Finding film and video

About film and video

Film and video are audio-visual media created with moving images. They encompass a large range of sources, including:

  • feature films (movies made for theatrical viewing)
  • recordings of live performances and events (such as a lecture, concert or play)
  • TV broadcasts
  • news media
  • documentaries
  • interviews
  • advertisements
  • animations
  • YouTube clips
  • raw video footage (video recordings with no editing or filmmaking techniques)

This category does not include photography or audio recordings, which are created with similar equipment but are different media. 

How to search for film and video

Library catalogue

Search the Library catalogue to access a wide range of films and video content via streaming services, film databases and our large collection of DVDs.

If you are searching for a particular film, put the exact title in the Library catalogue search bar in quotation marks. You can also set the “Content type” filter on the left to “Video” to narrow your results.  

The search filters on the left also allow you to refine your results to those “Available online” or “Held at library” if you prefer to access the source in hard copy/DVD format.


If you cannot find the film or video by searching the Library catalogue, try searching in a database


In Google Search, you can limit the results to “Videos” in the options underneath the search bar, and filter the results by length, quality, and source under the “Tools” function. 

Using film and video

Films and video can be both primary and secondary sources in your research, depending on how they are used.

  • Films are primary sources in the discipline of Film Studies, which is the study of cinema and filmmaking techniques. They can also be secondary sources, such as using a biographical/historical film as a source for understanding or interpreting the past.

  • Documentaries and interviews, which are created for the purpose of presenting information and educating the viewer, can be secondary sources that help with your understanding of a topic. An interview would be primary source if you are researching the interviewee’s life or works. 

  • Video footage of historical events and/or live broadcasts can be used as primary sources. They would be secondary sources if they offer commentary or interpretation of these events.  

If you are using film or video in your research, consider whether it will serve as a primary or secondary source. This will direct your search to the most appropriate sources.   

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