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Syracuse University Libraries

Film and Video Guide

A guide to identifying, locating, and viewing video collections.

Using Film and Video: Important Considerations

This research guide provides tips, tools, and techniques for finding videos, creating clips and playlists, and linking to videos for use in a variety of educational uses, including showing films in classrooms or other settings, embedding within online courses, or using as part of student projects. Syracuse University Libraries offer a wide variety of video and film resources, including DVDs, streaming films and documentaries, and important historical recordings located in our Special Collections Research Center. Working with film and video can sometimes be more complicated than working with other media, as issues such as copyright, public performance rights, media formats, and accessibility often come into play. This guide will help you navigate some of the challenges of using film and video in support of teaching, learning, and research across Syracuse University. If you have any questions about film or movie resources, or about any of the information contained in this guide, please reach out to Online Learning Librarian John Stawarz (  

Finding film and video

Streaming video collections: Visit SU Libraries’ databases A-Z page or explore freely available resources

DVDs and other physical formats:  Try searching SU Libraries’ catalog to see if the title is in SU Libraries collection on DVD or in another format. 

Not able to find it? Please contact a subject librarian or submit a request via the Suggest a Title form.

Please also see information about Kaltura offered through Information Technology Services.

Placing films on reserve

To place a film on reserve for a class, please see Submitting Course Reserve Materials, on the Course Reserves page. There are three reserves options:

  • You supply the item and bring it to the Bird Library or Carnegie check out desk.
  • Library staff will pull the item from the stacks if currently owned by SU Libraries. 
  • You can request that SU Libraries purchase an item for a course. Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for the item to be available.

The  Course Reserves page provides detailed instruction on each of these reserves options.

Where to watch

The Video, Film, and Music Collections page describes options for finding streaming video, DVDs and other formats.

External Blu Ray/DVD drives to plug into a laptop are available for 3 hour loan at Bird, Carnegie, and King + King Libraries.

The 4th floor viewing area in Bird Library has:

  • 1 Blu-ray player
  • 2 DVD players
  • 1 VHS player

Bird Library also has a mobile cart with a multi-region DVD player, Blu-ray player, and VCR available by request at the 1st floor desk at Bird Library. 

For films in different formats (regions; PAL) the following options are available:

  • Sims Hall room 337 has a region 2 (Europe) DVD player.
  • ITS Learning Environments and Media Production (LEMP) has the following available for loan for 48 hours by SU faculty or staff:
    • Region 1 (US) DVD players
    • Two Region 3 (Asia Pacific, Taiwan, and Korea) DVD players

Request form for the above.

Showing videos in class

To find out what equipment is in which rooms, look at Classroom Resources or telephone: 315-443-4001

All Registrar’s classrooms have a  Blu-Ray/DVD player.  Blu-Ray players are able to play DVDs, but DVD players do not play Blu-Ray. Some rooms may still have VHS players, but these will be removed as rooms are updated.

Instructions for use of technology in classrooms are on the DVD, Blu-Ray, and VCR Instructions page.

Equipment for loan:

  • ITS Learning Environments and Media Production (LEMP) offers Classroom Equipment Loan including a DVD/VHS player that can be connected via HDMI cable, for faculty or staff to borrow (student borrowing requires faculty/staff supporting email).
  • Bird Library has a VHS player and a portable Blu Ray/DVD external drive available for borrowing from the 1st floor desk. An external Blu Ray/DVD drive can also be borrowed from Carnegie Library.
  • Please also check with tech support within each school/college.


Please contact Online Instruction Librarian John Stawarz, 315.443.978 with any additional questions.

If you have video suggestions for SU Libraries collections please let us know via this form or email to