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Documentary Studies: Home

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Documentary Studies Resources at McFarlin Library

The Art of AmáliaThis guide is designed for the use of students interested in topics related to film and documentaries at The University of Tulsa. The purpose is to help you in getting started with your library research using McFarlin's resources. Click on the tabs above for information on locating particular types of materials, including books and journal articles.


The "Movies on DVD" tab will show you where in the building the DVDs and Blu-Rays are kept and how to locate the specific film you may be interested in viewing.  TU students may check out movies to view outside the library.

Sites for Watching Documentaries Free Online

1. hoopla: hoopla is a digital media service offered by the Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) that allows you to borrow movies and other digital material (including music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows) to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV! With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later. hoopla offers hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, with more being added daily.
NOTE: You must have a TCCL library card in order to use hoopla.  If you don't have one, apply for one here.

2. Crackle: Also a growing source for popular Hollywood films, Crackle boasts a small collection of acclaimed documentaries. Current selections include American MovieCrumb and Dogtown and Z-Boys.

3. The Documentary Network (on YouTube): With more than 25,000 subscribers and 3 million views, The Documentary Network is one of the leading film channels on YouTube. Each film is categorized by duration and given a description, rating and video source. You can also use the world map feature on its website to select films based on location.

4. The New York Times Documentaries and The New York Times Op-Docs: Grouped into channels that correlate with its print sections – International, Culture, Food, Travel – the Times’s video content covers every topic imaginable and includes several long-form original documentaries from all over the world. The opinion channel will lead you to Op-Docs, a collection of short, opinionated documentaries by independent filmmakers, described in the series’ trailer as controversial, provocative and passionate stories.

5. PBS: Browse through all of PBS’s documentary series for free, including POV, FRONTLINE, American Masters, American Experience, NOVA, Nature and Independent Lens on the PBS website or apps. Log in to create a watchlist for future viewing. 

6. SnagFilms: Launched in 2008, Indiewire’s parent company offers more than 10,000 free documentaries, each categorized and graded by users. The site’s “Just for You” feature can recommend films, and SnagFilms’s “filmanthropy” page exclusively lists activist documentaries — topics range from “Empowering Women” to “Building Community.”

7. VICE: What started 20 years ago as an edgy punk magazine has become a rapidly expanding media company with numerous video-producing platforms, including an Emmy-award-winning documentary series on HBO. In their documentaries, VICE has brought the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea, explored terrorist recruitment in Dagestan and traveled alongside ISIS through Iraq and Syria. VICE produces several videos a day, available for free on its website or YouTube channel, which has nearly 5 million subscribers.

Additional websites for documentaries