Finding Videorecordings and Spoken Word Recordings
NOTE: Video recordings can be browsed in the Dean Room in Uris Library. VHS and audio recordings can be requested from the Library Annex.
FINDING VIDEOTAPES AND VIDEODISKS (VHS, DVDs, VCDs)
Here are some simple strategies for finding videos using the "Classic Catalog":
If you know the title of the item, do a title search. Click on the "Basic Search" button, type in the title of the video in the search box, and press <enter>. Remember to omit the initial article (a, an, or the) when typing in the title.
Example: passage to india
Author searches also work well and will yield results for director, screenwriter, or actor names as well, since these names are considered authors by the library catalog. Click on the "Basic Search" button, click on the "Author" in the "Search by:" box, click in the search box, type in the author's name--last name first--in the search box, and press <enter>.
Examples: sarandon or scorsese
To find videos on a specific subject,
Add the word videorecording to a keyword search. Click on "Command Keyword" in the "Search by:" box, click in the search box, type the phrase below, and press <enter>.
Example in Command Keyword searching: india and videorecording
To find videos in a specific format,
Add DVD to a keyword search. Click on "Guided Keyword Search" and type DVD in the "Search by:" box. Choose "Notes" from the "Search In" drop down menu and press <enter>.
All the titles available on DVD with be displayed (around 4,000). You can limit your search by entering another search term in the second "Search by:" box--a country; a language; a word from the title; or the name of an actor, director, or screenwriter.
- To browse a list of certain kinds of videos, such as feature films, use a subject search that retrieves that kind of material. Click on the "Basic Search" button, click on "Subject Headings" in the "Search by:" box, click in the search box, type in one of the subject headings below, and press <enter>.
Example: feature films
Example: documentary films
Not all feature or documentary films are assigned these subject headings, however, so the results will not be complete. In addition, the results of these searches will include entries for books about films as well as the films themselves. Since this search produces a very long list, you may wish to combine terms using a command keyword search> For example, skey feature AND italy will produce a list of feature films about Italy regardless of format (DVD, VHS, etc.). Adding "skey" directs the catalog to look only in the subject fields for the words feature and italy.
FINDING SPOKEN WORD RECORDINGS ON AUDIO TAPES AND CDs
As with visual materials, the best way to find a sound recording may be a title or an author search. Author searches will find the names of readers or performers on a sound recording. Click on the "Basic Search" button, type the title in the search box, and press <enter>
Example: life on the mississippi
Note that the spoken audiotape version of Life on the Mississippi is indicated by the word "sound recording" following the title.
Author searches will find the names of readers or performers on a sound recording.
Example: begley, ed
To limit your search to spoken word recordings, click on the "Set Search Limits" button below the search box on any search page. In the "Format:" box on the Search Limits page, scroll down to "Nonmusical recording" and click on it to highlight it. Click on the "Set Limits" box. Using the Command Keyword search, type an author name, a word from the title, or a word describing your subject.
This search finds all spoken word recordings of Mark Twain's work.
Limiting your search to "Nonmusical recording" in the Search Limits page is the best way to find spoken word recordings. This search limit feature will work on keyword searches.
Return to the Seven Steps of the Research Process
Return to Guide to Library Research at Cornell
Last revised 12 August 2015 [RFK]
Thanks to Paul McMillin for his assistance in the original preparation of this information.
Research & Learning Services, Olin Library