Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide

Audiovisual materials

How to search for films, tv-programs and sound clips.

How to find a known AV title

  • Go to our Catalogue
  • Enter several words from the title and hit Search, e.g.: Metropolis
  • Refine, using the filters on the left, with Resource Type = Audiovisual
  • If you do not see Audiovisual, then hit More options under Resource type

How to find AV material by subject in our Catalogue

  • Go to our Catalogue
  • Enter a subject, e.g.: “children therapy” and hit Search
  • Refine, using the filters on the left, with Resource Type = Audiovisual
  • If you do not see Audiovisual, then hit More options under Resource type

How to find streaming video databases

  • Go to our Catalogue
  • Hit Find Databases
  • Select the type: Streaming Video
  • Hit Search

How to find AV material by language in our Catalogue

  • Go to our Catalogue
  • Enter an asterisk [*] as search term in Any Field
  • Set Material Type to Audiovisual
  • Set Language to the language of your choice, e.g. Hindi
  • Hit Search

Online consultation
Many of our audiovisual resources are available in digital format. Students and staff of Leiden University can consult these resources from within or outside the university network via our Catalogue after signing in with their ULCN and password. For guests of the library many of our online resources are only available from within the library buildings. The UBL has computers available for this purpose, but you can also bring your own laptop or tablet.

Consultation of physical AV materials (DVD, CD, etc.)
Our collection also contains audio and video resources stored on DVD, CD, cassettes, etc. These materials can be located via the Catalogue and requested by clicking the button Availability under the title. An exception is made for AV resources from the Social and Behavioural Sciences Library where these materials can only be requested at the library desk.

Borrowing/consultation physical AV materials (DVD, CD, etc.)
Most DVDs, CDs and other physical available audiovisual materials, are not for loan. They are only available for consultation within the library. One can consult these materials in one of our libraries. Staff members of Leiden University form the exception: they are allowed to borrow these materials with a maximum loan period of 3 days.

For watching or listening to these materials, there is a special media room in the UB and Cinema Room Vos at the Asian Library. The Social and Behavioural Sciences Library also has a special room with equipment available.


  • The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision: collects, preserves and opens the Dutch audiovisual heritage. The collection contains more than 800.000 hours of radio, television and music. Most of this material can be requested against payment.

  • Schooltv: (in Dutch) tv programs for toddlers, preschoolers and students from primary and secondary education. Freely available in in streaming video.

  • NPO: radio and tv programs from the public broadcasting organization, live or recently broadcast via ‘Uitzending gemist’.

Documentaires Netherlands

  • NPODoc: collection of documentaries made by the public broadcast organizations.

  • IDFA.tv: documentaries that have been presented at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Free or available for a small fee.

  • Documentaire net: documentaries and  reports from the Netherlands and other countries. Freely available.

Historic material Netherlands

  • Het Geheugen van Nederland: image library maintained by the National Library. Contains digitized heritage materials from over a hundred organizations. Besides text and images it also contains video and audio materials.

  • Eye film database: (clips from) Dutch movies from around 1900 – 1930 presented on the website of Eye, the national film museum.

  • Fries Film Archief: contains more than a thousand films, among which a lot of historical material from individuals. Part of the collection is  available online through the search window at the homepage.


  • Moving Image Archive: this huge library contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users. Their subjects range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download.

  • YouTube: is a video-sharing website. The content includes video clips, TV clips, music videos, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

  • Vimeo: another video-sharing website in which users can upload, share and view videos, but with less advertisements than in YouTube.

Documentaries international

Historical materials international

  • EUscreen: online collection of TV programmes and other audiovisual material from European archives.

  • Europeana: this website contains information and links to cultural and scientific collections from the whole of Europe, among which more than 17.000 links to audiovisual material.

  • Historisch filmarchief van Pathé: YouTube channel, contains more than 85.000 historic news reports and documentaries from the 20th century.

  • AP Archive is the film and video archive of The Associated Press, the collection offers 1.7 million global news and entertainment video stories, which date back to 1895.

  • The British Movietone newsreel archive, offers fragments on Youtube spanning the period 1895 to 1986.

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