We’re going to start a new feature here on the Knowledge Center news blog that will periodically throw a spotlight on databases that are either new or otherwise interesting, and perhaps worthy of your attention. We’re kicking off this series by having a look at Alexander Street Press’s Filmakers Library Online*. Here’s some information from the vendor:
Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning 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.
The collection includes documentaries that are already heavily used in humanities and social science classrooms—films such as Who Killed Vincent Chin?; Aging Out: Teens Leaving Foster Care; Critical Condition; Dax’s Case: Who Should Decide?; Sound and Fury: The Communication Wars of the Deaf; and Waging a Living. A trove of content that would have taken immeasurable time to find and view in its entirety now is accessible and powerfully searchable through Alexander Street’s deep semantic indexing.
Internationally known producers represented in Filmakers Library Online include the National Film Board of Canada, KCTS/Seattle, and many others. Among the hundreds of notable independent film makers world-wide whose works comprise Filmakers Library Online are Christine Choy, Roger Weisberg, Josh Aronson, David Bradbury, Judith Gleason, Jeremy Levine & Landon Van Soest, Aaron Matthews, Jeffrey O’Connor, Tana Ross, and Taggart Siegel.
A couple of the features not mentioned here but that I like are: first, the ability to create video clips from larger videos, either for personal reasons or in order to share them with others (e.g., your class); second, the playlist feature, which again, allows for sharing.
With regards to sharing, the platform provides three visibility options (in addition to the option to simply not share at all): specific groups, everybody at your institution, or everyone with access to Filmakers Library Online. The upshot of this is that you can browse a growing collection of user-created playlists on sundry themes, in addition to featured lists curated by the experts at Alexander Street Press.
Even if you’ve had a look at Filmakers Library Online in the past, it’s worth checking in periodically in order to investigate new content, which in my experience, Alexander Street Press adds on a fairly regular basis. For example, on February 9, they added 46 new videos.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share them below or contact the library and research services desk.
* I actually inquired about the misspelling of the word “filmmaker”, and discovered that it’s just the trademark of the company from which Alexander Street purchases its content. I wasn’t the first to mention it.