From Hollywood to Your Computer Screen: Developing a Teaching Collection of Major Motion Films

Over the last few years, the Library has been experimenting with licensing streaming videos. While we’ve received a lot of interest in streaming content, we’ve run into a number of obstacles in terms of unsustainable costs for this content and also restrictions around who could access the films we licensed. However, we are now moving forward with a new streaming approach for major motion pictures offered by one of the vendors we’ve been working Banner 3with, Swank Motion Pictures, that seems to represent a good balance between price and accessibility.

Swank Motion Pictures works with a large number of major studios, including Miramax, MGM, Touchstone, DreamWorks and Lionsgate (see full list at:

Films in this new streaming model can be viewed by any faculty, staff or student at DePaul University, either on campus or off. There are no limitations in terms of simultaneous users for this collection and Swank asks only that this collection not be advertised outside of the Library’s website, as it is intended to be a collection used for teaching and research rather than promoted as a source of pure recreation.

Our initial collection is based on requests that we have received from faculty over the last several years, as well as titles specifically requested for use this fall quarter. It includes a wide variety of films, including classics (Casablanca, A Raisin in the Sun, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Streetcar Named Desire, Vertigo…) and more contemporary titles (Moonrise Kingdom, Erin Brockovich,, Double Happiness…).

Here is a link to this new platform:

This particular set of films will be available until late August of 2016, and we hope that over the coming year we will be able to work with you to build and refine a large teaching collection of titles that will be available for you all moving forward. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for titles that we should consider including, if available, please email the E-Resources & Collections Assistant, Cynthia Petts (, with your ideas.

Please note that this currently uses the Silverlight plugin, which means that it does not work on Chrome which does not support any plugins. Swank plans to move from Silverlight to WideVine sometime this winter.


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