Answered By: Darcy Gervasio
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2022     Views: 1893


Library's film collection shelves.

The film collection is on the First Floor next to the Reference Area.

The Academic Film Collection (films on DVD) is to the right of the Reference Desk, followed by films on Blu-Ray. The Popular Film Collection begins after the Academic Collection and Blu-Rays and wraps around on the shelves to the left of the Reference Desk.


Browsing DVDs

The DVD cases are shelved on the main floor of the Library, to the left and the right of the Reference Desk.

They are arranged in two collections:

  • Popular Collection, which can be checked out for 7 days
  • Academic Collection, which are used for academic courses and can be checked out for 4 hours and viewed in the Library.

Once you select the DVD(s) you want, bring the case(s) to the Circulation Desk to check out the disc(s). For more information about borrowing periods, fines for overdue films, and maximum number of DVDs that can be checked out at one time, please see Borrowing and Renewing.

DVDs are arranged by the accession number listed on the spine of the case. This represents the order in which the Library received a film, and does not solely represent "new releases."  Newly acquired DVDs will be at the end of either collection. 


Finding a particular film

You can search for specific films using the Library Discovery Search. There are several ways to limit your results only to films. Here is one method we recommend:

  1. Go to the Advanced Search
  2. Select "Books/Media @ Purchase" as your search scope
  3. Type your search terms into the first box. You can search by title, director/creator, etc.
  4. Change "Material Type" to Video/Film
  5. Click "Search" to load your results

Library Discovery Search advanced search page


The call number tells you whether the film is a Blu-ray, DVD, or VHS and which collection it is found in. Write down the full call number and retrieve the case from the shelf. (ex: "Available at Purchase College Popular Film Collection DVD 5603").


screenshot of Wonder Woman film in search results


VHS Tapes

If you're looking for a VHS (videocassette tape), please use the Library Discovery Search. VHS tapes will have a call number that starts with "Video-cass."  See the Circulation Desk to request a film on VHS by call number.


Blu-ray Films

The Library has a growing collection of blu-rays. See our FAQ on Finding Blu-rays.


Accessible Films & Streaming Video

To find films by genre, films with audio descriptions or closed captions, or streaming films, see the Film & Video page of the library website.


Viewing films in the Library

You can view most DVDs on any computer that has a disc drive, including all the PCs in the Library. The newer Macs in the DMZ commons may not have disc drives.

**You must use headphones when watching films in the Library.

We also have viewing rooms if you'd like to view a VHS or Blu-ray, or watch a film with one or two other people. For information on viewing DVDs from other regions, please see our FAQ on DVD regions.

academic film collection shelves

The Academic DVD Collection is located to the RIGHT of the Reference Desk as you come down the stairs.

Popular film collection shelves.

The Popular DVD Collection is located to the RIGHT (see photo at top of FAQ) AND LEFT of the Reference Desk.


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