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Film Studies Subject Guide: Online library support

Subject Guide - help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

Welcome to the Film Studies LibGuide

Use this Subject LibGuide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.

New to the University?  Explore the Library Induction to learn all about the Library basics. 

Where to start your search

Library Search

Search for textbooks, ebooks, journals, articles + more.

The Library Search LibGuide is available for guidance.

For a full selection of databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

Expand your searching

There are a wide range of online resources that will help you find books, journal articles, film and video and much more, to support your study and research.  Key resources are highlighted in the adjacent tabs.


Key Film Studies Databases

The following databases will help you discover material related to film studies. You have access to further resources via the Film Studies subject list area in the A-Z Databases list

This collection includes:

The American Film Institute's index to American films produced from 1893 to today. 

FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals Database
Index of international silent-era film holdings, a selection of Reference volumes and full-text of over 60 academic and popular film journals.

Film Index International
Index of films from over 170 countries, produced by the British Film Institute.

 The databases can be cross-searched all at once, or searched separately using the links above.‚Äč

 Use the comprehensive Screen Studies LibGuide for support and training.

Key Research Databases

Research databases index the global literature and provide references to journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports etc that match your search criteria. They help you to find information about previous publications in your research field.

The quick reference guide will provide you with a brief overview of the service. Use the Web of Science Training Videos to familiarize yourself with the service.

JSTOR provides access to scholarly book, journal and primary sources via an easy to use search interface.

Use the How to Search JSTOR LibGuide for an introduction to the service or take a look at JSTOR's Vimeo channel for educational and instructional videos. 

JSTOR holds content relevant to film studies.

The following video shows you how to use ebooks on the JSTOR service.

Use the Databases A-Z List to access all the resources available to you.

You can browse by subject e.g. Film Studies or type (e.g.maps, news, images etc.) or search to find your required resource.

You will also find LibGuides available for these and other subject disciplines.

  • TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).  

  • You can explore TED Talks related to the topic of film.

  • You'll find talks on all sorts of other topics too. The latest and most popular talks are available from the TED homepage.


You can use the following services to explore research materials available elsewhere

  • COPAC - exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of c.90 major UK and Irish libraries.

  • WorldCAT - search the collections of libraries in your community and tens of thousands more around the world.  

  • SUNCAT - is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK research community, a free tool to help researchers and librarians locate serials held in the UK.

  • The European Library - access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.

  • The Library of Congress -  catalog records for books, serials, manuscripts, maps, music, recordings, images, and electronic resources in the Library of Congress collections in the USA.

  • LibWeb - Access to a listing of online library catalogues worldwide

  • CORE - gives an incredibly fast search of the full-text of 80M open access research resources

I am looking for ...

You are likely to use a wide range of different types of information sources for your research.  As well as academic sources such as books and journal articles, you may want to use audio-visual sources such as film and sound or primary materials such as 3-dimensional objects, maps; ephemera etc.  Use the online support highlighted here to guide your searching.

These are just a few of the audio-visual databases that we subscribe to. You can see a fuller list in the A to Z database here.


Free resource:


The vast majority of our journal articles are available in digital format, although we do keep older print journals in the Forum Library.

Our journal databases may offer full text access or abstracts only, or sometimes a mixture of both.

  • Full text access allows you to view or download the entire journal article from that database.
  • Abstract only access provides a summary of the content of a journal article and in many cases, links out to full-text sources held digitally in our collections.

Many of our databases fully index their content, by organising them under various subjects. This helps ensure that all potentially relevant articles are captured when searches are carried out.

Use Library Search to find Journal Titles and articles that relate to your research/study area.

For targeted searching, select a research database and explore the published literature in your field. Key databases are flagged above.

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is located on the Streatham Campus and contains a wealth of moving image memorabilia from the 17th century to the present and is an important collection relating to the history of film and and moving image.

Click here to find out about the collections, visiting and more.

You have online access to hundreds of online books that cover art history and visual culture.  Use the Library Search to search by topic to discover relevant content.  Take a look at the following to give you an idea of how you can search and browse online books like these.

Print Books

The Forum Library print books are arranged in Dewey Decimal Classification order.  This means that books on similar topics are grouped together.  Find out more with our Classmarks  guide.  The majority of books on film related subjects will be found at number 791 in the library, for example:

Film Studies Classmarks in the Forum Library
791 Film and cinema, TV and radio
791.43 Film theory and criticism
791.437 Screenplays
791.44 Movies

Library Search will help you locate these materials.

Most of our film resources are available in digital format via databases such as Kanopy, MediaPlus, Box of Broadcasts and British Pathe (to name just  a few).

In addition, the Library has a collection of physical DVDs and videos that can be borrowed. For more information on how to search and access our film, DVDs and video collections, click here. 

Online tutorials

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 


As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:


You may like to take a look at:

Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of academic skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.

Academic Skills Support

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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