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Open Access

These are open access resources that are avalible for use.


American Archive of Public Broadcasting: Approximately 40,000 hours of programs selected by more than 100 public broadcasting stations throughout the nation. Dates from the 1940s to the 21st century

American Memory from Library of Congress: access to several hundred early motion pictures

American Indian Film Gallery: A University of Arizona project collecting over 450 historic and educational films about Native peoples in the Southwest. Dates range from 1922 up to as recent as 2011. The majority are from the golden age of mid-century educational filmmaking

British Movietone: 35mm footage covering the famous newsreel’s archive from 1986-1976

British Pathe and the Reuters Historical Collection: over 136,000 videos from Reuters-owned agencies. Robust and comprehensive newsreels/footage from Britain and around the world, with indispensable WWI and WWII collections

C-SPAN Video Library: all C-SPAN programs since 1987 available here

Calisphere: an aggregate of digital collections from California started by the University of California, this resource contains over 2,500 video files

Cinateca: from the oldest film archive in the country, they have 150 films available across the history of their national cinema free for streaming and download

Civil Rights Digital Library:
collection of video files and sound recordings relating to the Civil Rights Movement. CRDL is a partnership among librarians, technologists, archivists, educators, scholars, academic publishers, and public broadcasters

Critical Past: almost 60,000 clips of vintage stock footage from around the world ranging from the 1890s to the 1990s

Culture Unplugged: provides access to hundreds of documentary films covering global issues, produced through a "socially and spiritually conscious" lens

Digital Public Library of America: among the 37 million items from this nonprofit organization are thousands of videos. Click the “moving images” filter after doing a keyword search to see any videos relating to your topic

Folkstreams: “a non-profit dedicated to finding, preserving, contextualizing, and showcasing documentary films on American traditional cultures”

Frontline: view complete episodes from the PBS series

The Great Depression Interviews: from the University of Washington digital gateway. Contains raw interview sessions that were incorporated into the 7-part PBS miniseries from 1993:

Internet Archive: among their vast holdings is an extensive range of public domain films

Korean Film Archive: a treasure trove youtube channel from the archive featuring restored Korean films from all eras available for the first time

Library of Congress: National Screening Room: a project of the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center to make a broad sampling of both copyrighted & public domain videos from their holdings available to the public.

Library of Congress: Selections from the National Film Registry: 64 films in the National Film Registry & available through the public domain available here

The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2016: comprehensive online exhibition made available by the Museum of the Moving Image. Arranged by year, type of ad, candidate, and more

Media Burn: a nonprofit in Chicago that collects, restores and distributes over 8,000 non-corporate documentary videos across many topics created by artists, activists and community groups. They “represent an alternative, more equitable portrait of the 20th century than that which is contained in mainstream media archives”

National Film Archive of Japan – Japanese Animated Classics: very early Japanese animation form the National Film Center in Tokyo

National Film Board of Canada: Online screening room featuring over 3,000 productions free for viewing

Open Culture: An extensive aggregator of free films with links and short descriptions

Open Vault from WGBH: Access to historically important content produced by the public television and radio station

Open Video Project: a shared digital video collection “for the digital video, multimedia retrieval, digital library, and other research communities”. Videos come from a variety of sources, such as video programs obtained from U.S. government agencies like the U.S. Records and Archives Administration and NASA

Penn Museum Archives: online film collection of over 700 archival films

SnagFilms: online access to hundreds of films and documentaries form reputable distributors

The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive: over 600 films freely available from the largest collection of Jewish documentary films in the world

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design: hundreds of recorded TED talks arranged by subject

UC San Diego Library’s Travel Films:  16mm travel films from 1930 - 1970. Part of The UCSD Library collection of Amateur film

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: over 20,000 videos available to view including oral histories, testimonies, and moving image historical records

Wellcome Film: Digitizing Medical History: over 1,000 digitized films relating to the history of health and medicine throughout the 10th century

Vimeo: You never know what will show up on Vimeo, a video-sharing site where a lot of archival and independent films can be found if you know what you’re looking for

The World Film Heritage (1895-1915): Film scholar Klaus Kreimeier collects freely available works from early masters accompanied by essays & writings

Youtube: always worth checking out this behemoth as many organizations and resources have official channels here with freely available content