Multimedia play button

April 16, 2018, by Katherine Beers

Multimedia collections in University of Nottingham Libraries

University of Nottingham Libraries has a wealth of free multimedia services that can be used by students and staff. If you just use YouTube or Netflix to find films or documentaries, then you’re missing out on valuable material that will both enlighten and entertain.

This post highlights 3 of these services:

  • DVD collection

  • Box of Broadcasts

  • Kanopy

DVD collection

We have DVDs in all the University’s libraries, but the vast majority are located in Hallward Short Loan. Most are movies, but there’s also an excellent range of documentaries. One of the benefits of using this format is that many of the discs will also contain ‘additional’ material that often helps you make sense of a movie or provides printed notes that offer useful background information. You can find them all through NUsearch (tip: add the term ‘videorecording’ to your search to find them).

At Hallward, DVDs are not on open shelves and the discs have to be requested at the Lending Desk. Moreover, as they are treated as Short Loan items, they can only be taken out for a few hours at a time. However, other libraries have different access and loan policies, so, if in doubt, always check with Library staff.

Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is iPlayer writ large! It’s a service that archives off-air recordings taken from free-to-air British radio and television channels. There are currently over 800,000 recordings dating back to 2007! So, if you missed Blue Planet 1 or want to catch up with Wolf Hall, you can find all the programmes on BoB. A big benefit of this service is that signed versions of programmes (where available) are also included.

BoB allows authenticated staff and students to record TV and radio programmes that are scheduled to be broadcast over the next seven days, as well as retrieving programmes from the last seven days from a selected list of recorded channels. Once recorded, the programme is archived and users receive a link enabling them to watch the streamed video file in a web page. It has a simple search engine.

Users are able to create and edit clips, search for programmes coming up in the next seven days by title or keyword, compile their favourite shows into playlists and share these with others. It can be used on any type of media, anywhere.

To learn more about BoB and licensing please visit our website.


Kanopy is a video streaming solution offering a “Netflix-like” user experience and a broad selection of over 26,000 documentaries, feature films and training videos from thousands of producers. Films and documentaries come from the Criterion Collection, PBS, HBO, California Newsreel, BBC, and many more. As the content is mostly American in origin, it will offer a different perspective on material found through BoB.

Kanopy provides a dedicated and customisable website for users to watch films any time, any where, on any device. Like BoB, users are able to create and edit clips, compile their favourite shows into playlists and share these with others and can be used on any type of media, anywhere. The majority of titles can be found by searching NUsearch (tip: add ‘Kanopy’ as a keyword to find them!).

To help you get started some of our vast multimedia collections, library advisors Mark Sutton, Philip Bellamy and Rupert Holman, have made a selection of Library staff film recommendations.

This blog post was authored by Mark Sutton, Philip Bellamy and Rupert Holman, Hallward Library Advisors.


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