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Finding Images and Videos: Video Collection

Images, videos, and audio resources at Otis College and on the web

Online Databases

Prelinger Archives - Part of the Internet Archive, this collection concentrates on "ephemeral" films, e.g. educational, advertising, industrial, and amateur films. (We have some compilations of films from this collection in the DVD stacks)

Collection Development Policy

The video collection supports the teaching curriculum of the Otis College of Art and Design. Holdings include videos by and about artists and designers; animation; poetry readings; advertisements; history of art and architecture; and significant feature films, both narrative and documentary. We collect films that serve as examples of the best (and worst) in animation, writing, direction, costuming, and special effects. We collect Oscar-nominated films in the animation, cinematography, costume, documentary, shorts, screen-writing, and special effects categories; Clio-winning ads at the gold, silver, and bronze levels; and festival compilations of shorts, especially work by new video and digital artists. In addition, we collect video documentation of events held at Otis, including the Fine Arts lecture series, the Senior Fashion shows, and commencements.

Factors that affect acquisition include availability, vendor, and price. We purchase some items with public performance rights. We primarily collect regular DVDs (NTSC, Region 1 or region-free) and VHS tapes (NTSC). Since our collection supports the curriculum at Otis, we prefer to purchase items that can be viewed using technology currently available in most of the classrooms. At this time, we do not collect Blu-Ray or other high-definition DVD formats. In general, we do not acquire VCDs, PAL items, or DVDs encoded for other regions.

Updated: 6 April 2010

DVDs and BluRays in the Library

Search the Library Catalog:

All of our videos are listed in the Library Catalog.

Check the New Videos List

Cannot find what you are looking for? Suggest a Video

Video Stacks

AA = Art and Artists
Includes films about specific artists, designers, movements, museums, and cultures.

V = Video and Experimental Film
Includes feature length and anthologies of video and experimental film. Arranged by artist and title.

D = Documentary
Includes non-fiction features, shorts, and television shows.

AN = Animation
Includes animated films, compilations, television shows, and documentaries.

F = Features
Includes feature, direct to video, and other narrative films, shorts compilations, and more.

Video Annex

Please request these items at the Circulation Desk.

Overflow of F = Features
Includes feature, direct to video, and other narrative films, shorts compilations, and more.

AD = Advertising
Compilations of ads, including Clio awards winners by year.

I = Instructional
How to videos. Includes videos on yoga, paper-making, and English grammar.

M = Music
Includes music videos, concert films, operas, and biographies of musicians. Arranged by artist/composer/band and title.

O = Otis
Events at Otis, including fashion shows, commencements, senior shows, Foundation Forward, and artist and designer lectures.
Some of these videos are also available online [restricted access].

T = Television
Includes television series, miniseries, and some made-for-tv movies. Arranged by title.

VHS Tapes

All VHS tapes are in storage. It may take 1 business day to page the item. Contact us at least one week in advance if you need to show a tape in class.

A few VHS videos are also available online [restricted access].

Videos on Reserve

Located at the Circulation Desk, videos on reserve for courses are usually available for in-library use only.


The Library supports faculty by providing videos to be shown in class. We will try to purchase on DVD any item requested for a class; many films, however, are out of print or have not yet been published on a Region 1 or region-free DVD.

Videos on hold for an instructor are kept for about 1 week on the Video Hold Shelf at the Circulation Desk. They will be available for the instructor to check out for one class period; students may view the items only within the Library. If you need an item to be on for a longer period, please contact Heather Cleary.

Send a screening list to the Digital Projects & Metadata Librarian by Week 1. Include your name and class title and list the item(s) needed for each week. Include the title, year, and artist/filmmaker of each item.

  • If you have not finalized your syllabus but know which films you want to show, please send that list to the Visual Resources Librarian at least 2 weeks before the term begins.
  • Do not assume that you are the only person interested in a video! Other instructors may have requested the same item. If there is a conflict, we will contact you.

If you do not submit a screening list, we cannot guarantee that the items you need to show in class will be available.

Allow about 2 months new items to be purchased and processed. A percentage of the Library’s budget is set aside specifically for faculty requests. The Librarian will contact you about any items that will not be available when requested.

During the semester, you may still request items to be held/on reserve for your class. If the item is already in the Library’s collection, please submit your requests at least 2 days before the date needed for class, but we cannot guarantee that the video will be available.

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