Free Streaming Video System Added to UM Libraries Databases

by Terri Robar and James Wargacki, Learning & Research Services

Kanopy is a video streaming platform for libraries with one of the largest and most unique collections in the world, featuring over 28,000 movies, documentaries, and indie and foreign films from over 800 producers including The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, California Newsreel, BBC, and PBS, as well as thousands of independent filmmakers. Hundreds of new films are added to the platform each month.

The collection includes indie hits like 2 Days in Paris, classic masterpieces like Day of the Dead and Bicycle Thieves, and award-winning documentaries like Hearts and Minds.




Kanopy’s motto is “thoughtful entertainment” – seeking to provide library patrons with access to films of unique social and cultural, not just entertainment, value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere.

Kanopy is also committed to diversity, with an amazing array of foreign language films and films on race, LGBTQ, and other topics. Kanopy’s films are also compatible for the hearing impaired (with captions and transcripts) and visually impaired (compatible with technologies such as JAWS).

The University of Miami Libraries have unlimited simultaneous access to all of these films, and the system is compatible with all kinds of devices and works with Windows or Mac. Users can access the content with the Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer web browsers. Free apps are available for both iOS and Android platforms.

One can set up a user account at no charge and have his or her own personal workspace. Set up playlists, check your recent viewing history, and use the tools available, which include clip-making and ratings/comments. You can even send comments directly to the filmmaker.

University of Miami students, faculty, and staff are welcome to view any of these films for their own use. Films can also be shown to any UM group including classes, clubs, and film nights at the residential colleges. Faculty may include titles in their course reserve lists with the Libraries, or otherwise assign them as homework to be viewed on the students’ own time.

University faculty can suggest additional films to be added to the database. If Kanopy can make a deal with the rights owner, they will alert the interested parties when the title is available. Please bear in mind that some film distributors may have already signed an exclusive agreement with another streaming company.

Kanopy is available at and is also on the Libraries’ list of databases.

For any questions about the Kanopy platform, please contact Learning and Research Services Librarian Terri Robar.