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Films & Videos at Colby: Streaming

2020-2021 Academic Year

Need a streamed film for a course? (The library will have no physical reserves.)

  1. Check to see if a title is already available via Colby licensed streaming (first column).
  2. If not, you might also want to check the catalogs of some film vendors that are willing to license or sell to libraries (second column).
  3. Submit a Request a Purchase form for streams not already in CBBcat. Unfortunately, not all titles are available to us. Someone from Collections Management will contact you to discuss other options if we are unable to license or purchase a stream.

Streaming availability is complicated. Researching rights holders and arranging and negotiating a license can take time. Order streams at least two weeks in advance of need.

Colby Licensed Streaming

  Some titles are linked in CBBcat.

Search or browse our streaming databases listed below to find more Colby licensed streaming.


Documentaries, feature films (Sony Pictures Classics), shorts and historical footage. Create clip playlists. Embed into Moodle.

Or click on “Filter your results” (funnel icon) to browse or search by subject, people, publisher, date, language, etc. (Scroll down to see results.)


Features. Documentaries. Experimental film. Create clip playlists. Embed into Moodle.

An extensive streaming video library of classical music performances, opera, ballet, live concerts and documentaries.

Performance films.

Other Streaming Vendors

If a streamed film is not already licensed by Colby, check these vendors, which can sell us individual titles.

To request a film we don't have, submit a Colby Libraries Request a Purchase form.

Change the Type-of-Material drop-down to Streaming.

If you found the film on a vendor site, please include the link to the record.

Also include your reason for the request (e.g. reserves, class showing, date(s) needed and the course number.

If we are unable purchase a film, someone from the Collections Management team will be in touch regarding alternatives.

What We Can't Do

The Colby Libraries CANNOT license or purchase films from CONSUMER SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES such as Netflix, Hulu, the Criterion Channel, etc.

The Colby Libraries CANNOT rent or purchase films from CONSUMER VIDEO ON DEMAND (VOD) SERVICES such as Google Play, Amazon Video, etc. If faculty decide to assign students to rent access to these films on their own, JustWatch can provide guidance if and where they are available.

These services are designed for personal or home use only.

The Colby Libraries is NOT digitizing films from DVDs.


Other Tips

1. Search for free streaming on the web. Sometimes filmmakers put free streams on YouTube or Vimeo. Caution: Free streams may suddenly disappear. Does the stream appear to be authorized? Be wary of clicking on suspicious sites!

2. Search a title in Just Watch to see if there are inexpensive consumer VOD rentals that you could assign students to rent on their own.

3. Although we will not be able to have physical reserves at the library, you may wish to check out a DVD for your own use.

4. Netflix's terms of service stipulates that their films may only be used for personal or home use, however, there are a few exceptions. Search a title in the Netflix Media Center site and open a record  to see if a film has a "Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings." (Example: 13th) Note the limitations, including that the film can only be accessed by a Netflix account holder.

5. For film screenings that are not restricted to enrolled students in a Colby course, you will need to have public performance rights. Please see our PPR Guide for more information.

6. The Colby Libraries website and posts in ColbyNow will continue to have updates regarding circulation and lending policies.

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