skip to page content | skip to main navigation
 Catalog and Search Tools  Research Help   Libraries and Collections  Services  How To ...  About SULAIR

Information Center
How Do I Find?
Research Quick Start Guides
Any Topic
Guide for PWR students
Abortion and Birth Control
African American Studies
Aging and Death
Asian American Studies
Biographical Information
Book Reviews
Chicano/Latino Studies
Children and Adolescence
Current Events
Elections (U.S.)
Encylopedias and Handbooks
Environmental Issues
Ethnic Identity in the United States
Family Studies
Film Studies
Human Rights and
Development Studies
Bisexual Studies
Literary Studies
Native American Studies
Public Opinion
Statistics A-Z
The Renaissance
Travel and Exploration Reference Books
U.S. History
Urban Studies
Women in History
Women in Society
Women Writers
Subject Specialist Directory
Humanities and Area Studies
Science and Engineering
Social Sciences
Research Subjects A-Z
Reference Shelf

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly     

Research Quick Start Guides

Film Studies

Guides to Information | Encyclopedias | Dictionaries | Biographical Sources | Indexes | Film Criticism--Compendia | Film Criticism--Bibliographies & Indexes | Internet

This is only a partial list of the reference works at Green devoted to this subject. To find others browse the call numbers PN1993-PN1998.2 and Z5784 in the Information Center (IC) located on the 1st floor of Green East and the Humanities and Area Studies Resource Center, Lane Room (HASRC) located on the 2nd floor of Green West Bing Wing.

Guides to Information and Research Methods

Guides to Information and Research Methods help you get started.

Handbook of American Popular Culture, 2nd ed. (Green Library Information Center E169.1.H2643 1989) vol. 1, pp. 445-474 cover film research.

Women in Popular Culture: A Reference Guide (Green Library Information Center HQ1426.F685 1982) pp. 136-154 "Women in Film" discusses research and lists important works. Also try the periodical Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory (Green Library Stacks PN1995.9.W6C5; latest in Current Periodicals and GenderWatch and Project Muse (2000+) on the Web).

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, etc.

Encyclopedias, handbooks, etc. provide useful information, overviews and recommended reading.


The Oxford History of World Cinema, 1996 (Green Library Information Center Ready Reference PN1993.5.A1O96) Written by an international team of noted film historians, this work covers all aspects of the history of film--"its development, stars, studios, and cultural impact." Includes a bibliography and detailed index.

Cinema Year by Year, 1894-2000 (Green Library HASRC PN1993.5 .A1 C56 2000 F) includes many stills and posters.

Movie Time: A Chronology of Hollywood and the Movie Industry from It's Beginnings to the Present (Green Library Information Center PN1993.5.U6B687 1995) includes a bibliography and index.

The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry (Green Library Information Center PN1993.5.U6S539 1998) "a dictionary of American producing and releasing companies, technological innovations, film series, industry terms, studios, genres, and organizations." Short bibliographies.

The Encyclopedia of Hollywood (Green Library HASRC PN1993.5.U6S494 1990) a "history of the American film industry in encyclopedic form." Includes a selected bibliography and index at the back of the volume.


The American Film Institute Desk Reference (Green Library Information Center PN1994 .A599 2002) includes "Movie History" chronology, "Movie Basics," "Movie Crafts," short biographical sketches of "People in Film," award winning movies and sources for further research.

International Motion Picture Almanac, annual (Green Library Information Center PN1993.3.I55) provides a wealth of information on films, actors (there is a large Who's Who section), and film companies. Includes statistics, lists of award winners, top grossing films--domestic & worldwide, and much more.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Green Library Information Center PN1997.8 .I58 1997)

  • Vol. 1: Films--"each entry provides full credits for the film, a comprehensive bibliography, and an expository essay from a specialist in the field."
  • Vol. 2: Directors--each entry includes "a brief biography, a complete filmography, a selected bibliography of works on and by the entrant, and an expository essay by a specialist in the field."
  • Vol. 3: Actors and Actresses--entries similar in
  • Vol. 4: Writers and Production Artists--entries similar in content to Vol. 2 & 3.

The Encyclopedia of American Independent Filmmaking (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45 .L63 2002) provides "information, perspective, and insight into historical, technical, aesthetic, practical, fiscal, and critical aspects of independent filmaking" in the 21st century and beyond.

The Film Encyclopedia (Green Library Information Center Ready Reference PN1993.45.K34 2001) emphasizes biographical and topical material.

The Academy Awards Index: The Complete Categorical and Chronological Record (Green Library Information Center PN1993.92.S53 1993) gives a brief history of the awards, the nominees and winners for each year, plus a selected bibliography.

International Films

Encyclopedia of European Cinema (Green Library Information Center PN1993.5.E8V56 1995) contains an overview, entries with "key factual points about a person, institution or critical concept, as well as areas of interest and debate," statistics on production, a bibliography and an index.

Foreign Film Guide (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.F67B4 1992) gives basic information, cast, and brief synopsis for over 2,000 foreign films.

The International Film Index, 1895-1990 (Green Library Information Center PN1998.G62 1991) provides "a comprehensive index to films by title and director on a worldwide basis." Also includes a bibliography of "major printed sources."

Variety International Film Guide, annual (Green Library Information Center PN1993.3.I544) covers a wide range of topics on film and film industry.

Guide to British Cinema (Green Library Information Center PN1993.5.G7 M327 2003)

Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (Green Library Information Center PN1993.5.I8 R2772 1999f)

A Guide to Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino-Made Film and Video (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9 .L37G85 1998)

Related works

Encyclopedia of American Studies (Green Library Information Center E169.1.E625 2001) contains "six separate but conceptually related articles " on various aspects of film & the film industry. Sizeable articles with bibliographies. Cross references to related articles.

Encyclopedia of American Social History (Green Library Information Center HN57.E58 1992) vol. 3, pp. 1819-1834 gives an overview of the history of film in the United States with a selected bibliography.

The Guide to United States Popular Culture (Green Library Information Center E169.1 .D399 2001) - alpabetically arranged articles of varying lengths on various aspects of popular culture with brief bibliographies and an index.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Green Library Information Center E169.1 .S764 2000) - medium length articles with lists for further reading.

Film Genre

Films by Genre (Green Library Information Center PN1998.L63 1993) "775 categories, styles, trends and movements defined" and filmographies.

A Guide to American Crime Films of the Forties and Fifties (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9.D4L35 1995) tries "to show how previous decades influenced the present crime films both in theme and content, and how these dramas generally reflect our culture, our laws, and our shifting attitudes toward crime and criminals." See also Gangster Films: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference to People, Films and Terms (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.G3S84 1996)

The BFI Companion to Horror (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9.H6B55 1996) "includes entries on actors, creative personnel, authors, historical figures, major themes, television series, radio shows, cliches, recurrent characters, sub-genres, properties, ephemera, and much else."

Hollywood Song: The Complete Film and Musical Companion (Green Library Information Center ML128.M7B65 1995) "includes data on songs from almost 7,000 American and foreign films." Vol. 1 & 2 list movies alphabetically, while vol. 3 contains a chronological list and indexes by personnel and song titles.

Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.L28Z36 1996) is an annotated guide with "critical commentary and sources for further reading and research."

The BFI Companion to the Western (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9.W4B45 1988) includes essays on the history of the Western, a "dictionary of people, places, events & ideas that shaped it," guide to the films & filmmakers, including TV westerns. See also The Western (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9.W4H37 1991) which gives an overview and chronological listing of westerns.

Film and Literature

The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film (Green Library Information Center PN1997.85 .T54 1998)

"Film and Literature" in vol. 38, pp. 97-226 of Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (Green Library Information PN771.T9) gives an overview and essays from various viewpoints.

Enser's Filmed Books and Plays (Green Library Information Center Z5784.M9B385 1993) "A list of books and plays from which films have been made 1928-1991."

Films into Books: An Analytical Bibliography of Film Novelizations, Movie, and TV Tie-Ins (Green Library Information Center Z1231.F4L37 1995) Starts with an examination of novelizations, followed by essays by 52 of the authors involved (including Isaac Asimov), plus bibliographies by title and author.

Diverse Groups

The Encyclopedia of Ethnic Groups in Hollywood (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9 .M56 M85 2003) divided into sections on African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, and Native Americans.

Blacks in American Films and Television: An Encyclopedia (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.N4B58 1988) gives profiles on actors as well as information about movies and television series. See also section on film and television (pp. 51-117) in Images of Blacks in American Culture (Green Library Information Center NX652.A37I43 1988), and vol. 2, pp. 960-970 in the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Green Library Information Center E185.E54 1996).

Blacks in Black and White: A Source Book on Black Films, 2nd ed. (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.N4S2 1995) documents "the all-Black cast films that were independently produced in the United States between 1910 and 1950."

Gays and Lesbians in Mainstream Cinema (Green Library Information Center PN 1995.9.H55P37 1993) "Plots, critiques, casts and credits for 272 theatrical and made-for-television Hollywood releases."

Hispanics in Hollywood : A Celebration of 100 Years in Film and Television (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9 .H47 R49 2000)

The Hispanic Image on the Silver Screen: An Interpretive Filmography from Silents into Sound, 1898-1935 (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.L37.R55 1992) entries include "a brief scenario which details the film's Hispanic connection." The introduction provides an overview of the subject. See also Censorship and Hollywood's Hispanic Image: an Interpretive Filmography, 1936-1955 (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.L37.R53 1993) and Contemporary Hollywood's Negative Hispanic Image: An Interpretive Filmography, 1956-1993 (Green Library Information Center PN1995.9.L37R54 1994).

Jewish Film Directory (Green Library HASRC PN1995.9.J46J48 1992) "A guide to more than 1200 films of Jewish interest from 32 countries over 85 years."

Dictionaries & Glossaries

The Film Studies Dictionary (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45 .B53 2001) definitions

Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory (Green Library HASRC PN1993.45 .C75 2001) introduction to key concepts.

Filmmaker's Dictionary (Green Library HASRC PN1993.45 .S56 2000) definitions

Cinema Studies : The Key Concepts, 2nd ed. (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45 .H36 2000) "a comprehensive glossary of the main terms and concepts in film theory and film production."

Biographical Sources

See also sources listed above.

The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (Green Library Information Center PN1998.2 .T49 2002)

Women Film Directors: An International Bio-Critical Dictionary (Green Library Information Center PN1998.2.F67 1995) entries include "biographical information, critical essay, selected filmography, and selected bibliographic information."

Who's Who in Hollywood (Green Library HASRC PN1998.2.R34 1991) a guide "Within the A to Z format of this work are entries both of living players and deceased players."

Who's Who in the Movies (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45.H3 1999) very brief entries for a wide range of actors, directors, producers, writers, and others including animal stars.


Indexes (in paper and electronic formats) can help you identify articles in magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals and other resources. Those restricted to the Stanford community are marked with the icon. Choose the after a database name to see it's help. For other indexes see the Databases A-Z list on the Web.

Film Literature Index 1976-2001 on Web, (1973+ Green Library Information Center Z5784.M9F53) includes reviews of films (about a 1 year lag) and discussions of various topics related to films and television. Film reviews are about a year behind and are in section 1: "Films."

International Index to Film Periodicals (shelved on Green Library Information Center Z5784.M9I49)

Expanded Academic ASAP general index to over 1500 magazines with some fulltext. (1980+) This database includes full text of articles from Variety.

MLA Bibliography (1963+) literature, languages, and folklore. Paper volumes for 1921-1963 are shelved at Green Library Information Center Z7006.M64.

LexisNexis Academic - selected Lexis-Nexis files especially good for fulltext news, business, and law information. Limited to Stanford students, faculty, and staff.

British Humanities Index,1915+ (Green Library Information Center AI3.B7)

Humanities Abstracts (1974+ Green Library Information Center AI3.H8) Author/subject index to periodicals in fields such as area studies, folklore, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion & theology.

Film Criticism--Compendia

Compendia collect and print reviews.

Film Review Annual 1981+ (Green Library Information Center PN1995.F5) also cites film reviews in other sources.

Magill's Survey of Cinema:

  • Silent Films 1982 (Green Library Information Center PN1995.75.M33)
  • English Language Films First Series, 1980 (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45.M3)
  • English Language Films Second Series, 1981 (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45.M26)
  • Foreign Language Films 1985 (Green Library Information Center PN1993.45.M34)

All the above Magill publications are updated by:

  • Magill's Cinema Annual 1982+ (Green Library Information Center PN1993.3.M3) also cites film reviews in other sources.

New York Times Film Reviews, 1913+ (Green Library Information Center PN1995.N4) Current volumes covers 1985-1986. Volume 6 has a cumulative index for 1913-1968. See also New York Times Index (Green Library Information Center AI21.N44) under "Motion Pictures."

Variety Movie Guide (Green Library Information Center PN1995.V345 1991) "More than 5,000 Variety reviews from 1914 to the present [1991]."

Film Criticism--Bibliographies and Indexes

See also sources listed above.

Film Review Index vol. 1: 1882-1949; vol. 2: 1950-1985 (Green Library Information Center Z5784.M9.F513)

Index to Motion Pictures Reviewed by Variety, 1907-1980 (Green Library Information Center PN1995.A39 1982) Variety is on microfilm in the Media-Microtext Center (MFILM N.S. 1145)

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1901+ (Green Library Information Center AI3.R4) See heading "Motion Picture Reviews" See also Readers' Guide Retrospective (1963-1982)

Film Script Sources

Finding Film Scripts in SOCRATES:

a. Click on combined search
b. In the first search box, pull the first menu for search type down to
c. Input "scripts" as the search term
d. Search catalog.
(Just so your hopes don't get too high about this search, most of the
collections listed in this fashion do not have scripts past the 1960s.)

Web-based Script Sites:

Movie Scripts and Screenplays Web Ring Home Site


Howard Poteet, Published Radio, Television and Film Scripts. 1975. in Green Library Stacks: Z7223.s3.P68

Yale University's Guide for Searching Scripts:

Research Guide in Film Studies Yale University

The Delmar Daves Collection in Stanford Special Collections:

Stanford has an archival collection of movie scripts in the Delmer Daves collection (actual mss.), in Special Collections, but according to the finding aid, the date range only goes up to 1965. Here is a brief description of that collection:

Delmar Daves Collection Description

Internet Resources


Last modified: September 17, 2008

© Stanford University. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints
[an error occurred while processing this directive]