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Finding Media: Streaming Documentaries

Use this guide to help locate media in the library and on the web, including DVDs, CDs, streaming video and streaming audio.

What is Streaming Video?

Streaming video is real-time video content viewable via the Internet. It does not involve downloads or decoders, and playback requires the installation of appropriate software. Commonly used streaming programs with native content include Netflix, Vevo and Hulu. Software such as DivX, Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer can be installed on computers to watch streaming video. 

Because of their large file size, streaming video files are compressed, which can negatively affect image quality when viewed in full-screen mode or projected to a larger screen. Streaming video also requires a robust, high-speed internet connection, which means that dial-up connections are too slow to deliver streaming videos adequately.

Simmons subscribes to Filmakers Library Online, a streaming media platform from Alexander Street Press (ASP) that has award-winning streaming documentaries with relevance across the curriculum, including 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.

Simmons also subscribes to Kanopy, a leading distributor of online educational videos across a wide variety of subject areas, including humanities, education, the arts, business, health, sciences and media/communications.

Filmakers Library Online

All content is indexed and searchable and full-text transcripts are available for many of the videos.  Users can search by date, performer, other names, scene, aria, and more.  The ASP interface also offers the ability to cite videos to the specific second with permanent URLs.  Other features include custom clip-making tools, personal playlists, and embeddable links. To find films in Filmakers Library Online, use the search box below or search the library catalog for an individual title.

Streaming Video Platforms


Finding Individual Titles

Individual documentaries can be accessed through Filmakers Library Online or Kanopy or by title in the library catalog. The library has also purchased access to individual titles hosted through other services, such as Films for the Humanities/Films on Demand and New Day Digital.  Search the library catalog to see if a particular title is available in a streaming version.