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Film Studies: Hollywood and the Production Code

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.

Production Code Administration

The Production Code Administration (PCA) was responsible for ensuring that Hollywood complied with restrictions that existed then on the political, religious, social, economic, and sexual content of movies. The collection contains records on approximately 500 movies produced between 1930 and 1964. It chronicles the activities of the PCA in relation to films submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for approval. Records are arranged by film title and contain correspondence between representatives of the film studios, the PCA, and special interest groups; internal memoranda-of-record, news clippings, script extracts, song lyrics, film reviews, Code certificates, reports on foreign censorship, copies of advertisements and promotional materials, analysis charts, synopses, credit sheets, theater and book reviews, censor board reports and photographs of interest to the PCA (costumes, for instance). The collection serves numerous academic disciplines: Film Studies, American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Popular Culture, Women's studies, Cultural Studies, Literature. Related PSM and SR products include Gallup Looks at the Movies: Audience Research Report, 1940-1953; D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation; Warner Brothers Screenplays, 1930-1950; Film Daily & Film Daily Yearbook The Complete Collection, 1915-1970. [Gale-Thomson]

These reels contains files from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Production Code Administration documenting over forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry.

Thanks to a fellow librarian, Matt Bailey, at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, you can see which titles are on what reels. Click here to go to his Gould Guide.

You will need to page the microfilm from the Library Depository.

Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.