Alexander Street Announces Free Access to American History in Video through April | Alexander Street

Alexander Street Announces Free Access to American History in Video through April

March 31, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 31, 2010—Electronic publisher of educational and library reference resources Alexander Street Press today announced that one of its most popular online streaming video collections, American History in Video, will be freely accessible through the month of April at the URL

The collection, which was named both a 2009 Booklist Editor’s Choice selection and a 2009 Library Journal Best Reference, gives patrons at subscribing libraries access to a current total of more than 4,000 complete newsreels and documentaries from leading video providers, including PBS, The History Channel®, Bullfrog Films, California Newsreel, Media Rich Learning, and Documentary Educational Resources, among others. It will grow to include more than 5,000 video titles totaling more than 2,000 hours of footage.

Says Alexander Street president Stephen Rhind-Tutt, “American History in Video lets 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 quickly pinpoint and watch multiple instances of that footage alongside synchronized transcripts—in PBS and 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.”

Unique to the collection are the complete series of both United News and Universal Newsreel—content that is currently available in-full nowhere else online—and for rare, archival footage such as that from the Longines Chronoscope series. Also unique is the collection’s rich functionality for teaching and research.

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 for education and research 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.

American History in Video can be accessed online 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 and media contacts may request extended access to the collection by emailing mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com ( mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com) or phoning 703-212-8520 x116.
Contact Details
Meg Keller, Director of Marketing
Alexander Street Press
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-212-8520 x 116 / 202-641-7819 (mobile)
mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com (mkeller [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com)

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