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Boatwright Memorial Library

FILM STUDIES RESEARCH GUIDE: Finding Books & Ebooks

This guide outlines books, article databases and other sources to aid students and faculty researching a topic in Film Studies.

Finding Books & e-books

The library has an collection of books and e-books. Here are some useful call numbers to locate film studies books on the shelves and in the catalog:

  • Most of the books about film are located in the call number range PN 1993 through PN 1999.
  • Books about actors are located in the call number range PN 2285 through PN 2287
  • The library's Rare Book Room has a collection of 250 screenplays from Hollywood productions donated by the Virginia Screenwriters' Forum. Search the catalog for "Virginia Screenwriters' Forum Screenplay Collection" to see titles.

Searching by Subject Heading or Key Word

Searching the library catalog by key word or subject heading is an excellent way to narrow your search. Key words are "unofficial" terms which might show up in the catalog record, but are not "official" Library of Congress Subject Headings. You might do a search using key words like cinema and get results, but notice that this is not a subject heading- Motion pictures is the subject heading that is used as a standardized way of categorizing all books about film.

 

Here are some search tips for searching by subject heading:

  • Motion pictures - this is the subject heading used for all books about film, including film criticism, reference sources, and books about production.
  • [Genre] films - searching by specific genres will help you narrow your search, genres include Western filmsExperimental films, Silent films, or Documentary films.
  • [Topic] and motion pictures - If you are focusing on a specific topic, try searching by linking your topic to motion pictures, for example Feminism and motion pictures, Motion pictures and music, Motion pictures and literature.
  • [Topic] in motion pictures - To find resources about topics in motion pictures such as Death in motion pictures, Ecology in motion pictures, Emigration and immigration in motion pictures.
  • Motion pictures [country of origin/region] - Search for national cinemas for example Motion pictures China. In the catalog note the official subject heading will be Motion pictures -- China.
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