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Film Studies: Researching early films

This guide is an introduction to the resources for Film Studies at Dartmouth. If you are interested in Television, see the separate research guide for Television.

Introduction

Except for Screen Studies Collection and International Index for the Performing Arts (IIPA), the other, online databases for film did not begin indexing film magazines and journals until the early 1970's.

Film indexes online

Using the Screen Studies Collections, you can search the American Film Institute (AFI) Catalog and the Film Index International  from the British Film Institute at the same time. Both catalogs include citations to industry and scholarly articles about the films. Most of the industry articles tend to be short blurbs, but were written at the time of filming. These bibliographies, whether short or long, are good starting places for finding information about the films.

Newspapers

  1. Major metropolitan newspapers are a good source for movie reviews and information.
  2. You can also limit your searching to "reviews" in most of this group of databases.
  3. These newspaper archives go back before the early days of film making them an excellent source of information for early filmmaking.

Other library resources

Reviews & articles for early films

These are books found mostly in Baker/Berry Reference. Depending on films researched, these books can provide you with many reviews for analysis.