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How do I... find videos or DVDs?


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Videos or DVDs that can be used in presentations and papers can be hard to find due to copyright laws and because they are not normally indexed like other print material. This How do I guide offers hints and tips to help you find many different kinds of videos and DVDs at CU and also digitally.


+ Videos (VHS/DVDs etc) at CU


To find videorecordings at CU, regardless of format, (DVD/VHS etc) follow the steps below:


  • Chinook
  • Chinook Classic
  • Type your keywords in Chinook, eg Pride and Prejudice.
  • On the left hand side of the screen select Videorecording as the format.



  • Enter your keywords as usual in the top searchboxes.
  • The record will usually include the word [videorecording] in the title.








































Locate videorecordings

  • DVDs are usually found in the Norlin DVD Collection, behind the Circulation Desk on the Second Floor (West Entrance)
  • VHS have all been sent to PASCAL the offsite storage facility.


How to Request a Video from PASCAL

    Materials housed at the PASCAL storage facility display with that location in the Chinook catalog. Example:


    PASCAL record


    You may place a request in one of three ways:

    1. Once you have found a PASCAL item in the Chinook catalog, click the REQUEST IT! button at the top of the page. You will be asked for your IdentiKey and password (or name, ID, and PIN code). If you are successful in placing the hold a confirmation message will appear.

    If you are unsuccessful, you will be asked to contact a librarian and should try one of the following two request methods:

    2. Email the Access Services Department at norcirc@colorado.edu. Please include your name and ID number, and call number information for the item you want to request.

    3. Call the Access Services Department at 303-492-7477 and place your request over the phone.

    Requests from PASCAL are usually delivered the next business day, and come to the main library circulation desk at Norlin. You should receive an email advising you that the material has arrived. You can also check to see if you have any items on the "hold shelf" by checking your own library account (My Chinook). PASCAL requests are kept on our hold shelf for 10 days. If the material hasn't been picked up in ten days, it is returned to the storage facility.

  • DVDs and VHS can be checked out for 7 days


CU = Resources marked with this symbol are available in campus libraries and to students, staff, and faculty via the campus network. Use of these resources is subject to copyright laws and license limitations. Off-campus access information.

+ Web Videos


Why not use only Google or Yahoo to find videos?

Video search engines pull up endless pages of digital videos. However, they do have some limitations.

  • Search engines do not index the collections of digital videos mentioned in this guide, eg American Memory Project
  • Search engines may find hundreds of popular or specific videos (e.g. The Rocky Mountains) but it's hard to find broad topics (e.g. urban design).
  • Academic video collections allow you to refine your search by date, subject and many other options.
  • Finding a video on the web does not authorize you to use it legally. Many videos are protected by copyright.

For the best results, consult several sources in your search for videos.


Search Engines


Google Video Search
Offers both free and commercial services that allows user to search, play, and upload videos to the Google web server. It is a good starting point for finding videos on broad array of topics.


Yahoo Video Search
Allows users to search millions of videos.


BBC Video Search
Use the search box at the top of the page to access BBC videos.


Finding "free" video collections


Search the internet using the following terms:
  • public domain
  • free
  • copyright-free
  • royalty-free
  • video(s)
  • film(s)
  • movies
  • cinema

Some video collections:

  • AllTheWeb
    To find video files, use the "Video" tab. Choose the "Audio" tab to find MP3 and other sound files.

  • AltaVista Audio Search
    Indexes all digital file formats such as MP3 music files.

  • AltaVista Video Search
    Indexes all digital video formats such as MPG, MOV, and AVI.

  • Blinkx.tv
    This is a very interesting project that claims to search TV content not just by keyword, but also by analysis of the video content looking for conceptual matches. The content searched is relatively small compared to major search engines like Google, but it seems to have a good selection of news content.

  • Classic Cinema Online
    Hundreds of films in dozens of categories.
  • C-SPAN Search
    C-SPAN content is easy to search from their video search site. There is a simple one-box search and an advanced search screen that allows for limiting by date, as well as by category, topic, and series.

  • Digital Librarian:  Audio, Video, Multimedia

    This free resource provides an index to hundreds of free audio, sheet music, video and multimedia websites.

  • Freesite.com

    This site serves as an index to multiple WAV sound files for commercials, cinema, TV, and sound effects.  Includes a link to the very popular and in high-demand site, A1 Free Sound Effects, a fun resource  with over 700 free WAV sound effects that include everything from breaking glass to creaking doors to sirens.

  • Library of Congress Youtube channel
    Timeless treasures and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • Mefeedia.com

    Mefeedia's mission is to make it easy to find and watch video that interests you. - no matter where that video is hosted or what platform or player you choose to watch it on.

  • MovieMonitor
    Tracks movies that are available to watch online, either for free or for pay.
  • National Film Board: Canada
  • Speedcine
    Listing of roughly 13,000 feature-length movies that are available legally online
  • Truveo.com

    Truveo video search lets you search and find videos from across the Web. Use Truveo to find all types of online video including hit television shows, full-length movies, breaking news clips, sports highlights, music videos, or the latest viral videos

  • You Tube Time Machine Pick any year between now and 1860 and watch Youtube videos related to that era.
+ Copyright

Once you find a link to a video clip, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, not all files can be copied to your PC. Some files can only be view using video steaming. The advantage here is that the video is downloaded in small fragments allowing users with slower Internet connections to view media files, which can be quite large. However, streaming files often prohibit the content from being copied locally. Common streaming files format are Windows Media and Real Media.


Still, many files can be downloaded to your PC. Many of the search engines will indicate on the results screen which files can be fully downloaded or just viewed. But, there is another concern here: copyright.


Just because you can download a video does not always mean you have the right to use the clip in its entirety or in anyway you want. It is best to check with the copyright owner if possible before using a video clip. For educators, researchers, and students, copyright law does provide some flexibility when it comes to using media for scholarly purposes.


Guidelines that can help you decide if you can use a clip for a particular purpose are available online. Here are some useful sites to consult:


American Library Association:  Distance Education and the Teach Act


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 

University of Maryland University College

University of Texas Crash Course in Copyright

United States Code. Title 17-Copyrights. Legal Information Institute


Webster University (Bob Scheier and Emily Alling, Babson Library, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, Monique Threatt, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN)


+ Citing Film

How do I cite? (Examples and links to style books)


Citing film:


In citing film and other media, use the citation form for the format in which you watched the work being cited. For example:

  • If you watched the film Casablanca on DVD and wish to cite it, use the citation format for DVD (not the film original).
  • If you watched Casablanca in a movie theater, use citation format for film.
  • If you are citing a documentary or program that you watched on DVD/videotape, but which was originally broadcast on television, use the citation format for DVD/videotape.
  • If you are citing a trailer for a theatrical movie that you watched on the internet, use the citation format for online resources.

Include the following elements in the following order. Include as much information as is available from the media package or other sources. If you are citing the contribution of a particular performer or the director of a work, you may choose to include the person's name first in the citation (last name, first name) You may include other data that seem pertinent, such as writer of screenplay or writer of work upon which the film is based, depending on the focus of your research.

DVD, Video or Film Title (underlined)
Series Title (no underline or quotation marks)
Director/Filmmaker OR Personal Producer OR Corporate/Institutional Producer.
Other individuals responsible for the work (e.g., writer) if relevant
Key Actors or other Key Performers.
If the work being cited is the original format (i.e. if you've viewed the film in a theater), cite the Studio Name OR Production Company followed by production date OR original release date (If known)
Format (if the version you're citing is video or DVD)
Distributor (i.e. DVD or video distributor)
Distribution Date (separated from the distributor by a comma)

Citizen Kane. Dir. Orson Welles. Perfs. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton. RKO Radio Pictures, 1941.


Breathless (À Bout de Souffle). Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. Perfs. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Liliane David. 1960. DVD. Criterion Collection, 2007.


America's Least Wanted . Prod. Rebecca Haggerty, Susan Levine, Jamie McClelland, Adele Rice and Jaime Yassin. Videocassette. Paper Tiger TV, 1995.
Lucasfilm, Ltd. "Star Wars Trailer." 05 November 1999. Online video clip. Star Wars Official Site. Accessed on 02 April 2008. <http://starwars.com/episode-i/news/trailer/>
+ For faculty

Book Media

BOOK a DVD or VHS if you need to have it available to show to your class during a specific time period.


Be sure to book well in advance any DVDs or Videos you may need for your classes, otherwise they may not be available. You may book materials up to one year ahead of time! Booking of DVD and VHS materials is only open to faculty.


To book material, search in Chinook Classic for the video or DVD you require. Above the location, you can click on the Book it logo. It's not currently possible to book video through Chinook Plus.





You may book materials through Chinook, the online catalog, or at the Circulation desk, or by phone (303-492-7477), or email norcirc@colorado.edu. To make special arrangements, contact Norlin Circulation: norcirc@colorado.edu or 303-492-5506


Requests for duplication of audiovisual media should go to the Libraries Media and Duplication Services unit.


Instructional Video/DVD Purchase Requests




Created 11/08 AH

Last revised 12/10 AH



Library and freely available resources which will help find news film:


+ Databases

Vanderbilt Television News Archive CU

Archive of television news. The collection holds more than 30,000 individual network evening news broadcasts from the major U.S. national broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, and more than 9,000 hours of special news-related programming including ABC's Nightline since 1989. These special reports and periodic news broadcasts cover presidential press conferences and political campaign coverage, and national and international events such as the Watergate hearings, the plight of American hostages in Iran, the Persian Gulf war, and the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001


CU = Resources marked with this symbol are available in campus libraries and to students, staff, and faculty via the campus network. Use of these resources is subject to copyright laws and license limitations. Off-campus access information.

+ Online Collections

CNN Video
Allows users to watch free video news on recent and breaking news from around the world.


BBC Audio & Video / BBC Motion Gallery
Allows users to watch or listen to the latest news from around the world. It can be accessed by clicking on Latest News in Video and Audio from the top right hand side.


A portal to streamed video clips of news, entertainment, sports, and business information. Includes links to Reuters and NBC News feeds online.


The Guardian


Features videos on developing stories from around the world.


PBS - Public Broadcast Station network, which is a publicly-funded source of news to the general U.S. public. NewsHour


Link to an archive of select Frontline's broadcast documentaries spanning the past few years.


Provides videos of latest news from around the world.


Independent Media
Provides access links to Independent Media centers around the globe. This site also has a section for Video Projects as well as a menu of downloadable Video Software, which provide access to various video sites. This site can be good if you wish to find video in other languages in addition to English.


Associated Press
Go to the source of many video news clips used by news channels all over. Click on the link for 'video' to find news clips on various topics ranging from World to Business to Science & Technology.

+ Library Sources

There are not many news DVDs or videos in the library collections; however, we have several books which discuss the issues. Try the following subject headings in Chinook to help find them:


Television Broadcasting Of News

Electronic News Gathering

NBC News

Television feature stories

Television Broadcasting Of News Great Britain




Library and freely available resources which will help find documentaries.


+ Online Collections

American Memory Motion Pictures Collections (Library of Congress)

A gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. Includes a sampling of early American films, including works by the Edison Company, recordings of vaudeville and other popular entertainments, early animated films; recordings of early 20th Century presidents, and scenes of American work and leisure, 1894-1915.


C-SPAN Search
C-SPAN content is easy to search from their video search site. There is a simple one-box search and an advanced search screen that allows for limiting by date, as well as by category, topic, and series.



This site provides documentary film information and resources to both viewers and filmmakers.


DocuSeek Film and Video Finder
Searchable database to independent documentaries.


Documentary FilmFinder

Tips and tools for finding films.


Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Archive


Internet Moving Images Archive

An online archive of "ephemeral films," including films produced by and for many hundreds of important US corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, community and interest groups, and educational institutions. Includes advertisement and publicity films, educational films, government propaganda, and other historically important moving image materials.

+ Library Sources

Try the following Subject Headings in Chinook:


Documentary Films

Documentary Videos

Documentary Television Programs

Feature Films


This may not pull a complete list as not all feature or documentary films are assigned these subject headings. You may also find entries for books about films as well as the films themselves. Combine these terms with a keyword search E.g. Feature AND France to find film regardless of format.




Library and freely available resources which will help find videos of adverts.


Online Collections


Internet Archive: Prelinger Archives includes ads

This is a collection of over 60,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films.


Library of American Broadcasting

The Library of America holds a wide-ranging collection of audio and video recordings, books, pamphlets, periodicals, personal collections, oral histories, photographs, scripts and vertical files devoted exclusively to the history of broadcasting. Site includes an online sampling of vintage radio commercials and an online archive of historic photographs related to radio broadcasting.


Living Room Candidate: Historical Presidential Campaign Commercials

An archive of historic and current political advertisements from television and the internet. Most clips include transcripts


Super Ad Bowl: Two Decades of Players (The New York Times)




Webby Awards: nominees and winners (websites, interactive advertising, online film & video, mobile)



Where to find Film and Television Reviews

Film and Television Literature Index

  • Search online (1990 - present)
  • Search for reviews in journals that cover film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.

Art Full Text and Art Retrospective

  • Search online (1929 - present)
  • Search for reviews in major art journals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins.

Film Review Annual

  • Print (1982-2002); get location/call number in Chinook
  • Provides basic film information and the full text of film reviews from a variety of sources. Also includes a brief citation list for reviews in other sources. Each volume covers the films of the year before (Film Review Annual 2002 will contain reviews of films released in 2001).

Film Review Index

  • Print (1882 - 1985); get location/call number in Chinook

A Guide to Critical Reviews

  • Print (1909 - 1989); get location/call number in Chinook
  • Part 1 of this set is devoted to critical reviews in American Drama (theater and film) from 1909-1982.

International Index to Film Periodicals

  • Print (1977 - present); get location/call number in Chinook

Variety Film Reviews

  • Print (1907 - present); get location/call number in Chinook

Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews

  • Print (1923 - 1994); get location/call number in Chinook