Streaming media introduction and FAQs for courses

Tisch Library offers both digital and physical media titles. The library subscribes to many licensed streaming platforms. However, if there is a title or titles not currently licensed through the library, we are happy to check to see if we might be able to license media materials through other platforms. If we cannot license an electronic version, we will make a DVD or CD copy available on physical reserve at the library and post the information to your course Reading List in Canvas. 

Please see the FAQ below for additional information. If you have further questions, please email 

In addition, you can connect with your liaison librarian if you need more subject specific guidance about using streaming media in your teaching.  

Due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to digitize DVDs or CDs in our collection. If you are interested in digital access to a DVD or CD for your course, we can look into licensing a streaming version from one of the library’s platforms. 

Unfortunately, we cannot make an exception for virtual courses or remote learning. We are happy to look for a streaming license for the requested title. If we are not able to license a streaming version, we are happy to connect you with our subject librarians to help you consider alternative streaming titles.

All of your films or other audio-visual works should be available either through a licensed streaming platform, or owned by Tufts on DVD or CD. We do recommend sending a request for materials before each semester, since streaming licenses for films can lapse. 

You can learn more about finding films in our collection or contact with a list of required films, and we can let you know which films on your list will be available in DVD format only. 

  • Consider scheduling a weekly, optional recitation to your course prior to registration.  This may be most helpful for courses with higher enrollments and/or that require one or more films to be screened a week.  This will allow students to plan their time accordingly. Students who are not able to join the optional recitation will still be able to borrow the DVD on physical reserve in Tisch Library.  Scheduled recitations will have a room confirmed prior to the start of the semester.
  • Use Reserve Tufts to book ad-hoc screening sessions throughout the semester as needed.  This may be most helpful for courses that require fewer films to be screened and where there are only a few films available only as DVDs.  Arrange to borrow the DVD from Tisch for a screening. Ad-hoc recitations booked through Reserve Tufts can only be confirmed after the add deadline, one week into the semester, and are subject to room availability.  
  • Request Tisch Library purchase additional copies of the DVD.  Upon request, we can purchase extra copies of the DVD (1 per 25 students) to put on physical reserve; email 

  • Connect with your department’s liaison librarian to get suggestions for alternative films that we might be able to license.    
  • You can also browse our catalog or search through the streaming platforms we offer. See our guide to finding films in our collection to browse our catalog or search through the titles of the streaming platforms we offer. 

Tisch Library has DVD players that you can borrow from the front desk. We also have DVD kits for classroom use, and two DVD/Blu-ray viewing stations in the library. 

Commercial streaming video providers are set up for individual accounts only.  Institutional accounts are not offered to libraries or other academic institutions, so it is not possible for the library to license films only available via platforms like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, etc.

Unfortunately, sometimes streaming platforms may lose the rights to titles when distribution agreements expire so films come and go from third-party streaming platforms depending on negotiations outside of the library’s control. We do not always know when this will happen or if we are able to find the title on another streaming platform. We recommend checking in on content availability before each semester to ensure there have been no dramatic changes to your curriculum materials. As an alternative, we might already have the DVD in our collection to place on Reserves.