Monday, November 05, 2007

Webcasts & Podcasts

Some of the best parts of going to a university is that you can listen to lectures by some of the greatest experts in the world. Sometimes these are lectures by the local faculty, but they also may be lectures by visiting experts. To hear these lectures just a few years, you had to be at the university and sitting in the right place at the right time. Today, it's completely different.

Many universities and other organizations are recording their public lectures and putting them online for others to watch for free. The topics range everywhere: from architects discussing the latest matters, to politics, to philosophy, popular culture and so on.

How do I find these webcasts and podcasts?

AUR has added some of these sites to its catalog. The easiest way to find these records is just to go to the main page of the catalog and click Webcasts & Podcasts. From these records, you can go to the sites selected by the AUR library. Many of them are from universities around the world (e.g. Harvard, the New School, MIT, etc.) but others are from scholarly institutions, such as The Royal Society in London, or the Library of Congress. Still others are from news organizations, such as Frontline, or from think tanks.

Unfortunately, AUR can only make these materials available at an institutional level, that is, it answers questions such as "What are the latest webcasts from Princeton University?" but if you want to search specific webcasts by subject or author, you should try University Channel and/or where they attempt to allow you to search for individual webcasts by subject or author. includes many materials that you have to pay for, but you can click on Freestuff at the top. These sites do not add all that AUR has added, however.

Finally, most of these lectures can be downloaded to an Ipod.