World History Documentaries

August 12, 2016
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“World History in Video is logically arranged, easily maneuvered through and seamlessly presented to provide students, faculty and scholars an opportunity to view a truly global representation of the world’s historical events.” –Reference Reviews

“The thoroughness of coverage is commendable, and the treatment of historical events is balanced and insightful. . . Recommended.” –Library Media Connection

This online collection of streaming video will give faculty, students, and history lovers access to more than 1, 750 important, critically acclaimed documentaries from filmmakers worldwide. A rich survey of human history from the earliest civilizations to the fall of the Berlin Wall, World History in Video is truly global in scope, covering Africa and the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. Its unparalleled geographical and chronological coverage delivers the sights, sounds, artifacts, and histories from around the world straight to your desktop.

Included in World History in Video are many of the documentaries most frequently used today in university-level classes teaching world history, ancient history, Western civilization, European history, regional history, and documentary film.

Documentaries are an extremely powerful teaching and research tool. They provide the best (and only!) video coverage of eras before video technology. They incorporate a wide variety of primary sources, including archival images, artifacts, documents—and in the modern era also interviews with key participants.

Documentaries can capture longer-term perspectives and multiple perspectives, so students can make connections across cultures and over time. Because they incorporate people, places, sights, sounds, and artifacts from around the world and across the centuries, documentaries recreate events—there’s no better way to understand events from the past than by “being there” through these films.

With World History in Video, researchers and students can search the films semantically—to trace similarities and differences, cause and effect, patterns of interaction and global themes.

Access points for research and discovery

  • Browse historical eras, time periods, historical events, places, political or cultural groups, people (including historians, speakers, filmmakers, and historical figures), themes, and topics. Look at the videos by filmmaker, country of origin, production date, producer, and other features. Or discover relevant content by clicking into the collection’s world map.
  • More than 15 combinable search fields let you cross-search all video transcripts, liner notes, bibliographic data (including producer, series, title, country of origin, publication date, narrator, production staff, and more), and many other indexed fields, including person discussed, year discussed, and all of the browse options listed above.

Functionality for scholarship and classroom use:

  • Synchronized, searchable transcripts run alongside each video. Move around in the transcripts and the video catches up to that location.
  • Rich playlist functionality lets users create and annotate clips, and then organize them into playlists, along with links to any other content on the Web.
  • Permanent URLs let you cite and share whole videos or your custom clips and playlists.
  • Supplemental full-text resources, including filmmaker biographies and discussion guides, accompany the videos.
  • Permissions for in-class, on-campus, and remote-access viewing are all included in the license terms.

Publication details

World History in Video is an online collection available to academic, public, and school libraries worldwide via subscription or one-time purchase of perpetual rights.

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