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Research Guides

CIN201: Film Cultures 1: Art & Industry

A comprehensive guide to for finding the best primary source materials (1895-1968) for your Cinema Studies assignment.

ProQuest Platform (scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, ebooks & more)

ProQuest  (1800-current date, depends on the publication)

ProQuest is a platform containing over 100 databases. ProQuest contains publications (i.e., newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, eBook titles, dissertation and theses) in different subjects areas including film. Remember you might find content in a non-film related resource from your time period, (i.e., newspapers, business or tech magazines).


Entertainment focused databases in ProQuest: 

  • Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive 
    • The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theatre are included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Issues have been scanned in high-resolution colour, with granular indexing of articles, covers, ads and reviews from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to the 21st century.
  • Performing Arts Periodicals Database
    • This database indexes around 400 scholarly and trade journals, magazines, books, and newspapers covering theatre, dance, film, television, stagecraft, broadcast arts, storytelling, and more.

Build your Search in ProQuest

Use the Advanced Search Tool  

The Advanced Search Tool allows you to build your search with multiple keywords that you can combine with Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) from the dropdown menu between the search fields. 

Screen Shot ProQuest Advance Search with search terms "urban footprint" AND Toronto OR Ontario


Build your Search Strategies

Connect Search Terms with Boolean Operators 

Enter search terms on separate lines e.g., enter title of film on the top line, director's last name below, so as to articulate your search request. Use Boolean Operators to improve your search:

  • AND (narrows your search e.g., Paramount and Hepburn)
  • OR (widens your search e.g., blacklist or communist, MGM or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
  • NOT (exclude results that include this term)
  • Quotations marks (search for  specific phrases, e.g., "It Happened One Night", "Audrey Hepburn", "studio system")

Remember that searching historical scans of publications you need to use the language that would be most appropriate for that time period. 

Sort and Filter your Search Results in ProQuest

Search Results 

1) Sort your Results 

  • Sort your results (Relevance, Date) 
    • Sort by Date: It may be useful to arrange the results chronologically (oldest first) in order to follow the entire production process of a particular film, from gossip about potential stars to reviews and box-office grosses.


2) Narrow your Results using ProQuest Search Filters

  • Narrow your search results using filters on left sidebar. Click on +More link if appears to see all the filter options. 
    • Source TypeScholarly Journals, Newspapers, Trade Magazines, Books, or Blogs, Podcasts, & Websites‎
      • Select to EXCLUDE Blogs, Podcasts, & Websites‎, Scholarly Journals, Dissertations and Theses, Books. Even though these resources were published during the time period, these are secondary sources.
      • If you are unsure, contact your Librarian or CIN201 TA if they have further questions.
      • Avoid using the Peer Review filter as well for this particular assignment. 
    • Publication Year:  Custom Date Range between 1895-1968
      • Click on “Custom Date Range” and type in the year start and year end and click “Apply”.
      • Be aware - You might need to re-apply this filter if you are launching a new search.
      • Break up your search results into decades to see trends
    • Subject: (This filter isn't as useful for newspapers or historical scans. It is more effective for most recent journals). 
    • Document Type:
      • Feature, Front Page/Cover Story, Article, Review (film or book review, sometimes restaurant), Editorial (opinion pieces by Editor) Letters to Editor (opinions sent in by the public and printed in the publication), Interview, Speech, Report, Photo, Cartoon, Illustration, Advertisement, Classified, Obituaries, Marriage Notice
    • Language: If you want to use non-English language resources, please be sure to contact your TA.
    • Publication Title: The Hollywood ReportThe Globe and Mail, New York Times
      • If you have a lot of results, take a look at a particular publication (e.g., The Hollywood Reporter, New York Times).
      • Remember your 10 primary resources should come from a variety of sources. 
      • Not sure about the publication? Click on the title to find out more about the reputation of publication. 


3) Mark relevant records

If you find interesting articles, be sure to save them. 

  • Go to the results page and click the check box to the left of the article title  
  • When you are ready to email the articles to yourself, scroll to the top of the results list and click on Email link (on right side)
  • Email the marked records to yourself 


Another option is to create a free ProQuest MyResearch account.
  • Click on the person icon in the upper right corner of the screen to access MyResearch.
  • Create a free account with your UToronto email. 


Screen shot  ProQuest Results for  conservation AND ecolog* AND cities AND canada. Select items using check box and view all selected item with the folder icon in upper right corner.