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Film Studies Research Guide: Films & Videos

A guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, including key resources and crucial search strategies.

How to Find Videos at Yale and Beyond

What's Here

This page provides information on:

Finding Videos at Yale

Most videos (DVDs, Blu-rays, and VHS) at Yale are in the Film Study Center (FSC) collection.  The Film Study Center's database provides a number of easy ways to locate its films, but doesn't include titles that are only in Bass or other Yale libraries. You can request (via Orbis) that FSC videos be delivered to SML, Bass, and other Yale Libraries, or you can view videos at the FSC in viewing stations or screening rooms. The FSC is the only site at Yale where you can view 3D Blu-rays. 

To find videos overall at Yale, you can use several methods:

  • The most comprehensive approach is to do a Keyword search for the title, director, etc. (Remember to put quotation marks around words that should be kept together.) Then look at the list of filters on the right and click on add filter: Movies / DVDs. This approach will include 16/35mm films and videos available online.
  • The quicker method is to perform a Keyword search in Orbis for the title, director, subject or other terms, plus the word videorecording. Warning: this approach will not include 16/35mm films or videos available online.
  • If you are looking for videos on a particular topic, you may get better results by performing an Advanced Search. Enter your search terms, and change the "within" field to Subject. Then look further down the screen for Type, scroll down the list, and select Projected Medium. Orbis will retrieve entries regardless of the physical format.


Guidance on Classroom Use of Videos



The Library supports the Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators, developed by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.



Finding Video Recordings Outside Yale

DocuSeek Film & Video Finder

DocuSeek is a search site for independent, documentary, educational and social issue video and films.

Find Any Film

Although the website is based in (and funded by) the UK, provides information about the availability of films from across the globe in all formats, such as whether a film is out in Blu-Ray or can be downloaded.  The service can also alert you when a format is available (or available in the UK, at least).


WorldCat is a "union catalog" showing the holdings of thousands of libraries in the US and some abroad.  It allows one to limit a search to videos either by selecting "Visual Materials" as a format from the Advanced Search screen, or by doing a Basic Search and then selecting the "Visual" tab.

Other Film and Video Archives and Collections

Use these resources to locate film and video collections, film stills and photos, archival and manuscript collections, and other primary source film materials.

Director, Film Study Center