Streaming Media at VCU Libraries

Getting Started

The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the many streaming platforms that VCU subscribes to and purchases licenses from. With this guide you will learn:

  • The types of film and video, film studios and production companies featured on each streaming platform
  • How to browse and search in each streaming platform
  • How to request streaming films from VCU Libraries
  • The differences in the ways that VCU purchases content from each streaming distributor, and how to ensure that films will be available when you need them.

Why can't I stream a video over Zoom?

Due to copyright restrictions, Kanopy, Swank, and Criterion Pictures films cannot be screen-shared over Zoom. These platforms require users to authenticate themselves by logging into the streaming platform individually through VCU's CAS authentication system. 


Contact Collections Specialist Megan Goldfarb:

(Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Interested in other library resources as course materials?

For more information about using library resources for class content, please visit the Library Resources as Course Materials libguide. 

Streaming Media Platforms

Other streaming media collections in the arts, sciences, and humanities can be found on the VCU Libraries databases page

Using streaming media for course instruction

While some platforms such as AVON, Films on Demand, and Docuseek have their entire collections open to the VCU community, other platforms such as Kanopy and Swank feature individual licenses that expire. Due to the cost of an annual streaming license, we ask that you use our DVD collection when possible. Licenses purchased in Kanopy, Swank, and other platforms are intended for educational use and as such, requests must be placed by VCU facultyFilms on Kanopy, Swank, and those individually licensed are available for one year, with some exceptions. Please check for Kanopy and Swank expiration dates provided on this libguide.

Request a film from VCU Libraries

To request a streaming film from VCU Libraries, please fill out our Film Streaming Request Form.

Requests for films in Kanopy or Swank can be placed directly through the Kanopy and Swank platforms. These requests must be placed by faculty for course instruction.

We encourage faculty to place streaming requests as early as possible. Kanopy and Swank requests should be placed at least one week in advance. Films that are not available from any of our academic streaming platforms can take up to two months to acquire and host, and some films are not available for academic streaming at all.