Alexander Street and A&E Television Networks Launch Online Collection American History in Video | Alexander Street

Alexander Street and A&E Television Networks Launch Online Collection American History in Video

April 9, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 9, 2009—Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press and A&E Television Networks (AETN) today announced the release of American History in Video, a new online resource designed to meet the needs of American history instructors and researchers at the college and university level with what will grow to be more than 5,000 cross-searchable titles in streaming video. The collection will include hundreds of documentaries from the HISTORY™, BIO™ and A&E® Network library, and will be the only online source for the complete series of both United News and Universal Newsreel. It will also contain a wide range of other rare archival and contemporaneous film.

Says Alexander Street president Stephen Rhind-Tutt, “American History in Video will let students and scholars experience and study history in ways that simply weren’t possible before. Watching as U.S. troops rush ashore at Normandy on D-Day is a powerful experience. Now you can pinpoint and watch multiple instances of that footage alongside synchronized transcripts—in AETN documentaries, in government and corporate-sponsored newsreels and other films—and then make clips and playlists of just the segments you want to go back to, put into course folders, or share, making the collection extraordinarily useful both for research and teaching.”

Says Andrew Wise, Vice President, Consumer Products at A&E Television Networks, “We chose to work with Alexander Street on this project because we were so impressed with the level of search functionality and technical features built into their video collections. At the heart of our mission are the related goals of making history more accessible and promoting history education. This collection lets us do both.”

The collection’s powerful search and browse capabilities are driven by Alexander Street’s trademarked Semantic Indexing, which uses extensive controlled vocabularies and more than 15 combinable search fields to help users find and analyze content. Search fields include historical event, era, date, place, historical figure, speaker, subject, video type, and years discussed. Users can quickly compare, for example, Kennedy’s rhetorical flair with Nixon’s, or find all on-film occurrences of civil disobedience in the southern United States prior to 1968, or all footage of Depression-era soup lines. Users can also tap the expertise of others by searching shared clips and playlists within a secure environment.

Technical features built into American History in Video include synchronized, searchable transcripts for every minute of footage; visual tables of contents that let the user quickly scan the content of each video; clip-making and sharing tools; permanent URLs that let users cite and share video of any length down to a second; an embeddable video player that lets libraries and instructors deliver video content to other users on secure Web site pages or via classroom sites; and playlists that let users organize clips and include links to any content (video or text) anywhere on the Web.
Says Rhind-Tutt, “This is the most ambitious video collection we’ve undertaken and the largest of its kind. As it grows, it will become even more powerful and useful for libraries and their patrons. American History in Video is a visual encyclopedia of American history, it’s a tremendous biographical resource, and it will give students, in particular, a visceral experience of history as it was lived.”

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About Alexander Street Press
Alexander Street Press is an electronic publisher of award-winning online collections in the humanities, social sciences, performing arts, and music. Since its beginnings in 2000, Alexander Street has developed a reputation for uniquely powerful search capabilities powered by Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing™ and for offering content not available anywhere else. Alexander Street collections are available to library and educational institutions via annual subscription or outright purchase of perpetual rights.

About A&E Television Networks
A&E Television Networks (AETN) is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. AETN is comprised of A&E Network®, History™, History International™, Bio™, The History Channel en español™, Military History Channel™, Crime & Investigation Network™, AETN International, A&E IndieFilms™ and AETN Consumer Products. AETN is a joint venture of The Hearst Corporation, Disney-ABC Television Group and NBC Universal.

American History in Video is openly accessible on the Web through April 30th at
After the open access period has ended, anyone may browse the collection for free, but accessing search or browse results will require authorization. Libraries or faculty needing trial access after the open access period may email sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

Learn more about American History in Video at

Reviewers, media contacts, libraries, and university faculty may request extended access to the collection by emailing Meg Keller at mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com ( mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com) or phoning 703-212-8520 x116 for a username and password.

Contact Details
Meg Keller, Director of Marketing
Alexander Street Press
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-212-8520 x 116
202-641-7819 (cell)
mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

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