Jackson for allowing us to interview him, and to Rachel King for conducting the interview and compiling the responses, above.


Discussion VRT Response to U.S. Copyright Office NOI re: 17 USC 108

by Andrew Horbal on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 09:47 am

Dear VRT members,

In accordance with a decision made at our Executive Board meeting on June 27,  I submitted the following response to the U.S. Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry regarding potential revisions relating to the library and archives exceptions in the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 108 this morning (Wednesday, July 6):

Dear United States Copyright Office,

Dear VRT members,

In accordance with a decision made at our Executive Board meeting on June 27,  I submitted the following response to the U.S. Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry regarding potential revisions relating to the library and archives exceptions in the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 108 this morning (Wednesday, July 6):

Dear United States Copyright Office,

At our June 27 meeting, the Executive Board of the American Library Association’s Video Round Table (an organization which is designed to serve the needs of both media librarians and those individuals who are involved with media matters in any way in their libraries) unanimously voted to respond to your Notice of Inquiry by regretfully declining this opportunity to provide feedback on potential revisions to 17 USC 108. The primary reason we are unable to fully participate in this process is that one month is not enough time for widely-dispersed, national organization like ours to solicit feedback from our entire membership. We did, however, wish to inform you that we fully endorse the “Statement of the Library Copyright Alliance on the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry Concerning Section 108 of the Copyright Act” which is available online here:

We would particularly like to echo the LCA’s concerns about the lack of transparency related to this inquiry and note that we share their expectation that the Copyright Office will “publish a list of the interested parties it meets in the course of this inquiry as well as a detailed summary of what each of these parties advised.”


The VRT Executive Board

We are urging all of our individual members to also utilize the meeting request form COMMENT BOX to express your support of library community copyright representatives (LCA), and concern with the lack of transparency with the Notice of Inquiry process and drafts changes to 17 USC 108. You may also wish to include other strategic and succinct concerns around 17 USC 108. For more information, please see the message Nell Chenault and Howard Besser sent to the VRT-L listserv on July 5.


Andy Horbal
VRT Vice Chair/Chair Elect


Discussion VRT Events at Annual 2016

by Andrew Horbal on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 05:10 pm

139475 Further Down the Alphabet—Embracing B Movies! (co-sponsored with PLA). Can you recite the titles of every Oscar-winner, while finding yourself at a loss in the face of patron requests for movies about mutant vegetables? Never fear! This program will help you handle these requests with confidence. Come explore the world of B, C, and D movies to find films your patrons will love.  Saturday, 6/25, 10:30-11:30am, OCCC W206A

139475 Further Down the Alphabet—Embracing B Movies! (co-sponsored with PLA). Can you recite the titles of every Oscar-winner, while finding yourself at a loss in the face of patron requests for movies about mutant vegetables? Never fear! This program will help you handle these requests with confidence. Come explore the world of B, C, and D movies to find films your patrons will love.  Saturday, 6/25, 10:30-11:30am, OCCC W206A

139491 Section 108 VHS Preservation: A Collaborative Database for Due Diligence on VHS Videotapes in Academic Libraries (co-sponsored with PARS/ALCTS). Section 108 of U.S. Copyright law permits preservation of VHS videotapes but requires that a reasonable effort be made to discover the distribution status of each title. If that sounds daunting, don’t despair. This presentation will introduce you to a new database designed to help. It ispossible to preserve the VHS in your collection while staying on the right side of copyright law. Come learn how. Saturday, 6/25, 3-4pm, OCCC W101B

139484 Academic Library Streaming Video Revisited: Key Findings from the Follow-up Survey. The latest research available from this ongoing study reveals remarkable changes that will help inform academic librarians and administrators in planning and developing streaming video collections and services in a rapidly changing environment. This talk will tell you everything you want (and need) to know about recent trends in library streaming video collections. Saturday, 6/25, 4:30-5:30pm, OCCC W101B

139505 Creating Effective Instructional Video: From Collaboration and Design to Assessment. The demand for distance learning is growing exponentially, which means that the need for engaging online library instruction has never been greater. Come hear three experts offer their advice on creating—and assessing—top-notch video tutorials. Sunday, 6/26, 1-2:30pm, OCCC W103B

139533 Publishing Opportunities in Media Librarianship: A Panel Discussion. Do you want to publish but feel as if you could use some inspiration and advice?  This panel of accomplished authors and editors will be offering their tips for both experienced and novice writers. Bring your questions!Sunday, 6/26, 3-4pm, OCCC W206C


Discussion Celebrating Twenty-five Years of the Video Round Table: An Interview with Gary Handman

by Andrew Horbal on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 01:32 pm

Gary Handman was the first elected Chair of the Video Roundtable. Before his retirement, he was head of the Media Resources Center at the University of California/Berkeley's Moffit Library for three decades.

What was happening in 1991 that led to the founding of the Video Round Table?

Gary Handman was the first elected Chair of the Video Roundtable. Before his retirement, he was head of the Media Resources Center at the University of California/Berkeley's Moffit Library for three decades.

What was happening in 1991 that led to the founding of the Video Round Table?

VHS was invented in the late 1970s. Public libraries started collecting as early as the early 1980s. Although immediately popular as a home entertainment medium, video had a considerably rockier entry into libraries. There was a huge amount of questioning about the role of the medium in library collections. It was thought of as too popular, as competing with book budgets. At that time, also, the video industry—particularly the education and independent video vendors—was trying to figure out what dealing with the library market was all about.

VRT predates 1991. It was initially called the “Video Interest Group” and it was started around 1988, or 1989 by Pat Lora and Sally Mason-Robinson. A group of maybe ten people got together as an interest group to discuss pressing issues having to do with video collections and services in libraries. There were also a lot of vendors hovering around the group initially; many more vendors were involved then than now. This was the first time they had an entry into talking to libraries. After a couple of annual cycles the interest group formally petitioned ALA and was formally accepted as an official round table.

One of VRT’s important early connections was with ALA’s Video and Special Projects unit headed by Sally.  Unfortunately, VSP was was shut down by ALA in 1991. (Handman wrote an article about the demise of this group in the November 1991 issue of American Libraries titled, “The Short Life and Ignominious Death of ALA Video and Special Projects.”)

What was your role?

I was first elected chair after we became a round table. We were trying to figure out our relationship with vendors and to encourage vendor-librarian interaction. We were also trying to figure out how to develop strategies and tools to encourage and support the building of quality video collections in libraries of all types. 

I had access to Berkeley’s servers and was able to start the Videolib listserv not long after that, no later than 1995. The list provided unparalleled opportunities for video librarians and video vendors to interact and discuss issues of common concern.  I feel that creation of the list was the single most important thing that I accomplished as VRT chair.

Where do you see the Video Round Table and video librarianship headed?

Early on, media was often viewed as a wayward stepchild in libraries.  Over the past thirty years, a good part of our time as media librarians has been spent rationalizing our existence. Even in an age of ubiquitous, online media, things have not changed all that much. Media centers continue to be one of the first things to go in fiscal hard times, and the existence of media librarians is questioned. The internet and streamed video give the illusion that since media is universally available, mediators and collection builders are superfluous. In academic libraries and elsewhere, there’s a perception among administrators that standing collections are not necessary, or that they’re financially irresponsible or unsupportable.

Personally, I will go to my grave disapproving PDA models.  In an academic setting, we have had a mission of guiding collections that are anticipatory of both present and future scholarly and teaching need. Faculty and researchers would, frankly, be screwed without us. Now we’re seeing completely transitory collections built on short-term assessment of need and want.

I’m deeply concerned about where media collections are going. We’ve increasingly turned to drive-by budgeting supporting “just in time” collections, and that, I think, is really sad. It’s a sort of creepy, widely held perception of academic library administrators that the only stuff worth collecting is the stuff that’s identified as expedient and currently useful. Creepy and short-sighted.  On the other hand, if you’re not going to have a professional on board who knows the “literature,” who is familiar with programs and needs, who can serve as pro-active advocate and partner in the teaching, learning, and research enterprise, you might as well go on auto-pilot and call it quits.  I’ve got to say that I’m sort of glad I retired from the business when I did.  It was a wonderful 35-year run, but I’m not particularly sanguine about the future role and direction of video in academic library collections.

The good news, of course, is that the video content universe has continued to explode. When I started in the media center in the early to mid 1980s there was almost nothing to buy. Three-quarters of the collection was ¾” tapes. We had the BBC Shakespeare and PBS.  We had a handful of film-to-tape survivors from the days of old, rickety educational film.  And that’s about it. Now there’s a hell of a lot more that you can lay your hands on—an astounding amount more, really. Important international feature films and independently produced films once impossible to obtain in video are now readily available in various formats. Archival and historically important films are increasingly becoming available on the internet.  And then there’s YouTube’s Pandora’s box…

Can you share with us any stories from the early days?

Very early on, the VRT was like The Wild Bunch. We were very close friends and we would hang out with each other socially during ALA conferences. A half dozen or so of us would go out and do things at ALA. Galas were pretty wacky. I remember one year in the mid-1990s ALA was in San Francisco. I planned the gala to take place on a cruise ship out in the Bay. That was fun, but, unfortunately, I hadn’t planned for getting participants back to their hotels after the event. We had 150 people from out of town wandering the San Francisco docks.

One year we had Michael Moore as our special guest at a gala. It was either just after or just before Bowling for Columbine. This was before Michael Moore was MICHAEL MOORE.  In talking to him, he offered to guest lecture a documentary film class I was teaching at the time at UC Berkeley. He wrote his personal cell phone number on pie plate, which I kept above my desk until it faded.  (The lecture never quite worked out).  Another year in D.C. we had John Waters speak. Five hundred people came to the gala. It was full tilt. The auditorium was jammed with hysterically laughing people. 


Discussion VRT events at Midwinter 2016

by Brian Boling on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 08:14 am

Digital Media Discussion Group (Convention Center 159)

Saturday, January 9 1:00-2:30 pm

The Digital Media Discussion Group serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas about initiatives and projects concerning digital media in libraries. Examples of issues discussed in the past meetings include digital licensing concerns; new market technologies (such as high definition DVD formats); video gaming and collections; and multimedia production in libraries.  Discussion moderated by Ben Franz.

Digital Media Discussion Group (Convention Center 159)

Saturday, January 9 1:00-2:30 pm

The Digital Media Discussion Group serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas about initiatives and projects concerning digital media in libraries. Examples of issues discussed in the past meetings include digital licensing concerns; new market technologies (such as high definition DVD formats); video gaming and collections; and multimedia production in libraries.  Discussion moderated by Ben Franz.

Northeastern University Libraries Digital Media Commons tour

Saturday, January 9 3:15-4:30 pm

Come visit the cultural and educational hub of Boston and join Video Round Table for a tour of Northeastern University Libraries' Digital Media Commons (DMC). The DMC is a dedicated media lab and digital creativity center space for students, faculty and staff. Managed by the Library and Information Technology Services (ITS), this collaborative learning facility offers flexible media-rich work areas, professional-grade creation technology,  audio and video recording studios, a 3D printing studio, high-power computer workstations, printers, and scanners.  The tour is now closed.

VRT Midwinter Dinner

Saturday, January 9th 6:00pm

Please consider joining the Video Round Table for our Midwinter dinner get-together.  VRT members, non-members, and their guests are welcome to attend!

Jacob Wirth Restaurant
31 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116
+1 617-338-8586

RSVPs for the dinner are now closed.  Please contact Brian Boling ( if you need to cancel.

Executive Board and Membership Meeting (Convention Center 150)

Monday, January 11 8:30 am-12:30 pm

Please join the Video Round Table's (VRT) Executive Officers and Board in this open business meeting and learn how you can become involved! VRT members and nonmembers are welcome.



The Video Round Table (VRT) provides leadership within the American Library Association (ALA) on all issues related to video collections, programs, and services in libraries. The VRT supports video advocacy within ALA, within the profession, and within our libraries. We understand ‘video' to include all formats, analog and digital; multimedia that includes video content; and the network delivery of digital or digitized video. The VRT will work with other organizations within ALA to promote video collections and services in all types of libraries. The Video Round Table is committed to forging strong alliances and relationships with the film and video production and distribution community to ensure the continuation of a diverse, high-quality universe of video programming.

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