Films and Videos

Overview of film and video collections in Emory Libraries, available in physical and streaming formats.

Streaming Video

The Emory Libraries subscribe to numerous academic streaming video collections, and we license individual streaming video titles to support teaching and research. Highlights include: 

You can request or recommend streaming films by contacting your department's subject librarian, or using the Emory Libraries streaming video purchase request form.

Streaming Video for Courses

In addition to the services listed above, the library can:

  • License access to many Hollywood studio films and some television programs through Swank Digital Campus on a semester basis, as part of Course Reserves.
  • Obtain a Digital Site License to host specialized streaming video titles not offered on the platforms listed above.

When planning to use video in courses, please bear in mind the following caveats:

  • Not every film or television program on DVD is available for academic streaming due to the complexities of film rights and licensing.
  • The library typically cannot provide institutional access to exclusive content on commercial platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Their accounts are designed for individual users only.
  • We recommend having a backup film or assignment lined up in case the library is unable to license the film you requested.
  • If you only need students to view portions of a film (or program), you also have the option of creating clips from a DVD to use for your class. For more information, contact Steve Bransford, Senior Video Producer at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, or James Steffen, the Film and Media Studies Librarian.

The fulfillment time for streaming video course requests varies greatly by supplier, their average response time, and whether the library needs to negotiate a new license for the video. Typically, streaming videos fall under one of three scenarios:  

Faster (1 week average) 

  • The supplier provides access on their own platform which is already set up with us and they have a rapid turnaround time
  • Examples: Swank Digital Campus, Kanopy, Docuseek2

Medium (2-4 weeks average) 

  • We have an established relationship with the supplier and they usually have a good turnaround time, but we have to host on our own server. 
  • Examples: Women Make Movies, GoodDocs, Grasshopper Film 

Longer (1 month or longer) 

  • Smaller distributors, especially when we do not have an established relationship. 
  • Videos that do not have clearly identified licensors for streaming and require further rights research on our part.

For “longer” titles in particular we recommend having a backup plan in place.

DVDs and Blu-rays at Emory Libraries

The Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library holds a leading academic media collection, with approximately 30,000 DVDs, 2,700 Blu-rays, and thousands of titles in other formats such as VHS, laserdisc, and 16mm. The Oxford College and Law libraries also contain substantial DVD collections. All are searchable in Library Search.

The Music and Media Library maintains a comprehensive collection of feature films, documentaries, television programs, performing arts videos and educational titles. It also holds a number of rare and unique titles.

Besides a robust collection of feature films from Hollywood, U.S. independents and Western Europe, we have strong holdings in cinemas from:

  • Latin America, Spain and Portugal
  • East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea)
  • India
  • African countries (Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone)
  • Russia, Eastern Europe, Russia, and former Soviet Republics
  • Arabic-speaking countries
  • Israel

Borrowing Privileges

The Woodruff Library Borrowing page provides a full list of visual media borrowing privileges based on user category. Items may be requested in Library Search.

Multi-Region Discs

A number of DVDs in the Music and Media Library collection are imported, non-Region 1 (U.S.) discs to support teaching and research needs. They may not play in standard U.S. DVD players. A variety of playback options exist for these titles; see below under Playback Support.

Other Formats

Besides DVDs and Blu-rays, the Emory Libraries hold titles in a variety of formats, including:

  • VHS videocassettes
  • Laserdiscs
  • 16mm films
  • ¾” U-matic videocassettes
  • VCD

The Music and Media Library and Classroom Technologies both still support VHS playback, but advance planning is generally required for use in class on a particular day.

If a video that you need for teaching is in VHS or other legacy formats, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your department’s subject librarian to purchase a DVD replacement version if commercially available. We may also be able to create a DVD access copy for preservation purposes.

Playback Support

The Music and Media Library supports playback of almost all video formats in their collection, both in individual viewing carrels and in the Group Viewing Room. It also circulates portable DVD-ROM drives for laptop playback.

Classroom Technology supports a large number of formats in Emory College classrooms. Please contact them in advance to ensure that you have the classroom equipment and technical support that you need.

Request a Title for Purchase

We welcome purchase requests and recommendations from Emory users. Contact your department's subject librarian, or use the Emory Libraries streaming video purchase request form.