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Michigan State University

Sociology Resources: Videos

Searching for Video Content in the MSU Libraries

Video formats

Videos at the MSU Libraries are available as:

  • Hard copy
    Physical videos (e.g. DVD, VHS) are housed in the Digital and Multimedia Center (Main Library, 4 West).  The DMC has closed stacks, which means that they are not available for browsing.  You must look up titles in the library catalog.
  • Streaming video
    Online streaming videos are available from electronic databases.  These titles are also listed in the library catalog.

How to search for videos

Videos are searchable in the library catalog and in individual streaming video database collections.  Most streaming video content from our database collections is uploaded into the library catalog and searchable there. 

Please note that there may be lag-time in uploading library catalog records for recent updates to streaming video database collections.  Searching in both the library catalog and in relevant streaming video databases is the best way to ensure a comprehensive search.

Search Option #1: Library Catalog search for all video formats (hard copy and streaming)

  1. Go to the Advanced Search screen for the library catalog.

  2. Highlight the material type limiter for Video/Visual
  3. Enter your search terms and click Submit.

catalog screenshot

Search Option #2: Library Catalog search for only streaming video

  1. Go to the Advanced Search screen for the library catalog.
  2. Highlight the material type limiter for Video/Visual
  3. Change the collection limiter to Electronic Resources
  4. Enter your search terms and click Submit.

advanced search screenshot

Streaming Video Databases

Search Option #3: Choose a relevant video database to search within

  • E-Resources Media
    The MSU Libraries offer a number of different online streaming video database collections in our E-Resources.  View our complete list of streaming video databases on the E-Resources Media page.
  • Academic Video Online
    The Academic Video Online database allows you to search simultaneously across all of our Alexander Street Press (ASP) streaming video collections.  ASP Collections of particular interest includes:
    • Counseling & Therapy in Video
      Counseling and Therapy in Video provides an online streaming video collection for the study of social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling. The collection includes several types of videos such as counseling sessions and demonstrations, consultations, lectures, presentations, and interviews. Many of the videos include teaching and discussion guides.
    • Filmakers Library Online
      Filmakers Library Online provides documentaries with relevance across the curriculum—race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more. It presents points of view and historical and current experiences from diverse cultures and traditions world-wide.
    • American History in Video
      American History in Video provides an online streaming video collection for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion.  Included are commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.
    • PBS Video Collection
      This collection assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of the Public Broadcasting Service into one convenient online interface. A core of 245 titles, selected for their high quality and relevance to academic curricula, covers many educational disciplines, including history, science and technology, diversity studies, business, and current events. This collection provides access to the films and series users already know and trust, including Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, Odyssey, and films by Ken Burns and Michael Wood.


  • PsycTherapy
    A searchable collection of videos featuring therapy demonstrations showing clinicians working with individuals, couples, and families.  Not limited to mental health counseling, also includes health, academic, and career counseling.
    ***To enter PsycTherapy:  The link to PsycTherapy defaults to the APA PsycNET database.  Above the search boxes there is a small heading: Select Databases.  You will see the link to PsycTherapy here.

Checking out Videos from the MSU Libraries

Digital and Multimedia Center (DMC)

Videos are part of the Multimedia Collection in the Digital and Multimedia Center.

Location: 4 West, Main Library

Hours: Click here for calendar

Multimedia Collection materials circulate for seven days with a $1.00 per day fine for overdue titles. Recalls, holds, and renewals are not offered.  Materials must be checked out and returned directly to the DMC location only.

The DMC is a closed stacks collection, meaning that it is not available for browsing.  You must use the library catalog to identify titles and a staff member will retrieve the video for you.


Equipment to support the viewing of all video formats materials is available on-site in the DMC Media Lab.

Faculty Services

Video Digitization

Faculty may request hard copy videos be digitized for course distribution on ANGEL/D2L.

  1. Secure copyright permissions by submitting a request to the MSU Libraries Copyright Permissions Center.
  2. Contact Interactive Video Services ( with your request.  They will need to see the copyright permission before digitizing.

Course Reserves

Faculty may place videos on course reserve.  This will keep videos intended for course use in the library for student viewing.  Faculty may be able to arrange special permission to check out the reserved video for a classroom showing by contacting the DMC.

Free Online Videos

The Sociological Cinema: Teaching and Learning Sociology Through Video

This website from sociology graduate students at the University of Maryland; Valerie Chepp, Paul Dean, and Lester Andrist; features a blog and collection of video clips with discussion points that can be used in the classroom.

Be sure to check out the Resources section for sample assignments and a bibliography of scholarly research on video use in the classroom.

Films for Action

"Films For Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Our goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society. Our website has cataloged over 1500 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online."


Although not moving pictures, the website Sociological Images provides a similiar treatment to photographs.

Additional resources for free online videos:

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