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Film Studies

Resources for Film Studies at CWRU

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Article Databases

What Can I Do With This Database?

  1. You can find articles on topics related to film and television from a wide variety of sources.
  2. Subject coverage includes film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.  Indexing over 270 publications with full text for 70 of those publications, the database is good for finding both general interest and academic references.

Search Strategies:

  1. Using the familiar EBSCOhost platform, this database allows both simple keyword searching of the database, or more powerful interaction with subject headings and other index terms by following the More->Indexes link at the top of the page.
  2. If you are unsure what index term to use, begin with a simple keyword search, using the title of a film, name of a director or concept.  Then pay attention to subject headings you find in the full records that appear.
  3. If the full text is not included for a reference, remember to use the Find It button to help you locate a copy of the article.


What Can I Do With This Database?

  1. You can find articles on topics related to film and television from a wide variety of sources.
  2. Subject coverage includes film & television, music, radio, and the stage.
  3. One of the key features of this database is the inclusion of archival issues of Variety, a key entertainment industry trade publication.

Search Strategies:

  1. Using the familiar ProQuest platform, this database allows for simple and advanced keyword searching of the database.
  2. Choose a date range to limit your search to the exact time you wish to study.
  3. Select what type of material you would like to view whether that is an article, and advertisement, or an illustration or cartoon.

What Can I Do With This Database?

  1. You can find articles on topics related to the early film industry from one of the key publications of the silent-era.
  2. Subject coverage includes all aspects of the film industry from writing and cinematography to film music and actor bios.

Search Strategies:

  1. Search within the publication by using the search bar at the top of the home page or browse via "View all documents in this collection". Sort by "Oldest" or "Newest" in the drop-down menu provided or view the most Relevant hits.
  2. If you are unsure what keyword to use, begin with a simple search using the title of a film, name of a director, or concept. An example search for "Clara Bow" results in a variety of relevant issues of this publication. Click on an issue and then navigate through the pages by choosing one of the selected page numbers that displays the relevant search term. Search term hits are highlighted within the scan for easy recognition.

What Can I Do With These Databases?

  1. You can find specific films (VHS or DVD) within the Kelvin Smith Library media collections.
  2. You can find books or chapters of books related to film/TV studies, specific films, genres of film, specific directors or specific actors/actresses.

Search Strategies:

  1. Keyword and Subject Searching: There are subject headings assigned for film genre (example: Film Noir) or topical and geographic content of documentaries (example: Refugees -- Nepal). You can access these via keyword (word) searches or subject searches. In the course of searching, once you have identified standard subject headings (example: Western Films) you can click on the subject heading to perform a more precise search. These subject headings apply to books and actual films.
  2. Directors, actors/actresses, etc.: Usually important individuals associated with a film such as directors, actors/actresses, screenwriters, etc. are cataloged in the course of the cataloging of a film. These individuals are treated as a type of author and films associated with them can be accessed via an author search. If you find few or no entries for a specific person, also try a keyword (word) search on their name(s). This will retrieve items in which their name was not treated as an author, but they are mentioned somewhere in a bibliographic record. 

 What Can I Do With This Database?

  1. You can retrieve lists of American films created between 1893 and 1973 by: people associated with the films, film titles, film genre, names of characters in the film and topical/geographical subjects.
  2. You can retrieve detailed plot summaries of a given film and sometimes notes on the creation of the film based on contemporary sources.

Database Description: The AFI Catalog is a filmography of American films created between 1893-1973, with entries for additional years in progress. Staff at the American Film Institute provide detailed plot summaries and extensive topical/geographic subject headings for each film. 

Search Strategies:

  1. Select from a list: All of the indexes include a corresponding browse index, "select from a list", which you should use to confirm that your search term or phrase is actually indexed within the database.
  2. Based on index: The "based on" index gives you access to both titles and authors of works which have film adaptations.

What Can I Do With This Database? Find articles, books, chapters of books and dissertations related to film/TV studies, specific films, genres of film, specific directors or specific actors/actresses. OLinks provide links to full text when it is available. 

Database Description: The MLA (Modern Language Association) International Bibliography indexes the literature of modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics, 1963-present.

Search Strategies:

  1. Keyword and Subject Searching: This database doesn't include abstracts (best searched by keyword searching), but does include extensive subject indexing. Film titles, persons associated with a given film and genres of film are all treated as subjects and best searched using the "Subjects-All" index.
  2. Finding the Precise Subject Heading: In the Subjects-All index, search on the term or phrase you use (example: Film musical). Once you have a list of records, browse through them and look at the authorized subject headings (example: Musical film). Click on the authorized heading for more precise search results. 

Additional Research Databases of Use in Film Studies:

Nexis Uni: News of the Film/TV world

What Can I Do With This Database? Find full text of articles from newspapers and magazines from around the world published in the last decade or so.

Search Strategy: Because Nexis Uni indexes so many sources, the ability to choose which sources (whether they be broad groups or specific sources) can help in reducing the enormous number of records which many searches will retrieve. Under the "Advanced Search" note the tutorials available on the left -- specifically "Selecting Sources".

Subject Specific Research Databases:

Film/TV studies are intrinsically interdisciplinary and articles on film/TV can be found in the literature of many disciplines. Search within the Research Databases of a specific discipline to find articles related to film/TV and that discipline. Example: for those interested in women's studies and film, the database Women's Studies International may be useful.

Other Resources

Research Tools

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