Audio-visual collection

In this section


The Audio-visual section is located on the 2nd floor of the Library and contains DVDs and video cassettes, compact discs, vinyl and audio cassettes, as well as slides. School level material is kept in the School Practice Collection on the 1st floor.

Email audiovisual ( if you need help using the library's collections or if you need assistance in finding other audiovisual-related materials.

DVDs and video cassettes

There is a large collection of videocassettes and DVDs, including feature films and documentaries. Viewing facilities are available, including open access viewing rooms for groups and individuals. Films may be borrowed for 7 days (see Borrowing information).

There are also closed access collections kept at the help desk. Films labelled as DVD [helpdesk] can be borrowed for 7 days. Films labelled as Course Reference can only be borrowed by academic staff, but students can still request these films to watch in the library.

Audiovisual material cannot be borrowed by external users.

Off-air television recordings

It is often possible to obtain off-air recordings of television programmes from terrestrial television channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4) from approximately 1999 as long as the BUFVC's TRILT service can provide them. These are sent to us as DVDs, which we will then add to the library collections. If a programme has been broadcast since 2007, it is probably available on Box of Broadcasts. Contact the audiovisual librarian if you need recordings from TRILT or if you need assistance using Box of Broadcasts. It is not possible to obtain recordings from Sky or other paid-for channels, unless these have been released commercially.

Compact discs, vinyl and audio cassettes

The collection mainly consists of recordings of Western classical music, but there are also smaller collections of jazz, popular music, non-Western music, sound effects and off-air radio recordings. There are audio books available from the help desk. Listening and recording facilities are available and most items are available for loan. There is a collection of audiocassettes which includes Audio Arts collections, radio programmes and audio books. There are also music cassettes kept in the  on the 1st floor.

Curating our collections

Goldsmiths library has one of the largest film collections in any British university library. To highlight the depth of our collections, we've created boards on Pinterest. National cinemas are emphasised, complete with synopses and classmarks for each film.

Chinese cinema - starting with 1934's 'The Goddess' and ending with 2012's 'A Simple Life'.

French cinema - starting with the 1902 short 'A Trip to the Moon' and ending with 2012's multi-Oscar winning 'The Artist'.

German cinema - starting with 1913's 'The Student of Prague' and ending with 2012's 'Barbara'.

Latin American cinema - starting with 1950's 'Los Olvidados' and ending with 2012's 'A Useful Life'

Online audiovisual resources

There are numerous audiovisual resources available online that are useful for students. Some are available only to students in Higher Education. Others are publicly available. We've listed just a sample below. Most have been licensed for educational use, so they will be suitable for academic research.

Resources for Higher Education students only (may require log-in)

Academic Video Online

Includes videos on ethnography, opera and theatre for streaming, many can be found on the library catalogue

AP Archive

Features news footage from the Associated Press, searchable by themes, e.g. Vietnam War, 2008 US President elections

Arts on Film

Includes films on art produced in the UK since the 1950s

BFI InView

Offers a unique window on Britain's changing political, economic and social landscape in the age of film and television

Box of Broadcasts

This is an off-air recording radio and television service, providing an archive since 2006 of just about anything on British freeview radio and television

British Library Sounds

This is an extensive collection of unique sound recordings from all over the world, covering the entire range of recorded sound : music, drama and literature, oral history and more


BBC Northern Ireland's television news from the 1960s and 1970s
Independent Radio Run by the BUFVC, this features archives of independent local radio between 1973-1996

JISC Media Hub

This is the definitive academic video, image and audio resource‌, with a huge volume of material


Another BUFVC resource, this is a collection of short documentary films made in the British Commonwealth between 1962-1974

Publicly available resources (require no log-in)

BBC Archive

Provides themed collections of radio and television programmes since the 1930s, e.g. the work of Francis Bacon or the history of the Suffragette movement

BBC News Channel

This includes live news but also recent news stories from the BBC website. It's also possible to search the website for a topic and limit the results to audio or visual material

BFI Player

Featuring collections of contemporary and classic films. Most are paid-for, but some are free

British Council Film Collection

Includes 120 short documentaries from the 1940s, designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played

British Pathé

Features 90000 historic news clips on entertainment, fashion, music, politics, sport and more

BUFVC Moving Image Gateway

Contains 1200 websites on moving image and sound, divided by subject

Colonial Film

This website contains over 6000 films showing life during the British Empire


A website for artists, features artist film and video clips 

Moving History 

This is a guide to UK film and television archives in the public sector, including over 100 clips on various themes such as arts and culture, leisure, rural life and more

National Archives Public Information Films 

Featuring complete public information films between 1945-2006

Public Domain Review

A non-proft project showcasing interesting out of copyright works available online


This website is the definitive guide to British film and television history and includes clips