Media in the RMC
The Robertson Media Center (RMC) on the 3rd floor of Clemons Library has over 47,000 videos on DVD, VHS, and Laser Disc, 2000 spoken-word sound recordings on audio cassette and CD, and several hundred CD-ROMs. The video collection is about 65% feature films and 35% documentaries. The collection is particularly strong in Indian, Spanish, and German films, and to some extent Russian films. Although training videos, language CDs, or audio books are popular, we have chosen not to collect them because of the difficulty in processing and providing access to them, and because most of these items are readily available at public libraries and bookstores.
By and large, the current collection has been built as a result of faculty and student requests,though the media librarian will also purchase videos that are rare, hard to find, or aligned with particular research interests at U.Va. We will gladly purchase relevant materials for curricular and research use. Just submit a purchase request.
The RMC purchases video materials in direct support of curricular needs across all disciplines represented at the University. We purchase all titles requested by faculty, and most titles requested by students if they are needed for school. We also purchase materials that contribute to the broader study of media, including critically acclaimed titles, award winners, and films from specific studios and/or distributors.
In aligning our collection policy with the teaching and research needs of our faculty, we pay special attention to titles that cover such topics as (in no particular order): global media,comparative media studies, Latina/o media studies, American cinema and television history, feminist media, queer studies, sexuality, and race.
Because the study of media necessarily includes everything from esoteric documentaries and period dramas to sitcoms and reality TV, the collection includes titles from a broad variety genres (about 85% of which were requested by faculty) which explains why the collection has titles ranging from Citizen Kane and Hostel to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Wire. A note about television shows, because a few seasons of a television show are usually enough to give scholars a sense of what the show is about, we usually do not have an entire run of a television series.
Looking for Videos
Most videos can be searched for in VIRGO, the Library's online catalog. You can do a basic searchin Virgo or use theVIRGO video search. Once you find the video you're looking for, note its call number which will be something like "DVD02362" or "VHS11541." Note that the first few letters of the call number indicate what kind of format the video is in, DVD, VHS, or LD (for laser disc). The DVDs that are not on reserve are in the open browsing stacks in the Roberston Media Center (RMC) on the 3rd floor of Clemons. Reserve DVDs, VHS tapes, and laser discs are kept in the "Vault," a room behind the information desk on the 3rd floor.
Checking Out Videos
Unless an item is on reserve, most videos can be checked out. Students may check out two videos at a timeforseven days. Faculty may check out five videos at a time for seven days. Videos may be renewed once online. The video collection is only open toU.Va. students, faculty, and staff. Once you have the call number of the DVDs you're looking for, you can find them on the open browsing shelves. Reserve DVDs, VHS tapes, and laser discs are kept in the "Vault" so you'll need to ask for them by call number at the information desk.
Videos that you check out and take home with you can be returned at any library in the U.Va. library system. They'll be checked in at that library then sent back to the RMC.
The RMC provides viewing carrels with VCR's, disc players, audiotape players and headphones. We also offer four small group viewing rooms available to students, faculty or staff on a first-come, first-served basis. These rooms are for viewing Library video content only. We also have four media classrooms that may be reserved for instruction-related use.
Instructors may put a video on reserve for class, so that it shows up on the reserve reading list. Students must view reserve videos in the RMC. The instructor may reserve a media viewing room in the RMC or may take the video out to show in another classroom on Grounds. The Arts and Sciences Center for Instructional Technologies also supplies some equipment to classrooms in Old Cabell and New Cabell Hall.
The Streaming Collection
The Library provides access to around 2,300 streaming titles. Many of these titles can be viewed by anyone without regard to University affiliation, while others are for use by students, faculty and staff only, usually because of licensing restrictions. Many of our streaming videos, such as those from PBS, are made possible because of consortial purchasing among a number of Virginia libraries. In addition to the PBS streaming series the Library also provides access to the U.Va. Newsmakers series as well as a wide variety of instructional titles.
Finding Streaming Videos
Streaming videos can be searched in VIRGO, the Library’s online catalog, by limiting the “Format” facet on the left to “Streaming Video.” Regular title or keyword search strings will then retrieve only streaming videos.