DB Trials 2010: Alexander Street Press

These trials expired April 30, 2010.

All access and pricing information has been removed.For more information use the sidebar to find current statewide database trials or to contact the trials manager.

View a complete product description, pricing, and vendor answers below:

1. Describe the database product(s). If you want us to link to more than one product, provide a unique description for each product. If there are special hardware or software requirements, please make sure you include them in the description.

American History in Video - American History in Video provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries. This release now provides 4,154 titles, with videos from new partners Newsreel Films and Documentary Educational Resources, additional PBS and The History Channel titles, archival footage from NASA and NARA, additional Universal Newsreel, and much more, equaling approximately 1,019 hours.

American History in Video has just been named a Booklist Editors' Choice: Reference Sources 2009 winner. The collection received a starred review in the November 15, 2009, issue of Booklist, which called it "highly recommended for any library that serves students of American history." Library Journal also gave the collection a rave review in the August 15, 2009, issue, calling it a full 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 with a rating of "resoundingly recommended."  The Charleston Advisor January 2010 issue raves “American History in Video is a valuable teaching tool and will save instructors and students alike valuable time pouring through unvetted Web content. Instead of searching through YouTube for relevant videos and wishing the audio were more intelligible, users can simply turn to AHIV.”
American History in Video gives students:

  • uniquely powerful browse and search capabilities enabled by Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing™
  • multiple points of access—browses, searches, thumbnail images, transcripts—allowing you to find your point of interest in hundreds of hours of video within seconds
  • synchronized, searchable transcripts
  • video clip-making tools
  • annotated playlists—you can make, annotate, and share playlists for course or individual use, and you can include links to materials or resources outside of the collection to make this your one-stop resource
  • high quality, licensed, in-copyright material plus newsreel and other valuable footage
  • the ability to create synchronized annotations and multi-media presentations
  • an embeddable video player and playlist for use on a class Web site, library home page, or an electronic syllabus—lets you drive usage and deliver content to users where and when they need it without instructions or countless screens and clicks
  • streaming, quickly accessible online video at 400 and 800 kbps with no delays and no special equipment (just Flash and a browser)
  • Open URL compliance

The only software requirement for accessing the videos in American History in Video is a Flash Player, which is usually already on most systems but can be easily installed in seconds.


American History in Video enables students to achieve proficiency in each of the Social Studies Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) for Washington State.  There are many examples we can give for each – below are examples that show how valuable this resource can be for achieving each High School Social Studies CBA in ways a text based resource cannot achieve.  Each incorporates a customized playlist any user can create in the collection.

1.  Technology Through the Ages:  We have dozens of titles tracking technologies and changes in technologies, including titles about the technologies of communication, hunting, warfare and the military, Native Americans, law and order, trains and transportation, specific events like the Apollo launches and Hiroshima, archival films showing how televisions and vinyl records were made, and more. In addition, newsreel footage over several decades highlights changes in technologies by covering what's current, like the development of atomic energy, automobiles, and aviation; public affairs footage also has contemporaneous experts talking about technological advances and issues. A great video example to showcase technology through the Ages – “The Electronic Battlefield” History Channel http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com/View/524024

2.  Cultural Interactions:  American History in Video has many titles that highlight cultural interactions. Some examples include Indian Self-Rule, which focuses on the history of Native American relations from 19th century to modern era.  We have an extensive listing of civil rights era material, including Beyond the Color Line, which visits four different regions in the United States to trace and discuss changes in race relations and life for African-Americans.  A specific example of a video that illustrates cultural interactions is “Off the Pig” from the Black Panther Party Library/Newsreel films  http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com/View/748844 .  We also have a playlist about Native Americans which features 12 videos and video clips: http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com/Playlists/329967

3. Causes of Conflict:    American History in Video has fantastic and extensive  Civil War coverage, including Ken Burns's PBS series. Altogether, AHIV videos illuminate causes of the Civil War, battle strategies, how battles were fought, the psychological effects of new technologies like photography (of casualties and battle scenes), the impact on different states and cultures, as well as geographic and political perspectives.   The database also has far reaching coverage of the causes of the Cold War and civil rights conflicts.  One of our featured playlists, 1945-1960:  The Post War Era highlights The Cold War, the Korean War, the implications of the Atomic Age, the Space Race, and McCarthyism and highlight how they impacted and fueled anxieties in America. This chronological playlist--drawn from newsreels, public affairs interviews, documentaries, and links to other authoritative web resources--showcases pivotal events, issues, people, and scenes and concerns of daily life during the post-war era in America.   http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com/Playlists/262904  The playlist includes 36 videos and 4 web pages, giving students a plethora of sources to cite in papers and learn from.

4.  Dig Deep:  With 4,154 titles and over 1,000 hours of streaming video, American History in Video provides students opportunity to do their own digging in a format that they’ll actually enjoy researching.  The CBA states “an evaluation of how three or more sources support the position on the historical question”.  Streaming video that is carefully curated to research American History provides students the options of finding original and more importantly credible primary and secondary source material to support their research projects.   For example this featured playlist by our American History in Video editor, Shana Wagger, compares depictions of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II: The 1942 United News newsreel and the 1943 War Relocation Authority's Challenge to Democracy are contemporaneous views from the US government's perspective. The 2003 "After Silence" presents a modern-day, longer term perspective, including a lengthy interview with Dr. Frank Kitamoto, who was 2 years old when his family entered the camp. Additional web resources include documents and images from the JARDA site, and personal letters written from the camps to a children's librarian, all of which provide perspectives through other primary sources. This playlist showcases how a playlist in American History in Video can encompass video and web pages and by adding a letter into the playlist, gives a first hand account of the era which is perfect primary source material for students. http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com/Playlists/254297   

2. Is remote access included in the subscription price? If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe them. What methods of remote access are supported? If applicable, please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.

Remote access and simultaneous user access is included in the subscription price.  We authenticate via IP/Proxy address/range, referring URL, library card, and username/password.

3. What customer training is provided, and at what cost? Please include "freebies" such as Web-based tutorials, end-user documentation tents, cheat-sheets, etc.

We have several excellent web-based user-aids including a video training demo free of charge on our website at http://www.alexanderstreet.com/resources.  

4. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation? In your reply, please include contact names (if applicable) or name of department, the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your support services. If you have toll-free access to these support centers, please make sure they are available here.

Robert Pucko is our Customer Service Manager and is available by phone at 800-889-5937 M-F 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  You can also email Bob at support@alexanderstreet.com   Susan Buczkowski, the Regional Sales Manager for Washington is also available M-F 8-6 Central Time to expedite technical support issues.

5. Please describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies in part or in whole with the guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia found at http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/webstats06.htm or the COUNTER Code of Practice found at http://www.projectcounter.org/code_practice.html.

Alexander Street Press usage statistics offer a number of COUNTER compliant elements, including sessions and searches. Some of our products (i.e. streaming video) do not neatly fall into COUNTER compliance categories, however, we provide statistics elements that mirror those as closely as feasible. At this time our reporting function merges three different COUNTER-based reports into a single output function, however this will be made more COUNTER compliant in the near future.

7. Please provide the name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) for libraries to make further inquires. (Sales representatives for our area are preferred.)

Susan Buczkowski
Regional Account Manager
Alexander Street Press
phone: 800-889-5937 x 224 (US and Canada)
phone: 708-524-5422 (direct)

Feedback We encourage your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please use our feedback form.

Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).