Western Libraries

Film Studies

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    The D.B. Weldon Library
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  • Film Indexes Online is a portal to three important film resources including:

    Film Index International (FII)
    The American Film Institute Catalog (AFI Catalog)
    FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals

    Film Indexes Online can be used to cross-search these three resources or to search the individual databases separately.

    This portal was created in partnership with three distinguished film research organizations, the British Film Institute, the American Film Institute, and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).

  • The Modern Languages Association (MLA) Bibliography dates from 1923 to the present. Searches can be limited, for example, to: film genres, film history, film noir, film periodicals or film theory and criticism. The MLA is a tremendous resource for film studies scholars.

  • The FLI online database contains citations to film, television and video articles, reviews and book reviews published in both scholarly and popular journals since 1976.
  • Database includes digitized cover-to-cover versions of nearly 30 major entertainment trade and consumer magazines including Billboard, Variety and Film Weekly.  Can be searched simultaneously with other ProQuest databases to find a wide range of information about all aspects of the entertainment and media industry.

  • The IIPA covers hundreds of international periodicals devoted to film and other performing arts. Many are full-text or link to other Western Libraries resources including Project Muse and JSTOR.


  • This essential resource covers Films, Directors, Actors, and Writers & Production Artists. In-depth entries are followed by extensive lists of books and articles on each topic. This four-volume set is in the Reference Collection at DBW reference PN1997.8 I57 2000.
  • Available in both print and online formats. 

  • This is described as an indispensable reference tool for the study of films and filmmaking. This edition covers areas as wide-ranging as digital cinema, direct-to-DVD, and polyphonic film, and includes numerous stills from classic and contemporary films.

  • This two volume set offers a variety of extended critical essays with topics ranging from film movements to directors. 
    DBW reference PN1993.45.C5

  • "Key Concepts in Cinema Studies is intentionally an in-depth glossary which, it is hoped, will provide students and teachers of film studies and other persons interested in cinema with a useful reference book on key theoretical terms and, where appropriate, the various debates surrounding them. The glossary also gives historical overviews of key genres, film theory and film movements."

  • A useful overview of women in cinema, each entry contains an analysis of the subject, a filmography, and secondary sources (i.e. further readings). You can find it at DBW reference PN1998.2.W66 1998.


  • Describes over 150 key genres, movements, theories and production terms. Includes A bibliography of essential writings in cinema studies.  Available in online and print formats. DBW reference PN1993.45.H36 2000..

  • The Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film covers film history, theoretical concepts, national cinemas and genres. There are also profiles of important figures and excellent reading lists for each entry. The four-volume set can be found at DBW reference PN 1993.45 S34 2007.
  • An online reference project from the Film Reference Centre, the Canadian Film Encyclopedia includes almost 500 film titles, biographical and subject entries, covering some of Canada's foremost historical and modern films and filmmakers.
  • This two-volume set includes essays about notable artists, writers, dramatists, architects, philosophers, anthropologists, scientists, sociologists, major political figures, composers, film-makers and many other culturally significant individuals from 1850 to the present. Examples of those who are include are: Woody Allen, Bob Marley, John Ruskin, Salman Rushdie, Julia Kristeva and Jacques Derrida. Each entry has a short bibliography and the volumes are thoroughly cross-referenced.

  • This work is an updated version of Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style which offers new perspectives on classic film noir and neo-noir films. A bibliography and a comprehensive index of both names and film titles are includes.

  • This comprehensive three volume work covers films and filmmakers, historical periods, national cinemas, production, and much more. Each detailed entry has a valuable list of "further readings". It is in the Reference Collection at D.B.W. Reference PN1995.9.D6E53 2006.

Primary Resources

  • This database contains more than 1,000 scripts for American Films since 1903. Each entry includes detailed, fielded information on the scenes, characters and people related to the script. Also included are includes facsimilie images for more than 500 of the screenplays.
  • Students and researchers in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities have access to hundreds of films through the Film Resource Centre located in University College,  Room 1.   Search for specific titles using the database that is linked on their web site.

  • Digitized materials from US and UK archives comprised of three sections: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic; Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks and Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment.

  • Microreproductions of pressbooks from United Artists 1919-49, Warner Brothers 1922-49 and Monogram Pictures 1937-46 available at DBW microfilm PN1993.5.U6C56 1988.  Click here for an online guide .

Web Sites

  • An invaluable Canadian resource, the NFB's site includes trailers, shorts, interviews, festival information, and links to many other resources including the YouTube Screening Room and Open Source Cinema.
  • View documentaries on demand and get information about a wide variety of other documentaries that are broadcast on CBC.
  • According to the Internet Archive, "This library contains thousands of digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts."  Subcategories in the collection include: Animations & Cartoons, Cultural & Academic Films, Ephemeral Films, and Movies (full featured films, as well as shorts). 

  • BFI

    Stream films and television shows from the British Film Institute's Archive.

  • Although this is a commercial site, it provides quick access to current movie reviews from newspapers and trade journals.