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Audio, Video, and Image Databases: American History in Video

Tips on how to search the library's multimedia databases and incorporate them into your courses.

About this Database

An online collection of 4,848 titles including:

  • Documentaries
  • Newsreels
  • Archival footage
  • Public affairs footage

Documentaries from:

  • PBS
  • Bullfrog Films
  • The History Channel
  • A&E Network
  • Biography
  • Documentary Educational Resources
  • California Newsreel
  • Newsreel Films, etc.

American History in Video

While American History in Video is certainly useful for History classes, the broad range of subjects makes it suitable for use in many disciplines.

Political Science      Sociology      Science      Health      Religion      Speech

English      Mass communications      Art/Photography      Humanities      Music      etc.

Creating an Account

Create an account or profile if you want to save any clips or playlists for viewing later or sharing with students.

Click Sign in to save playlists/clips from the upper right corner

On the log in page, select the tab Create new account and complete the form.

However, you do not need to create an account to simply search/browse or view videos. 

Searching and Browsing

Browse Tips:

  • Browsing is a good way to explore all videos available.
  • Click on any access point in the BROWSE column on the left side of the page.  Browse by people, historical eras, titles, etc.
  • Expand an item by clicking on the + symbol.
  • You can sort your results by any column by clicking on that  column heading.
  • The numbers in parenthesis indicate the approximate number of video clips available.
  • Move the cursor over each title for summary information.

Search Tips:

Tip 1: Keep searches simple and specific.

Tip 2: Check your spelling, especially for names and places.

Tip 3: Word order, letter case, and punctuation are not important.

          For example, John Kennedy may be entered as Kennedy John

Tip 4: You can enter more than one term in each search box.

Viewing Videos and Transcripts

To watch a video, click on a video title, image, or play button in a browse or a search result list.

A full transcript is available for all videos!  Notice that video is synchronized with the transcript (follow the yellow highlighting).

You can search and/or navigate the video and/or transcript a number of ways. Each of these ways will jump you to the point of interest in the video and the transcript (when synchronized):

  • Slide the marker along the timeline below the video pane.
  • Search the transcript  using the Search box and click through the results.
  • Scroll through transcript and click anywhere in the transcript.
  • Click on the thumbnail icon belong the video pane and choose any image.

Making Clips

To create a clip, click the Clip (scissor) icon below the video pane. This will expand the screen and show all the clip-making features.

Enter a title in the "Clip title" text box. [Requried otherwise the clip will not be saved.]

There are a few ways to select portions of a video for your clip:

  • Type in the start and end times.
  • Move the green and red markers on the timeline to indicate the start and end of your clip.

You can annotate your clip with the “Notes” field.

Select your sharing option from the "Viewable by" dropdown menu: share your clips with everyone, with your class or institution only, or you can keep them private.

Select “Save” button.

You can play your clip, add it to a new or existing playlist, and embed/link the clip to a document or webpage.

Remember to sign in to save your playlists from session to session!

Creating Playlists

Playlists are collections of materials you group together and can be created by any user of the database. You can add whole videos, clips, and/or other items such as links to any URL. Playlists can be annotated, edited, copied, and shared.

Playlists can be used as lists of personal favorites, class viewing/listening assignments, or as a teaching resource for in-class use.

When you have found the item you want, choose Add to Playlist below the video pane.  

When you create a playlist, you can indicate who should see this playlist. Your options are:

  • Just me: This keeps your playlist private.
  • Everyone at my institution: This shares your playlist with anyone at LPC. This is a good option if you want to share a playlist with your class(es).
  • Everyone: Your playlist becomes public and anyone can see your playlist.

Remember to sign in to save your playlists from session to session!

Sharing or Embedding Links

To put a video, playlist, or clip in any document, website, or Canvas course, click on the Embed/Link <>icon.

A new window with a Permalink URL will appear. 

Copy and paste the Permalink URL to your document, website, or Bb course.


In Canvas, use the Link button to add the Permalink URL.

*Students and faculty accessing this link from off campus will be required to log in with their W# and library password.