Streaming Audio and Video

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Reserves provides streaming audio and video services for University courses and special programs for faculty, graduate students and staff.  For help getting started, see our help pages or call us at the contact number listed below.   

Questions?  Contact Reserves at or by phone at 847-491-7681. Streaming Media FAQ

Request via Course Management System (Canvas and Blackboard): Submit requests through Course Reserves under Library Resources (see help for Blackboard or Canvas). If possible, please submit new request forms even for older items that have been previously streamed.

Delivery: Starting in Fall 2014, streaming video and audio is delivered through Library Media (see help for Canvas and Blackboard). Some items may still appear in Course Reserves, particularly older files, but this will be phased out.

Support Note: A library staff member may need to enroll in your course to provide support as needed. Canvas automatically will notify you that the staff is enrolled as "Instructor" but it is actually as the "Support" role. Library staff un-enroll when they have finished.  

Turnaround times

  • Video Streaming:  One week per title. If multiple titles are requested at a time, please allow an additional week for each additional title. 
  • Music/Audio Streaming:  1-25 tracks per week.  

Please note: requests should be submitted at least one week in advance and according turnaround times listed below.  If you plan to submit more than 10 titles in a quarter, that list should be given to Digital Collections as soon as possible and before the quarter begins. The beginning of every quarter is always the busiest time as we serve the entire university, Medical and Law schools included. 

Materials to stream

CDs, LPs, audio cassettes, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, DV tape (mini or DVCam) or laserdisc.


Warning concerning copyright restrictions

The Northwestern University Library respects the intellectual property rights of others. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish reproductions of copyrighted material. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. Requests for services are evaluated on this basis, and additional information about the use may be requested in order to determine whether one of the exemptions (typically those described in sections 107 or 108 of the copyright law) will authorize fulfilling it.