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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 Subject Guide

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

New to the University?  Explore the Getting Started with the Library guide to learn all about the Library basics. 

Your Librarian at Exeter

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Nicola Nye

Library Liaison Team @ Cornwall

Get in touch for help and advice on making the most of your library resources or book a 1:1 appointment with a Librarian


Online tutorials

Key resources


Online video streaming platform. Content includes classic cinema, indie film and documentaries. Films are discoverable via Library Search.

Box of Broadcasts

An online service for off-air recording, media streaming and archiving of TV and radio programmes from all scheduled free to air broadcast channels. BoB provides a facility for recording, creating clips and playlists of programmes.

Screen Studies Collection

Survey of current publications related to film scholarship, and including the American Film Institute Catalog, Film Index International and FIAF databases.

Bloomsbury Screen Studies

Screen Studies is a dynamic digital platform taking users from script to screen and beyond – offering a broad range of content from Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber and the British Film Institute to support moving-image studies.

Where to start your search

Library Search

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Search across the print and online collections for books, chapters, articles, journals and lots more. 

For more in depth research in databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

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:

AFI Catalog
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.​

 Use the comprehensive Screen Studies LibGuide for support and training.

The databases below provide academic sources of information including  journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports etc. They are multi-disciplinary in scope and index the global literature on a subject.


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.

Use the A to Z Databases 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 Library Guides available for these and other subject disciplines.

Explore the full A to Z Database list:


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 have online access to hundreds of online books.  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, BFI Player and Box of Broadcasts.

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. 

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.

Access collections of archival film footage from these resources:

The University has access to an extensive range of online primary source materials. These contain digitised copies of documents, letters, books, photographs and other primary sources. 

The Primary Sources Libguide will help you identify the best databases for your research. As we have over 550 Primary Source collections, the collections have been categorised by Country, Time Period and Theme so that you can quickly find the most relevant collections for your research.

                            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.

The museum has one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain, including 18th century optical media, prints and visual material.

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

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:

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

Study 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.

Dissertation students

If you are a dissertation student, at some point in your research, you may need to access resources held outside of the university library collections.

The library offers a number of services to help you access these materials. Find out more by exploring the guides below.

Library and Archives Access Bursary 
(Financial help to visit other libraries and archives)

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