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Film Genres: Historical films

This guide highlights library resources for some of the more popular film genres.

A quick definition for historical films

A historical film is a fiction film showing past events or set within a historical period. This extensive genre shares territory with the biopic, costume drama, heritage film, and epic film.

Kuhn, A. and Westwell, G. (2012). "History film." In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 Dec. 2015

Finding library resources for historical films

The Jones Media Center has a collection of historical films for viewing. To find them, you can do a subject search for "historical films." To find books about historical films, look at the subject headings that contain "history and criticism." These books will discuss historical films in general or those produced in different countries. To find film resources on a specific person, you can do a subject search and add "drama" with your other search terms.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding articles & journals

Articles and other writings about movies can be found in many publications. We don't have any periodicals that look exclusively at historical films in our collections.  You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles.

Selected list of historical films

For more historical films, click here.

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 from the journals for which we have subscriptions.

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.