Video Collection

The Yale Film Archive's video collection now includes over 40,000 DVDs, over 5,000 Blu-ray discs, nearly 6,000 VHS tapes, and hundreds of LaserDiscs, with new titles added almost daily. It spans the history of cinema and includes work from over 160 countries. It also includes nearly 3,000 items from the field of television.


Please visit our Access & Circulation page for information on borrowing media from the video collection. Faculty are encouraged to visit our Curricular Support page for information on using Film Archive media to support Yale courses.

Using Yale Film Archive Media for Public Screenings

In conformance with copyright law, screenings advertised and/or open to the public are not permitted, unless Public Performance Rights (PPR) are included with the purchase of the item (indicated in the item record in the online catalog) or the exhibitor obtains PPR from the studio or distributor. Proof of public performance authorization must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Yale Film Archive prior to any public screening of Film Archive media. 

Examples of public screenings (for which PPR are required) include the following:

  • Screenings open to anyone other than a class's registered students/instructors
  • Screenings for meetings, conferences, symposia, programs, or other scholarly group events
  • Film festival/series screenings
  • Screenings by student organizations and interest groups

PPR are not required for:

Duplicating or Digitizing Yale Film Archive Material

In conformance with copyright law, it is unlawful to make digital or physical copies of any item in the Yale Film Archive collection. Click here for copyright guidance.

Video Collection Development Policy

Our collection development strategy is motivated by a desire to meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of all Yale students and faculty working with film. We strive to expand and strengthen our robust general collection, while also deepening the collection in key research areas in consultation with Yale faculty. We welcome purchase requests and inquiries about ways the Film Archive can support individual research interests. We try to fulfill as many purchase requests as possble, but in making purchasing decisions we must consider issues such as cost, licensing conflicts, purchasing challenges, technical considerations (including region and availability of subtitles), and anticipated usefulness to multiple patrons. Decisions regarding acquisitions are based primarily on academic needs, with priority given to current-year courses and active research projects.


  • The Film Archive actively collects DVD and Blu-ray formats.
  • We no longer acquire VHS tapes, LaserDiscs, or other legacy video formats (with very limited exceptions for course requirements).
  • Please see our Film Collection page for information on 35mm and 16mm prints.


  • Motion pictures (short and feature-length fiction films, documentaries, and experimental films, whether live-action or animated).
  • Select culturally- or historically-significant television series.
  • Select theatrical productions available on mass-market DVDs (primarily Shakespeare).


  • Television news or televised events (including sports and debates).
  • Operas (with the exception of operas directed by major filmmakers).
  • Ballets and most other dance productions.
  • Media installations and works intended for art museum collections.
  • Language instruction videos.
  • How-to videos in the arts, sciences, or other fields.
  • Short-form music videos and commercials (with rare exceptions).
  • Recordings of science demonstrations, legal proceedings, lectures, speeches, and events.
  • Books, journals, or other print materials.
  • CDs or other audio material.

If your interests fall outside our collecting areas, please contact the appropriate Yale University Library Subject Specialist. If you are unsure whether something meets our collecting areas, please ask.


Last modified: 
Monday, October 10, 2022 - 8:37am