Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Key Streaming Video Databases
The following resources should be your go-to resources for general documentary films, feature films, and visual anthropology material.
Academic Video Online
Academic Video Online provides a single cross-searchable platform for searching and viewing all Alexander Street Press video titles to which Temple subscribes
Films on Demand
Films on Demand is a source of videos and multimedia for academic, vocational and life-skills content. Films on Demand combines : Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
Other Video Resources
BBC Shakespeare (via Ambrose Video)
BBC Shakespeare (via Ambrose Video) provides Streaming videos of the classic BBC Shakespeare productions. Includes closed captioning so you can view the text along with the video.
Counseling and Therapy in Video
Counseling and Therapy in Video provides an online collection of video available for the study of social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling. Videos include counseling sessions and demonstrations, consultations, lectures, presentations, and interviews.
Dance in Video
Dance in Video contains dance productions and documentaries by performers and companies of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisational dance.
Ethnographic Video Online
Ethnographic Video Online is an online resource for the study of human culture, behavior and society around the world. It contains streaming video, including ethnographic films, documentaries, select feature films, and previously unpublished fieldwork.
Opera in Video
Opera in Video contains an overview of commonly studied operas in music history, opera literature, and performance classes. Included are videos of staged productions of important opera performances, interviews, and documentaries. Performances cover the full range of operatic composition, from the Baroque to the 20th century. Users can browse by composer, genre, performer, ensemble, time period, and role.
Theatre in Video
Theatre in Video provides access to plays and documentaries in a streaming format. Users have the ability to bookmark scenes and create film clips along with the option of sharing them with other users of Theatre in Video.
How Do I Stream Video To My Online Course?
Temple University Libraries will attempt to license digital streaming rights for any movies needed for online only courses. Please check LibrarySearch for online availability prior to making your request. Be aware that not all films can be licensed for streaming.
Major Studio Films
Swank Motion Pictures Inc. manages the rights to feature films and documentaries released by most of the major movie studios. (Notable exceptions include Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and some Disney titles)
Our current contract with Swank allows us to stream a limited number of titles each semester. In selecting titles, priority is given to films needed for large classes, multiple sections and courses, and online only courses.
In cases where major studio films cannot be licensed, we may need to refer students to low-cost (typically $2-4) streaming rentals on consumer-facing services.
Please submit streaming requests via the Course Reserves tool in Canvas. Further instructions for submitting reserves are here.
Negotiation with rights holders
Self-distributed filmmakers generally retain the rights to their work until it is picked up for wider distribution. In such cases, we contact the filmmaker to inquire about licensing films for streaming. We also maintain relationships with various independent distributors that allow us to license in perpetuity rights to stream films from our local server.
Please email Brian Boling a list of the titles you wish to use in an online course 1-2 months before the start of the semester.
Using Other Streaming Services
Faculty might be tempted to ask students to obtain subscription services like Netflix or Hulu to replace course reserves. Such a replacement could potentially create problems with the availability of required viewings.
Keep in mind that such services also license their content for streaming. These licenses are frequently set for limited terms, meaning that content can disappear without warning.
Relying on YouTube for course viewings may also be problematic. Films posted illegally can be subject to takedown with little notice.
Why Streaming Entire Videos Isn't Fair Use
The legal concept of Fair Use balances four factors:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is commercial or for nonprofit educational purposes
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
The first factor always weighs in favor of fair use at a nonprofit university. However, the other three factors would typically weigh against streaming entire films.
- Motion pictures are creative work, rather than data (factor 2)
- The full work, rather than clips, are proposed for streaming (factor 3)
- Rights holders stand to lose revenue from unlicensed streaming (factor 4)
On the other hand, it would be reasonable to justify streaming individual clips; in such cases, factors 3 and 4 would also favor fair use.
Please email Brian Boling if you have additional questions about streaming videos for courses.