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Film Studies: Searching for Articles and Books

Library resources for film studies at Connecticut College.

Where do I search for articles? Or for books?

There are numerous ways to search for books, as well as for articles that appear in scholarly journals — the publications that scholars use to undertake and communicate their research.

Let's start with the articles. Information about these articles is cataloged in databases, which are also called Indexes. These are online subscription search engines that give you information about articles. You can access the most relevant databases for film studies by using the links in the box at right. Also, you can get more tips on finding articles by clicking here (find the box labeled "How do I search for scholarly journal articles?").

On the library's home page, you'll find a box for OneSearch, which searches the library's holdings as well as additional article and outside content. If you start typing, you'll see that you're presented with a number of options, which include:

  • Search "Everything" — searches Connecticut College book and media holdings, article databases, and CTW (Trinity and Wesleyan) holdings
  • Search "ConnColl Books and Media" — searches only books and media (DVDs, CDs, etc.) that are held by Connecticut College
  • Search "CTW Books and Media" — searches books and media that are held by Conn, Trinity and Wesleya

There's also WorldCat, which is a "union catalog" — an index showing the contents of many public and academic libraries. This is a very useful tool when your project is very in-depth in a particular area.

For more help with finding books, you can click here (look at "Tips for Searching the Catalog").

Confused about any of this? Then why not schedule a research consultation with a film studies liaison librarian near you today?

Film-Related Databases

Additional Databases

These databases may be useful when thinking about films' social context:

Finding Film Reviews

Here are a few ways to find film reviews:

First, online:

  • Many film reviews are indexed on newspaper databases such as ProQuest Newspapers, which indexes national (e.g., New York Times) as well as more regional publications. The best way to find a review would be to search for the title of the film (in quotes), along with the word "review."You can also limit your search to reviews: first click "Document type" at right, then click "Review."
  • Another popular source for newspapers is Lexis Nexis, a wide-ranging database offering access to thousands of news, business, legal, medical and reference publications. As with ProQuest, you can find reviews simply by typing the name of the film, along with the word "review." You can then limit by publication type (e.g., "Newspapers") and/or by publication name.
  • You can find additional newspaper resources by clicking here.
  • Film & Television LIterature Index also has many film reviews. To find them, you can follow the advice given for ProQuest Newspapers. You can type in the name of the film in the search box and then choose "Entertainment Review" under "Document type."
  • The Web site Metacritic aggregates reviews of contemporary films and provides links. As does the site Rotten Tomatoes. As does the Movie Review Query Engine (MQRE).

And in print (all these sources are found in Shain's Reference Area):

  • Film Review Annual: This annual yearbook of films, listed alphabetically, reprints key reviews (from publications such as the Village Voice) and includes a quick index of additional reviews for each film. Call number: PN1995 F463
  • New York Times Film Reviews: Here you'll find reprints of film reviews, organized by year, that have appeared in the New York Times; coverage is from 1913 to 2000. Call number: PN1995 N4
  • Magill's Cinema Annual: An annual yearbook of films that includes a listing of key reviews along with a descriptive essay and credits. Coverage is from 1982 to present. Call number: PN1993.45 M3
  • Selected Film Criticism: This series of film review collections provide reprints of film reviews from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, and there's a volume dedicated to foreign films. Call number: PN1995 S426 1981
  • Film Review Index: This two-volume (1882–1949; 1950–1985) bibliography of film reviews provides listings of criticism that have appeared in major publications. Listings are alphabetical, by title. Call number: Z5784 M9 F513 1986