Skip to main content

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:


Most videos at Yale are in the Film Study Center (FSC), located in the Whitney Humanities Center at 53 Wall St. The Film Study Center's database provides a number of easy ways to locate its films, but doesn't cover films in Bass or other Yale libraries.  Please note that the FSC is not Yale's video store: it supports the academic study of films.  Its use and loan policies aim to preserve that role.


Several other libraries also have videos, including Sterling Memorial Library, the Divinity Library, the Music Library, and the Arts Library. These videos are listed in Orbis; the majority are documentaries or provide instructional support, rather than videos of feature films.


Finding Videos at Yale

To find videos 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 "quick and dirty" 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.
  • If you just want entertainment or general interest DVDs, The Yale College Council DVD Collection in Bass Library has many to choose from.



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

Best Video (Hamden, CT)

Best Video has one of the most extensive rental video collections in the country.

DocuSeek Film & Video Finder

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

Facets Multimedia

Facets Video is one of the country's largest distributors of art, classic, cult, foreign and hard-to-find videos. The Facets Video Library has tens of thousands of titles available for either purchase or rental.

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.

Librarian for Literature in English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics