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Film Studies Course Guides

This guide highlights relevant library resources for the courses taught in the Film & Media Studies department.


Documentary film combines nonfiction with an aesthetic aspiration.  This course will explore achievement in the documentary, raising issues about the influence of documentary upon political persuasion, historical memory, the status of film as evidence and its utility as a means of investigation.  We will look at films from a broad range of styles, viewpoints and eras, i.e., compilation, observational cinema, propaganda, social-issue, travelogue, interview, avant-garde, home movie, biography, newsreel, mock-documentary, and autobiography.  Documentary represents an alternative to the dominant entertainment cinema and, as such, frequently addresses controversial issues directly.

[Registrar, 9/12/2013]

Getting started

The links below are targeted searched for the history of documentaries. To find more or other resources, you can use the search box at the top of the page to search our discovery system.

Introductory readings

From the Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications:

Documentary films

Selected book titles

A selected list of documentary films

Almost all documentary films are located in the Jones Media Center on the second level of Berry Library.