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A Film Studies Research Guide

History of the American Cinema

This decade-by-decade survey is a useful start for understanding historical trends in the U.S. film industry. Each volume is written by a leading scholar in the field.

Musser, Charles. The Emergence of Cinema: the American Screen to 1907. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.1
Online access

Bowser, Eileen. The Transformation of Cinema, 1907-1915. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.2
Online access

Koszarski, Richard. An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1928. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.3
Online access

Crafton, Donald. The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926-1931. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.4
Online access

Balio, Tino. Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930-1939. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.5
Online access

Schatz, Thomas. Boom and Bust: The American Cinema in the 1940s. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1997.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.6
Online access

Lev, Peter. Transforming the Screen, 1950-1959. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.7
Online access

Monaco, Paul. The Sixties, 1960-1969. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.8
Online access

Cook, David. Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2000.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.9
Online access

Prince, Stephen. A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under the Electronic Rainbow, 1980-1989. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2000.
Print call number: PN1993.5 .U6 H55 1990 V.10
Online access

Researching the Film Industry and Film Technology

1971 to the present This is an index to business magazines and journals for those researching the current film or television industry. It may include complete articles after 1991.

America: History and Life
1964 to present An index to journals dealing with the history of the United States and Canada only. A useful index for television, film and film industry research.

American Film Studios: A Historical Encyclopedia (1988)
Reference PN1993.5 .U6F45 1988

Brief histories of the studios. No bibliography or notes.

Applied Science and Technology Index (1958 to date)
Reference Z7913 .I7

This indexes journals in engineering and technology and is good for locating articles dealing with film, cameras and other apparatus, the industry, photography, theater design, and more recently, video and computer applications. . Prior to 1958, this title was called Industrial Arts Index (see below).

Business Periodicals Index (1958 to present)
Business Reference Z7164 .C81

Indexes for 1958-1978 are in the stacks. Business Periodicals Index was preceded by the Industrial Arts Index(1913-1957).

Business Source Complete (1984 to present)

Indexes a wide selection of business periodicals. Full text from 1990.

Cinema Treasures

A website devoted to movie theater preservation. Includes a database with listings of historic movie theaters around the country.  

Communication and Mass Media Complete
Provides indexing and some full text for journals in areas related to communication and mass media.

Publisher description: "Factiva lets you quickly search nearly 8,000 publications in 22 languages, including the world's most prestigious publications, local sources and the Reuters and Dow Jones newswires. In addition, is the exclusive archive of The Wall Street Journal."

History of Science and Technology (1976 to present)

Useful for the history of film and television technology.

Website description: "indieWIRE is the leading news, information, and social networking site for the international independent film community, including comprehensive coverage of indie, documentary and foreign language films, as well industry news, film festival reports, filmmaker interviews, and movie reviews."

Industrial Arts Index (1913-1957) Emory lacks 1920-21.
Z7913 .I7 (in storage)

This index covered many business publications as well as technical ones. For historical purposes, researchers should start with headings beginning "Moving Picture..." or "Moving Pictures...."

Major Film Periodicals for Media Research

MICFILM 4339 (126 reels)

Spanning 1915-1970, this microfilm set includes the trade journal Film Daily, the Film Daily Yearbook, and their predecessors. Along with Variety, a basic source of film industry coverage.

Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe  (ca. 1970 to present)

Supplies complete articles from over 2400 newspapers, general interest and business periodicals and legal publications. A good source for reviews, biographical information on living persons, and industry news.

The New American Film Industry: A Historical Dictionary (1998)
Reference PN1993.5 .U6S539 1998

This work contains articles on film companies and organizations as well as some technical subjects. Many articles have helpful bibliographies.

Variety (1905 to present)

This is the primary newspaper of the film industry. Emory has it back to the beginning on microfilm and daily issues are shelved in Current Periodicals. It is indexed by LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe but only back to 1993. Two other indexes are available: Variety Film Reviews and Variety Obituaries.

Wall Street Journal Historical (1885 to 1985)

Contains full text of all issues. For the Journal after 1985 use Factiva (Factiva operates only with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1 or higher and on Windows computers).

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