This afternoon I received an email from a reader who was looking for some places that her students could download free videos to re-use in their own video projects. These are the sources that I recommended as a starting place.
The Internet Archive is the first place that comes to mind when I am asked for a source of Public Domain media. The Moving Image Archive within the Internet Archive is an index of more than 1.7 million video clips. Most of what you will find in the Moving Image Archive can be downloaded in a variety of file formats. You can search the archive by keyword or browse through the many categories and thematic collections in the archive.
The Public Domain Review is a website that features collections of images, books, essays, audio recordings, and films that are in the public domain. Choose any of the collections to search for materials according to date, style, genre, and rights. Directions for downloading and saving media is included along with each collection of media.
The National Parks Service offers a b-roll video gallery. The videos in the galleries are in the public domain. The b-roll video gallery can be searched by park, monument, building, or person. All of the videos can be downloaded. Some of the files are quite large so keep that in mind if your school has bandwidth limitations and you plan to have all of your students searching for videos at the same time.