Film Studies

Woman using film projector. Public Library History Files. State Library of North Carolina.

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research in film studies.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Charlotte Price
208G Lehman Hall

Welcome! This page highlights key electronic resources for conducting effective research in film studies. If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please use the link above to schedule a research consultation with me.

Reference Sources

Film Indexes Online searches Film Index International (British Film Institute), the FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals (international journals from 1972-present), and the AFI Catalog (American Film Institute) together.

Columbia's Film Language Glossary provides multimedia definitions of essential terms used in basic and advanced film courses that are representative of all the major categories of film studies.

The Women Film Pioneers Project is an online resource ,with overview articles and profiles about women who were silent era film directors, writers, camera operators, editors, costume designers, and more. The bibliographies offer a starting point for researching women in film.

Recommended Databases for Journal Articles and Reviews

Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text covers journal and magazine titles for film and television reviews, scholarly and critical analysis of cinema and television, and articles of popular interest about film and television

Humanities Full Text brings full text (starting 1995) plus abstracts and bibliographic indexes (starting 1984) of noted scholarly sources in the humanities, as well as lesser known specialized magazines.

International Index to the Performing Arts is a multidisciplinary index to the performing arts. Includes full-text.

Proquest Direct contains citations and fulltext articles from several thousand magazines, journals, newspapers, etc. covering many subjects in academic & professional disciplines

Or search multiple databases simultaneously:

Find Articles


Finding Books, Screenplays, and Media

Browse the stacks using the film call number range:  PN1993-1999

CLIO - Online catalog of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library.

WorldCat searches libraries worldwide.

American Film Scripts Online is an electronic resource with over 700 accurate and authorized versions of copyrighted screenplays, formatted in the conventional screenplay format.

CLIO Search Tip: There isn't a perfect search method for locating screenplays. In many cases, you can search the film's title and browse the results for a screenplay. For popular titles, it may be more effective to conduct an advanced search and exclude the keyword videorecording.

Media materials (DVDs, CDs) are available from the Media Collection on the 1st floor of the Barnard Library and from Butler Media Center.

If you want to work with television news clips, or full-length documentaries, historic films, or independent films online, you will find many great titles in our subscription databases. For example: 

The Vanderbilt Television News Archive provides access to broadcast recordings of television news from major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN), ranging from 1968 to present. 

Alexander Street Press has several collections of full length films and videos, including Silent Films, PBS Video, Ethnographic Films, and the PBS Video Collection. 

CLIO Search Tip: Conduct an advanced search and limit results to format: Visual Materials (videos, dvds, etc.) or use videorecording as a keyword.

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