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Fun & Functional: Fun

Here are some free and licensed resources that you have access to at the University of Michigan for both fun and for functional learning (or enrichment)

University of Michigan Resources

All these resources are for all University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) students, faculty and staff.  We will check and see about Flint and Dearborn communities - if the links do not work, please check and see available links from the Mardigian Library (Dearborn) and the Thompson Library (Flint).

Video Options from the University of Michigan

Resources from the University of Michigan Library

  • Library Digital Films Service - Streaming video resources provided by the library
  • All video databases from the University of Michigan Library (via Library Search)
  • Alexander Street Video - Thousands of streaming videos including documentaries, news and historical events, opera, dance and drama performances.
  • Kanopy Streaming VideoKanopy Streaming offers over 9,000 documentary and feature films from an array of producers and distributors, accessible by unlimited users.
  • Swank Digital Campus  - offers streaming of feature films and documentaries produced by major Hollywood and independent studios
  • Met Opera on Demand - Provides streaming access to more than 500 full-length Metropolitan Opera performances.
  • World Newsreels Online, 1929-1966 - "full run of newsreels on significant historical events from throughout the 20th century.  Includes the March of Time series, and selected videos from American History in Video and World History in Video, but adds new material from France, Japan, the Netherlands, and other countries throughout the world."
  • Feature Films for Education. With hundreds of full-length feature films, this high-interest collection focuses on both current and hard-to-find titles, including literary adaptations, blockbusters, classics, environmental titles, foreign films, social issues, animation studies, Academy Award® winners, and more. Predominantly 20th Century Fox films.
  • New World Cinema (Alexander Street Press) collection includes approximately 200 full-length films and 50 short films from leading independent distributors such as Kino, MK2, and First Run Features. All films were presented at major film festivals and many were nominees and/or winners of major awards.
  • Silent Film Online (Alexander Street Press) brings together films which together represent the basis of modern cinematic technique and film theory. The database covers silent features, serials, and shorts from the 1890s to the 1930s.
  • Sony Pictures Classics  -  About 300 Sony Pictures Classics films are available to stream through Alexander Street Press - View all channels to see Sony Pictures titles
  • World Cinema Collection – More than 485 classic and contemporary feature films from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States.   

Audio Options from the University of Michigan

Resources from the University of Michigan Library


  • Naxos Music Library - Naxos Music Library offers streaming audio of more than a million tracks of classical music covering all time periods.

  • Smithsonian Global Sound Streaming audio of 50,000 tracks of ethnic music from around the world, including the catalog of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

  • Digital Concert HallProvides streaming access to hundreds of concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic.

  • Monterey Jazz Festival Collection -  A database documenting nearly 9,000 jazz pieces, interviews, and other events representing over 1,000 hours of audio and video.

  • American Music - Provides streaming access to more than 600,000 audio tracks of American music. "Music Online: American Music is a history database that allows people to hear and feel the music from America's past. The database includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers and cowboys. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests and more."   

Fiction & Literature


Listing of English Language Fiction & Literature in University of Michigan databases. - Check these out for an amazing numbers of resources.

NoveList PlusContains information on over 260,000 fiction and readable nonfiction titles. Features lists of award-winning books, book discussion guides, Read-a-Like recommendations, and complete series information. Also includes reader ratings and reviews. Create your own reading wish list.  NoveList includes reviews from professionals (BooklistKirkusLibrary JournalPublishers WeeklySchool Library Journal), as well as from readers (via Goodreads).

Online Recreational Reading

Online Recreational Reading - Guide from the University of Michigan Library

Browse through the pages here to find popular fictionnon-fiction, and graphic novels to read online.

Access to the online books listed here is restricted to current students, faculty and staff at the University of Michigan. 

To find more online books, see the Finding and Using Electronic Books guide. You can also search the catalog and apply the "Available Online" filter. See Tips for Using Library Search for help.

Some Great Movies and Videos


PressReader provides a great newsstand of current news and magazine content.  "Access to issues from the last 90 days (or more) of over 7,000 newspapers & magazines from over 100 countries worldwide."


Cover April 10, 2020

National Geographic Virtual Library

Link to National Geographic Virtual Library

This comprehensive collection includes National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994, National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1995-Current, National Geographic: People, Animals, and the World, and National Geographic Kids.

From its founding in 1888, the National Geographic Society has grown into an organization synonymous with exploration, photography, maps, and rethinking the world as we know it. From the iconic National Geographic magazine to the popular National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic History magazines, there’s simply no substitute for the depth and quality National Geographic Virtual Library will bring to your library.


EBSCO Audiobooks - The EBSCO Audiobook Collection includes fiction and non-fiction downloadable, e-audio books.  The books are a mix of classics and current titles.  Although multiple users may access this database at the same time, each individual book can only be borrowed by one person at a time. The user can set the borrowing period from 1 to 21 days.  If a book is checked out, a user can add themselves to a hold list to be notified when the book is available again.