Audiovisual Resources at the VU Libraries: Home

Information about online audio and video databases and physical media collections available from the Vanderbilt Libraries.

Changes to Kanopy Streaming Service:

The Vanderbilt University Libraries have offered access to Kanopy, a streaming documentary and cinema database, since December of 2017. Effective Monday, February 3, 2020, we will be implementing some changes to Kanopy to control skyrocketing costs.

  • The VU Libraries will continue to offer instant access to the most popular Kanopy suppliers: Janus Films (the Criterion Collection), Kino Lorber, The Great Courses, A24, Cohen Film Collection, New Day Films, Oscilloscope Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Zeitgeist Films, Cinema Guild, and Film Movement, HBO Documentary Films, and Women Make Movies.
  • Videos from other suppliers will be moved to a mediated access model. When a user selects one of these videos, they will be prompted to fill out an online request form. If VU has access to the video through a different platform, the requestor will be directed to that content. Otherwise, we will make the title available in Kanopy within three (3) business days. All requests from faculty and students will be honored.
  • If you routinely use the same video content for your courses, it may be possible to purchase a 3-year license at a discount. Please contact your subject librarian to request a 3-year license.
  • If your current syllabus includes viewing a film in Kanopy from a supplier not mentioned above, please check that instant access is available at least 3 days before intended viewing.  

We recognize that Kanopy's content is valuable to Vanderbilt faculty and students, and this decision was made after extensive research by a library task force. Kanopy's business model is based on views per title. Once a title has been viewed four times (to count as a view, a title must be played for 30 seconds or more), the library is charged $150 to license that video for one calendar year. As Kanopy has become more popular, costs have soared. For example, the Kanopy invoice for January of 2018 was $3,300; in January of 2019, it was $12,000. Many other institutions (including Harvard and the New York Public Library) have also found these costs unsustainable and have either cut back or eliminated Kanopy. By making these changes, we hope to balance our fiscal responsibilities with our commitment to research, teaching, and learning.

Questions or concerns? Please contact Nancy Godleski, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Core Services.

Alternatives to Kanopy:

Kanopy is not the only option for streaming video! The following databases are excellent sources for news coverage, documentaries, and films. Discover our other databases and physical media collections by exploring the tabs on this guide.

Streaming Video Task Force: Final Report and Recommendations

For more complete information about why we are implementing changes to Kanopy, please read the full report.