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Film Studies Research Tools: Film Studies Research Tools

Learn About a Topic

Find overall background information on a topic by searching within a dictionary or an encyclopedia:
Credo Reference will search across hundreds of reliable resources.


Keyword search to find peer-reviewed articles on your topic.

Use the following tools to discover journal articles on your subjects:

  • Academic Search CompleteMultidisciplinary database of full-text articles from scholarly journals, magazines, government documents and other sources. Good starting place for basic coverage.
  • Central Index. Broad coverage of interdisciplinary journals and other material.
  • JSTOR. Articles from scholarly journals in the arts and sciences.
  • MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association International Bibliography).  NOTE: replaced by the Central Index database.
  • Project Muse. Articles from scholarly journals in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • Scopus. Discover citations with some full-text articles in science, medicine, technology, and the social sciences. Includes tracking by citation, and identifying high impact articles.

  • Multiple Database Search Tool: Use this tool if you know the exact title of an article, or if you are not sure which tool to use for interdisciplinary research.

Newspaper Reviews and Stories

On our News Resources page you can search  individual newspapers (New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.) or you can search across many newspapers at one time using the Newspaper Source database. These papers may contain reviews and related articles.

Other film reviews may be found using the box "Web Resources for Film Studies".

Video materials (DVDs or streaming)

Our Video web page allows you to search across our 6,000 DVD films and our streaming services. 

NOTE: The Library catalog search box (on that page) will search Films on Demand, but will NOT search the Academic Video Online video collection. Those materials must be searched by selecting the collection name Academic Video Online at the top of that column or by searching the direct link below.


Academic Video Online. More than 48,000 video titles spanning essential subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, history, music, film, and more.

Films on Demand. Streaming video database that offers over 20,000 titles, and covers a variety of academic subjects, from producers such as BBC, PBS, Meridian, National Geographic, and more. Links can be shared through email, integrated into Canvas, or viewed in the classroom.

Find Books and Videos

Expert opinions can be found in books: see our local book catalog for searching. You may want to expand your search to the I-Share state-wide catalog (using the drop-down option below the search box) or our electronic book page.

Some example subject headings for books about movies include:

  • Motion pictures--Production and direction
  • Cinematography
  • Motion picture authorship
  • Motion pictures--Art direction
  • Motion pictures--Editing
  • Motion pictures--Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Motion picture acting
  • Low budget motion pictures
  • Motion pictures--Marketing
  • Motion picture industry--United States--Finance
  • Motion pictures--Production and direction--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Television--Production and direction
  • Video recordings--Production and direction
  • Digital video--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Interactive multimedia
  • Multimedia systems
  • Motion picture producers and directors
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Screenwriters
  • Cinematographers
  • Comedians
  • Independent filmmakers
  • Women in the motion picture industry
  • Women motion picture producers and directors
  • African American motion picture producers and directors
  • African American motion picture actors and actresses
  • African American actors
  • Mexican Americans in the motion picture industry
  • Gay actors--United States
  • Gay motion picture actors and actresses
  • Women screenwriters

Web Resouces for Film Studies

We have selected a few portals to information about Film Studies from across the web:

Film Review Resources:

    For every film, we list the ratings of 15 prominent critics. Some are the usual suspects (e.g., Roger Ebert) but we also try to use critics from different parts of the country and from different media in order to give a more representative idea of the national Critical Consensus. Then, under the title Dueling Critics, we include two quotes, one from the critic who gave the film its highest rating and one from the critic who gave it its lowest rating.
    Reviews of current releases. "...One of the oldest and certainly the liveliest film and movie review destination on the Web! Founded in 1995 as The Movie Emporium, hosts more than 3,000 movie reviews and feature stories contributed by more than 20 active critics located throughout the country. Four of our contributors are members of the Online Film Critics Society, the Internet's most prestigious critics' group. Celebrities ranging from Owen Wilson to Russ Meyer, Val Kilmer, Mike Figgis, Christian Slater, John Woo, Mira Sorvino, John Singleton, Alicia Witt, Wes Anderson, Penelope Spheeris, Ice Cube, and Andie MacDowell have been interviewed on the site. We are based in San Francisco, with outposts in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, Austin, Charlotte, and Detroit.
  • Metacritic
    Compares reviews of current films between critics (with links to online text of reviews when available). Rating based on a weighted average of various individual reviews for that film.
  • Movie Review Query Engine
    Perhaps the best single search engine for locating full-text reviews online, including reviews in journals and newspapers, use groups, and other miscellanea. Depth of chronological coverage varies.
  • New York Times Movie Reviews
    Includes: archived Times reviews from the past 20 years, as well as a limited selection back to 1929; "Critic's Picks" recommendations from Times film critics Stephen Holden, Elvis Mitchell, and A.O. Scott; "Reader's Reviews" tool where users can rate movies, post their own reviews and view other readers' opinions' "News and Features" area with business and industry news from the Times; Movie Update newsletter, a free e-mail from with the latest reviews, new video releases and news from the Sunday Times; Extensive celebrity and production information from AMG's All Movie Guide; Weekend box office results from Nielsen EDI; National showtime database searchable by movie title or ZIP code.

Associations and Organizations

Selected Organizations and Associations for....

Film Scholarship, Criticism and Teaching

Association Française de Recherche sur l'histoire du Cinéma
French film historians and scholars association. Publishes the journal 1895 on film research, film history, methods and tools.

British Universities Film & Video Council
BUFVC promotes the production, study and use of moving image, sound and related media in higher education and research.

Society for Cinema & Media Studies
Devoted to the scholarly study of film, television, video and new media. Formerly the Society for Cinema Studies.

Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF) (International Federation of Film Archives)
Association of film archives, dedicated to rescuing film both as cultural heritage and historical documents.

Promotion, Preservation and Awards

A California organization devoted to advancing animation. It is a branch of the ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film D'Animation).

American Film Institute
Advancing and preserving the art of the moving image. Includes the AFI Conservatory, the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, and the AFI's National Center for Film and Video Preservation.

Broadcast Film Critics Association
The Broadcast Film Critics Association is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing 169 television, radio and online critics. Includes the Critics' Choice Awards, reviews of new releases, and more.

Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC)
CNC is a French regulatory, promotional and preservational organization for film.

International Documentary Association
Promoting nonfiction film and video, supporting documentary filmmakers, and sponsor of an annual documentary film festival.

Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International (FOCAL International)
International professional trade association representing film/audiovisual libraries, professional film researchers, producers and others working in the industry.

National Film Preservation Board (Library of Congress)
Includes the National Film Preservation Foundation, Moving Image Archives, National Film Registry, and information on preservation research.

U.S. National Film Registry
In 1988, the (United States) Library of Congress established the National Film Preservation Board, to preserve film deemed "culturally, historically, or esthetically important". Each year, the board selects 25 films to add to the National Film Registry. Herein is the complete list of those films so honoured to date.

Film Making and Film Industry

American Screenwriters Association (ASA)
Organization dedicated to the promotion of and encouragement of screenwriting as an art form.

Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
National association representing independent producers of diverse size and scope working in film, television, and multimedia.

Independent Film & Television Alliance
Formerly known as the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA), IFTA is the trade association for independent motion picture and television production and distribution companies.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford and dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival.

Other Film Industry Considerations

Affordable Film and Video Degrees analyzed government-collected data on the 5,000+ colleges and universities in the US to find the ones that are both financially accessible for low-income students and have a track record of positive student outcomes. The film and photography page, organized by state and subject, covers important accreditations, related disciplines, and career advice. 

Capturing and Using Discovered Materials

Zotero will help you capture, organize, manage, and cite your research. 

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