Film Index contain profiles on specific film titles, key figures in the film industry (directors, actors, composers, writers, etc.), and particular companies. You will find one record for the films unless there have been remakes of the work.
The AFI Catalog, the premier, authoritative resource of American film information, covers the history of American cinema comprehensively from 1893 to 1993, with full or short records for films from 1994-2015. New records are added each year by the AFI's editorial team.
Film Index International is produced in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) and provides in-depth indexing of over 125,000 films from the first silent movies to the latest blockbusters and biographical information for more than 900,000 personalities. It includes records on films from over 170 countries and has extensive coverage of international film awards and prizes. Its rich content also includes searchable plot summaries, full cast and crew lists as well as references to periodical articles on film and film-makers.
This digital collection contains a complete run of Academy Awards ceremony programs, posters, and rules books, as well as selected photographs and ephemera from the library's extensive holdings.
Explore the George Eastman Museum's collections online. More than a quarter of a million objects from the photography, technology, and George Eastman Legacy collections are now searchable, and more of the museum's vast holdings will be added on an ongoing basis.
Museum of the Moving Image houses artifacts from every stage of producing, promoting, and exhibiting motion pictures, television, and digital media—more than 130,000 objects in all. Holdings include licensed merchandise, technical apparatus, still photographs, production design materials, costumes, fan magazines, publicity materials, and video and computer games. Its online catalog currently contains silent film era and spotlight collections.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is home to an extensive number of objects and images related to film and television history, and more is being digitized all the time.
Explore the types of materials in MHDL and learn search strategies / tools for accessing MHDL's collections (i.e., Lantern, Archlight).
CineFiles is an ongoing project of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)'s Film Library and Study Center.
The Ransom Center is an internationally renowned humanities research centre at The University of Texas at Austin. Its collections provide "unique insight into the creative process of some of our finest writers and artists, deepening the understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts". Its research guides provide an overview of collections topics (e.g., Film and Televison), but be aware that includes physical onsite and digital content. Visit Digital Collections to review only digitized materials.
Note: Users must register to view the scanned documents clearly.
MPPDA's Production Code Administration records can also be found in the Margaret Herrick Library digital collections.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Production Code Administration Files collection documents forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry. The Production Code was written in 1929 by Martin J. Quigley, an influential editor and publisher of motion picture trade periodicals, and Reverend Daniel A. Lord, a Jesuit advisor to Hollywood filmmakers. Officially accepted in 1930 by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), the precursor organization to the MPAA, the Production Code presented guidelines governing American movie production.
This interface also holds digitized copies of the Production Code (along with other industry documents), however the search interface isn't as easy to navigate.
"Full documentation from a selection of 500 film titles in the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration records. Will Hays, as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) in 1930, introduced the Production Code, a document designed to help the industry regulate itself by following certain moral principles and guidelines. Hays chose Joseph Breen to oversee the administration of the Code in 1934. Under Breen, the studios were required to submit all screenplays for approval and all films released by MPPDA member companies were required to display a Code seal. In 1946, the organization changed its name to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hays was succeeded by Eric Johnston. The Production Code remained in force until 1968, when it was superseded by the MPAA ratings system, which is still in use today. Read more about the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration records."
"In August 1942 J. Edgar Hoover, [the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,] ordered the bureau’s Los Angeles office to report on “Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry.” Various FBI reports chronicled the working of major film studios such as MGM, Paramount, RKO, and Warner Brothers, and studio management and labor union power struggles. The FBI's investigation of Hollywood resulted in many thousands of pages and show a growing operation organized in the early 1940s that continued throughout the Cold War."
It is possible to search NFB collection through the library catalogue, the NFB link on UofT Streaming page or visiting NFB website. Accessing NFB collection through UofT Libraries subscription to access all the resources available through NFB Campus.
The NFB website has quick links that allow you to explore its collections (e.g., Titles, Directors, Channels, Playlists, Subjects). To narrow you search results by date or genre, we recommend the following approaches:
Click on Films in the menu on the left side and select the Titles Button (be aware this option is organized alphabetically and you will be redirected to titles beginning with "A")
The Socialism on Film is a collection from Soviet, Chinese, Vietanmese, East European, British and Latin American filmmakers. It contains nearly 1,000 individual titles and focuses predominantly on newsreel series including:
"This collection of films is produced almost exclusively in the communist world and then versioned into English for distribution in the West. All the films in this collection have been digitized from the original 16mm and 35mm film reels."
Click through to the collections and see what other materials are stored in these digital collections.
SFSMA was established in 2014 with the goal of digitizing and sharing music for the silent cinema (c.1895-1930) for research and performance use. The archive includes sheet music for film, cue sheets, instruction manuals for film accompanists, and a bibliography of resources on silent film sound and music. All of the silent film music archived here is available to download for free.
The complete run of Melody Magazine (1917-1930), which provided information on cinema accompaniment and music for use in the theatre.
"Over 25 digital Library of Congress collections include, or are comprised of, film or video materials. The following selected list of moving image collections provide a good starting point for research. The newest collection—The National Screen Room—offers a broad range of historical and more current films on a wide variety of themes."
(1900s-1930s) The music in the collection is often from, related to, or inspired by a film, and many covers contain images of film stars, often tied to a film company or specific production.
Remember - To find primary sources, remember you need to restrict your search result to documents published close to the time of your film or event. If they are published later, they are secondary sources.
Below are some of the most common publications containing contemporaneous film reviews. Except where indicated, all are available online in their entirety.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) pulls in digital records from archives, libraries and museums from across the United States. DPLA's collection is focused on freely available content that meet public domain and open access requirements.
The New York Public Library Digital Collections contains over 900,000 items and counting. While that is a small fraction of the Library's overall holdings, NYPL Digital Collections contains a diverse range of materials: books to videos, maps to manuscripts, illustrations to photos, and more.
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