The library has over 50,000 videos on DVD, VHS, and LaserDisc and more than 100,000 streaming videos online. The collection is about 65% feature films and 35% documentaries. Its foreign language film holdings are particularly strong. Although training videos, language CDs, and audio books are popular, we have chosen not to collect them due to the difficulty in processing and providing access to them, and also, most of these items are readily available at public libraries and book stores.
By and large, the current collection has been built as a result of faculty and student requests, though the media librarian will also purchase videos that are rare, hard to find, or aligned with particular research interests at U.Va. We will gladly purchase relevant materials for curricular and research use. Just submit a purchase request.
The library purchases video materials in direct support of curricular needs across all disciplines represented at the University. We purchase most titles requested by faculty and many titles requested by students if needed for school. We also purchase materials that contribute to the broader study of media, including critically acclaimed titles, award winners, and films from specific studios and/or distributors.
Because the study of media necessarily includes everything from esoteric documentaries and period dramas to sitcoms and reality TV, the collection includes titles from a broad variety of genres (about 85% requested by faculty), which explains why the collection has titles ranging from Citizen Kane and Hostel to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Wire. Because a few seasons of a television show are usually enough to give scholars a sense of what the show is about, we often do not have an entire run of a television series.
The library is committed to supporting the use of video in teaching and learning at the University of Virginia. In addition to our extensive video collection and specialized viewing equipment and spaces, we offer a number of services to facilitate the use of the library’s video collections. Librarian Leigh Rockey is available to consult with faculty and students to help locate appropriate video content for a class or research project, purchase new content, plan screenings or film festivals, and offer assistance with technical and intellectual property issues.