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Streaming Content During COVID-19 Disruption

Options that can help you right now.

Increased Streaming Options (Limited Time)

The Purchase College Library has increased our offerings during this campus disruption thanks to the dedication of our vendor partners! Many of these opportunities are for a limited time. Please read the following carefully. 

So far, we have been able to meet all but a couple of film needs. This is excellent news but we know this is the tip of the iceberg. Requests must be placed with enough time for us to investigate options. Save time and effort by following our guidance:


Do NOT use videos from sites without proper captioning. Auto-generated captioning causes a host of barriers and faculty are responsible to check any content that is auto-generated. 

What about Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Criterion Channel, etc.?

Please use care when selecting items from vendors such as those above.

  • If students leave the country and go home, they may not be able to access the titles because of licensing restrictions.
  • These are not free services and our students are not expecting to incur additional costs
  • Accessibility might take a hit in that we don’t work directly with these vendors to ensure proper captioning, etc.
  • Trial periods are often very short (14 days is typical before costs begin to accrue). If you are determined to use such items and you are sure your students will have uninterrupted access, captioning, etc., we suggest you cluster all items together so that students can cancel the service if need be.

Use Discovery Search from Library Homepage

As a rule, if you know the title of the film, use our Discovery tool off the main homepage. You will be able to determine quickly which collection holds the content. Many of the requests we have received for kanopy, for example, are already available in Academic Video Online (AVON). If you google, however, you will be led to believe the title is only in kanopy. Use Discovery first!

Explore our Multimedia Guide

The Multimedia Guide not only breaks out the best databases for audio and video but has a tab for “more options” for faculty on the right. Please peruse these resources before wasting a lot of time on the internet sifting through reviews and other irrelevant info.

Westchester Library System (WLS) Cards

Purchase College Library partners with both the Purchase Free Library and with Harrison Public Library to offer Purchase College Students, Faculty and Staff Access to a Westchester Library System Card. We have long suggested that courses that depend heavily on films and documentaries utilize WLS to bolster exploration. WLS also has access to which has tutorials in a wide range of interests. 

Students, Faculty and Staff may apply for a WLS card during this COVID crisis no matter where they live. If you live in Westchester and your branch library is closed, you may now use Harrison Public as a home library. If you have any problems, please contact your subject liaison.

Big Box Office Films

Swank is a vendor we have long partnered with for big box office films. They can’t get every distributor, but it is worth asking. Swank is currently working closely with us to determine a low-cost temporary streaming license. Search Swank’s content catalog. If you see a title you would like to use for an assignment in your course, you need to email Rebecca Oling (include date needed, assignment, CRN, and Course name) and we will look into it for you. 

Women Make Movies (WMM)

For faculty who were planning on showing a WMM DVD in class and now cannot, WMM has worked with us and the library community to stream some of these titles FREE. We cannot guarantee that the title you wanted from our DVD collection is available with this offer. Your patience is appreciated. Email Rebecca Oling to request access. Be sure to place WMM in the subject line.

WMM is also having a virtual film festival in March. You can share the information with your students as well. Sign up for WMM Virtual Film Festival 2020 now.


As you are aware, our kanopy titles must now be requested and vetted. However, kanopy is offering some no-cost options for the next 30 days from content partners like First Run Features, Samuel Goldwyn, Collective Eye Films, FilmRise, Films We Like, Media Ed Foundation, , NYX and others. See their Free Film Guide.

Starting Monday, March 16th, all of kanopy’s Great Courses content will be available as well. 

We are working actively with kanopy to assess other needs. However, we encourage you to work from the Discovery search on our homepage and NOT through google or kanopy’s site as there is duplication in AVON and other sources we already license.

Opera Free Streaming

The Met announced Nightly Met Opera Streams during this crisis. The stream will be free and will present encores of The Met’s acclaimed Live in HD series. The performances will begin March 16th at 7:30 p.m. EST and will be available to stream for 20 hours. The first week’s schedule, outlined below, will be featuring timeless classics as Carmen, La Bohème, and La Traviata.

Also check out Wiener Staatsoper for opera and ballet beginning Sunday, March 15th.

HBO #StayHomeBoxOffice

On April 3, HBO launched free streaming with #StayHomeBoxOffice allowing use of the HBO app to see programs like @BallersHBO, Barry, @SiliconHBO, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Succession,True Blood, @VeepHBO, and The Wire as well as these @HBODocs:The Apollo, The Case Against Adnan Syed, Elvis Presley: The Searcher
The Inventor, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, I Love You, Now Die, McMillion$, True Justice
United Skates, We Are the Dream. Keep an eye out for more offerings. This is for the phone app and we do not believe it works with ROKU or Firestick or desktop.


Keep a lookout as many organizations like this offer free programming. Sign up for notifications of scheduled events from Seattle Symphony.

Also check out Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall.

More Opportunities Coming?

Vendors are aware of the situation and are working with the community the best they can. If you have streaming needs, please contact Rebecca Oling with specific details of what you need and include dates, etc. 

Please be patient and give us time to make arrangements for you and your students.