UMBC provides access to the following streaming video databases.
There are a number of websites that provide free access to streaming video collections. Some of these sites are supported by advertising while others are the official sites of the content creator (producer, director, festival, etc). This content may change or become unavailable without notice.
Please click on the links below to see additional information and to access the site.
Acknowledgements: This guide has been heavily influenced by the guides posted by the University of Minnesota and University of Arizona. Many thanks to Scott Spicer and Deg Farrelly.
The AdViews digital collection provides access to thousands of historic commercials created for clients or acquired by the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) advertising agency or its predecessor during the 1950s - 1980s. All of the commercials held in the DMB&B Archives will be digitized, allowing students and researchers access to a wide range of vintage brand advertising from the first four decades of mainstream commercial television.
American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a project of the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston that seeks to preserve the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 60 years. The collection of over 40,000 hours contains programs of high national impact as well as local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of local communities, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion, and even filmmaking on a local level.
American Indian Film Gallery
The American Indian Film Gallery (AIFG) is an online collection of more than 450 historic films by and about Native peoples of the Americas, compiled and digitized by historian J. Fred MacDonald over many years. These films range in date from 1925 - 2010. Most date to the so-called Golden Age of educational filmmaking, from 1945 to the rise of consumer-grade video equipment in the 1970s. Many of the films from that period were sponsored by industry or governmental agencies. Others were made by independent educational filmmakers.
American Memory Collection
The American Memory project from the Library of Congress provides access to several hundred early motion pictures, organized into 11 discrete collections:
This collection features text, audio, and video versions of over 5,000 speeches. The site provides access to "public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and other recorded media events." Not every speech has accompanying video.
Part of the Annenberg Foundation, Annenberg Media uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. The Learner.org web site provides access to many of the exceptional educational video programs developed with grant money as telecourses, including series on algebra, art, chemistry, economics, film, history, poetry, and foreign languages, among others. Not all series listed on the site are available for streaming. Videos stream in Flash. Many of the videos include closed captioning.
Archive of American Television
The Television Academy Foundation's Archive of American Television chronicles the birth and growth of American TV history through over 3,000 hours of oral history interviews with TV's greatest legends and pioneers. The collection covers a variety of professions, genres, and topics, and can be searched by person, show, topic or profession.
A non-profit initiative of the charity Wildscreen, this collection features thousands of videos, images, and fact-files about the world's endangered animals, plants, and fungi. Search by species, conservation status, places, and topics.
C-SPAN Video Library
This archive contains every C-SPAN program aired since 1987 (almost totaling over 204,000 hours). Programs are indexed by subject, speaker names, titles, affiliations, sponsors, committees, categories, formats, policy groups, keywords, and location. The congressional sessions and committee hearings are indexed by person with full text.
CDC-TV videos cover a variety of health, safety and preparedness topics as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's mission. Most videos are short and easily downloadable; all include closed-captioning and are organized by series, intended audience, and topic.
Civil Rights Digital Library
The CRDL is a partnership among librarians, archivists, educators, and public broadcasters that provides access to online films, texts, images and audio recordings related to the Civil Rights movement in the United States. You can browse the collection by events, places, people, topics, or media types; both simple and advanced search options are available.
This 100-episode series from the Metropolitan Museum of Art offers personal perspectives from museum staff on works of art in the collection. Various tones, themes, and concepts are included.
A public media archive and fair use advocacy network that features a platform for viewing, tagging, sharing, annotating, curating, and spreading media.
Ethnographic Video for Instruction & Analysis (EVIA)
The EVIA Digital Archive Project is a preservation and access system for annotated ethnographic field video. Collections represent a diverse range of performance traditions from the around the world. Viewing videos requires registering for an account and agreeing to the end user license agreement.
Folkstreams offers streaming access to documentaries about American folk or roots cultures with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. The site includes transcriptions, study/teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites. It also provides simple keyword and advanced searching, as well as the ability to browse by subject, region, title, filmmaker, and other categories. Video displays include links to related films.
International Monetary Fund Videos
Provides more than 1,000 short-form videos, generally under 5 minutes, produced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Search options permit searching by a combination of elements: Category, Country, Year, Language, and Keyword. Categories include: Countries and Regions, Economic Outlook, Speeches, Seminars, and more.
Internet Archive: Movie Archive
The Moving Image Archive contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users that range from classic full-length films to daily alternative news broadcasts to cartoons and concerts. Browse sub-collections or use the simple/advanced search. The videos are either in the public domain or Creative Commons-licensed, and many are available for free download.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive
View online videos featuring performance excerpts from Jacob's Pillow from the 1930s to present. You can search by artist, genre, or era, as well as take part in a guessing game to identify dancers.
The Lannan Foundation is dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities. The site provides access to 15 years of audio and video recordings from live events and interviews with notable authors, scholars, and activists. More recordings are included on the foundations podcast site, which is available for subscription via iTunes.
Media Burn Independent Video Archive
The Media Burn Independent Video Archive collects more than 6,000 documentary videotapes produced by independent videographers outside of corporate contexts. The tapes chronicle four decades of 20th and 21st century life (1969 to present), including politics, arts and culture, community life, urban issues, ethnic identities and more.
Provides free access to live streaming video feeds of free music, dance and theater performances at The Kennedy Center daily at 6 pm Eastern time (3 pm Pacific time). Also provides a freely accessible and searchable video archive of past performances.
Miller Center Collections
The Miller Center provides the world’s most complete understanding of the U.S. presidency through collections such as Secret White House Tapes, Presidential Oral History Program, and more. In addition to multimedia resources, the Miller Center hosts numerous documents related to the executive branch of the U.S. government.
National Committee for Fluid Mechanics Films
A series of films created by Ascher Shapiro in the 1960s, used to teach fluid mechanics. A majority of the videos are available on YouTube and have accompanying film notes.
National Geographic Video
This collection features videos from Nat Geo TV, Nat Geo Wild, and subject-specific categories. Videos can be shared through social media or embedded in websites.
National Park Service Multimedia Search
This search provides results that include both public domain and copyrighted multimedia of national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, and related areas. Most content has transcripts.
National Theatre: Video Collection
Short videos that introduce various aspects of the British National Theatre. Some subjects included: Wigs, Scenic Art, Puppetry, Casting and more.
New York Public Library Dance Division Moving Image Archive
A virtual space for dance enthusiasts and researchers alike to browse, search, compare, and comment on dance videos and images - then share their discoveries with others! While not all of the NYPL Dance Division Moving Image Archive collection is available offsite, large portions of the collection are available. To browse only freely available material, click the the "Exclude Location-Restricted Videos" button under the search box.
Created by PBS, Art21 chronicles contemporary art and artists both online and through its series Art in the Twenty-First Century. This site hosts episodes from the television show, as well as the following online series:
• Artist to Artist: Contemporary visual artists in conversation with their peers
• 100 Artists: Celebrates the artists who appeared in the series Art in the Twenty-First Century
• New York Close-Up: Profiles artists in the first decade of their professional career in NYC
Provides access to select programs from PBS series. Users can browse by Programs, Topics, or Collections. Individual programs are subdivided into smaller segments. PBS Video coverage includes episodes from from Masterpiece, American Experience, Austin City Limits, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, Nature & Great Performances.
POV: Documentaries with a Point of View
Provides a selection of full-length and short films from the acclaimed PBS documentary film series POV. Videos are organized by length and topic.
Provides videos of global innovators talking about a variety of subjects: Business, Design, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Music, Science, Society, and Technology.
Contains multimedia videos highlighting the U.S. Department of Energy's scientific research. State-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology allows the user to search for specific words and phrases spoken by the presenter. Simply enter a term and the results list will point to the precise snippets of the video where the term was spoken.
Smithsonian Collections Search Center
Search over 6.4 million records with 536,000 images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives & libraries.
Provides access to over 850 full-length documentary films from established distributors and first-time filmmakers. The site organizes titles by broad Topics (such as Arts, Environment, Health, History, Women's Issues, etc.) and by Channels (including well-established film companies such as Alive Mind, Icarus, Fanlight, PBS, and National Geographic).
Videos stream in Flash. Brief commercials precede and are interspersed through the video playback.
Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Oral histories are organized by trails/regions, state, and city and feature extensive accompanying documentation.
Stanford Health Video Library
This free collection provides access to audiovisual materials covering a wide range of medicinal and dental topics, sorted by topic. Videos are available to stream through YouTube or iTunes.
TED hosts numerous recorded talks that are organized under broad subject categories: Technology, Entertainment, Design, Business, Science, and Global Issues. Films can also be sorted by tone (persuasive, inspiring, informative, etc), date, view count, and popularity.
Thanhouser Video Collection
Provides access to more than 50 films that represent a cross-section of the output produced between 1910 and 1917 by the Thanhouser film enterprise based in New Rochelle, New York. Each film includes a summary and analysis written by film historian Victor Graf.
UbuWeb is a completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts. The site provides access to over 2,500 full-length avant-garde films and videos, as well as audio works and more.
USDA Food Safety Videos
View the various food safety and inspection streaming videos and audio files available from the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The videos are organized by category: Public Service Announcements; Meat, Poultry and Processed Egg Product Inspection; Regulatory Education Seminars; and SignFSIS.