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Research Guides

Motion Picture Arts

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ACMI Collection: Significant moving image collections in Australia.

American Indian Film Gallery: This collection contains over 450 non-fiction films that document Native lifeways from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, with a large concentration on peoples of the Southwest. The films range from a 1922 silent newsreel to recent footage of pow-wows and political meetings in 2011.

American Rhetoric: This site contains video, audio, and text of speeches and other media events. Among the collections are "Movie Speeches," "Obama Speeches,"  and a listing of what some scholars consider the top 100 American speeches.

American Silent Feature Film Database

Archive of American Television: A large database of interviews with important individuals in the history of television.

British Pathé & Reuters Historical Collection

C-SPAN: This site contains almost all C-SPAN programs since 1987.

European Film GatewayThe EFG Portal gives you quick access to hundreds of thousands of film historical documents as preserved in European film archives and cinémathèques.

EUScreen: This portal offers free online access to thousands of items of audiovisual heritage. It brings together clips that provide an insight into the social, cultural, political and economic events that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries.

Fed Flix: Features the best movies of the United States Government, from training films to history, from our national parks to the U.S. Fire Academy and the Postal Inspectors.

Film/AV Collections of International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Affiliates Online

Great Performances: Clips from PBS.

Library of Congress: Digital Moving Image Collections: From American Memory, 11 collections are featured such as America at Work/America at Leisure; Early Edison films; Variety Stage; Spanish-American War; Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire. Or view this collection by subject. 

Moving Image ArchiveThis library from the Internet Archive contains digital movies uploaded by users which range from classic full-length films to daily alternative news.

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia: Collection of Vintage Cinema.

Open Vault: Provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH.

Thanhouser Films Online: Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. is providing 56 films for streaming.


Explore wikipedia for key words and insights
Begin with quick search from the library page 
Filter by location. If there is a print book it will indicate call number.
This is good for keyword search of full-text ebooks
Browse indexes of some film history books (REF/791.43)
Columbia Women Film Pioneers Project provides a wealth of resources.
Times (of London) (good for historical and primary source)


US: William Dickson ("William Kennedy Laurie Dickson")/Thomas Edison/Latham Loop

France: Lumiere Brothers (Louis & Auguste )

France: George and Georgette Melies

France: Gaumont Studios and Alice Guy Blache (you may want to look at this also)

France: Pathe Freres

England: Birt Acres and RW Paul

Germany: Max & Emil Sklandowsky

Other Topics
Women Film Pioneers (from the Columbia Women Film Pioneers Project) Occupation
Eadweard Muybridge 
The Latham Family/Latham Loop (Otway, Gray, Woodville)
Thomas Armat
Edwin S. Porter
Herman Casler/American Mutoscope Company 


Dadasaheb Phalke (Father of Indian Cinema)
Fritz Lang

You can find three types of audiovisual recordings in the library:

- DVDs (academic library)
  The DVD collection is located next to the academic library copy machine. A librarian will assist you when you're ready to check out.

- Streaming databases (online catalog)
  For online listening, select the Sound & Video tab and enter keywords in the search box.

Books about motion picture arts can be found in the academic library. Look in the Dewey Decimal call number range of 790-791.53. 
For example, the book—

Astaire: a Biography, written by Tim Satchell, has the call number:


which means

791.4/   <-- Motion pictures, radio, television

092   <-- A biography

A852S   <-- About Fred Astaire (A852), by Satchell (S)

Books on stagecraft and scenery can be found in the theater section: Drama/Stagecraft

If you know the general subject you're interested in, follow the guides on the ends of the shelves to navigate the numbering system. If you know the specific title but not the call number, search ICACAT. If you need help at any time, don't hesitate to ask or email​

Screenplays can be found outside rooms 113-114.  Their call numbers start with 791.437, and they are organized by title.

Books on Film

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