This is the "Basic Resources for
Film & Film in History" page of the "Find Film Resources" guide.
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Find Film Resources   Tags: cinema, film and history, film studies  

Resources to find materials such as books and journal articles on topics in film/cinema.
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail AlertsShareThis

Basic Resources for Film & Film in History Print Page

What to use -- Article databases

Use these databases to locate articles on film topics.
It may be important to use search terms such as:
   film or cinem* or movies    
[Note in above: linking search terms with word -- or]

Note also that using the asterisk * will retrieve results with other forms of the word, i.e. cinema, cinematic, cinematographer.

  • SocINDEX with Full Text  Icon  Icon
    This social sciences database has some of the most extensive coverage of History journals. If you need articles on film in history this may be the best place.
  • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)  
      Icon  Icon
    The MLA Bibliography, while generally a tool to use for finding material about literature and language, also has very important coverage of the journal literature on film.
  • America: History & Life  
      Icon  Icon
    For articles in North American history, including topics in film history. Provides thoughtful, rich abstracts. Much full text available.
  • Academic Search Complete (multidisciplinary)  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Multidisciplinary database. Definitely a place to look for articles on film from many angles. But...since it covers so many fields of study your search may yield many results that are not related to what you want. Sift.
  • JSTOR  
    JSTOR has articles in full text from mostly scholarly journals. Most recent volumes of those journals are generally not available in JSTOR (but see ProjectMUSE). Use the advanced search tab. Consider limiting to jounals in the Film Studies area on the list. Use film related search terms and search terms that relate to specific films, directors, concepts.
  • Project MUSE Electronic Journals  Icon
    Many of the same journals found in JSTOR but only the recent few years not covered in JSTOR (all full text) .
    Use the Article Search tab. It may be best to search by "All Fields except text"

Links for locating films online

It is important when going to look for films for viewing and for study to search in the library catalog. Many of the films that you may want to use could be on the shelf in the library. However, there are also sources for online access to films and parts of films. • The UHCL subscription to Films on Demand, database; YouTube and Google's video search mode; The Library of Congress and others.

  • Films on Demand (multidisciplinary)  Icon
    A repository of film and television footage. Licensed to UHCL campus: You will need your library barcode to use it.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
    The largest and most comprehensive source on the Web for listings of films and the people who have made them. The IMDB is generally regarded as reliable for data (names, dates, times, etc.) about films. In the absence of access to an actual film this may be a source of basic data for discussion of films. It can also lead to film clips and related films to consider.
  • American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films  
    The AFI Catalog gives extensive descriptive information about American films (especially up to 1972), including summaries of films, listings of the people involved in making those films, crosslistings by subject.

    NOTE: ONLY covers films from the United States; mostly "feature films" at that. Mostly covers films from 1893-1972, but also a limited number of films from 1972-2007.

    For broader, more up-to-date basic listings beyond these restrictions it's still useful to use IMDB
  • is an award-winning website that provides film synopses, commentary, reference material, analysis, information on the greatest films, and memorable quotes and scenes. The database also provides an overview of film history, a survey of the Academy Awards, and film history milestones.

Where to look

Lots of projects may involve using studies of films, filmmakers, cinema history, as well as finding and using films themselves. Tools on this page help clarify what to do to find what you need.
Articles about film topics. Use several different UHCL journal databases. No one place is the right place to find what you need. The databases listed on the left are important. Databases in the social sciences, art (and film), humanities, literature, history, women's studies, multidisciplinary coverage, or even specialties such as education. They all have potential to support your paper.
Want articles from film-specific journals? Go to the Art Full Text and MLA Bibliography databases.
Want articles about film in culture and history? Go to several databases: SocINDEX; Academic Search Complete; JSTOR; ProjectMUSE; America History & Life; as well as Art Full Text and MLA.
Books on your topic. Use the library catalog, but also other powerful gateways to books such as:  • Google Books • Reference lists • Book review sources (see the database, Book Review Index Plus at left) • WorldCat database, which searches listings of books in thousands of ibraries.
Films available for study or for discussion in papers and class presentations. There are several places to locate actual films to use. Those include a UHCL database that makes films available for use at any time • (Films on Demand) • dvd (and videotape) copies of films in the library • a request form to request other films that the library does not have on hand • and films that are free on the Internet, often to be found through YouTube or Google video search.

On the Shelf at UHCL

Cover Art
How to read a film : movies, media, and beyond : art, technology, language, history, theory - James Monaco
Call Number: PN1994 .M59 2009
ISBN: 9780195321050

Cover Art
The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past - ed./ Peter C. Rollins
Call Number: PN1995.9.U64 C65 2003
ISBN: 023111222X
"...focuses on how Hollywood films have dealt with historical figures, places, and events from the silent era to the present day. ...filmographies, lists of pertinent films, discussions by noted film critics, cross-references, and bibliographies of relevant materials"

Cover Art
Cinema and Classical Texts: Apollo's New Light - Martin M. Winkler
Call Number: PN1995.3 .W56 2009
ISBN: 9780521518604

Cover Art
Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies - Carnes, Mark
Call Number: PN1995.9.H5P37 1995
ISBN: 0805037594
Publication Date: 1995



This guide was created by former Reference & Instruction librarian William Boatman.

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