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Research Guides

CIN201: (pre-2018) Film Cultures 1: Art & Industry

A comprehensive guide to scholarly resources - books, journal articles, primary source material.

Finding Microfilm

Finding Microfilm

The microfilm collections and the viewing/scanning equipment are located at Media Commons (3rd Floor, Robarts Library) 


Before using, consult the accompanying guide(s), available at either Innis Library or the Media Commons. You'll need to provide Media Commons staff with:  

  • the REEL# listed in the Guide (related to the particular film and/or date(s) which you are interested in viewing); and
  • the CALL NUMBER of  the particular microfilmed item (see below).

Staff will retrieve the reel(s) requested and, if necessary, assist you with the operation of the equipment. 

Using Viewing / Scanning Equipment

  • Digital microform scanners, equipped to handle microfilm, microfiche and microprint, are available in the Media Commons Reading room.
  • Digital scans can be made to a USB storage device free of charge.
  • Printed copies cost 15-cents per page and require the use of a TCard/Copy card.
  • Media Commons staff is available at all times to assist.

Primary Sources: Microfilm Collections

United States / Hollywood

Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections

  • Call No: PN1993.5 .U6 C52 1988Reel guide link.
  • This collection offers essential information on individual films and their creation and promotion; suggests the rise and fall of particular stars, directors and producers; and enables detailed research into the output of the leading Hollywood studios.
  • Pressbooks are a basic background source: posters and still reproductions, publicity blurbs, actor biographies and full technical and promotional details are included in pressbooks--the publicity kit sent with a film print to all distributors. Pressbooks of the major companies thus form a unique and detailed record of the transition from silent movies to talkies and of the golden years of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s.

Film Daily

  • Call No: PN1993 .A12 M35 1989 Ser. 1 
  • For 55 years was the daily newspaper of the film (later for television industries) providing the latest trade news, details of films launched, films in progress, industry takeovers, financial crises, budget difficulties, company liquidations and court cases.

Film Daily Yearbook

  • Call No: PN1993 .A12 M35 1989 Ser. 2 and predecessors (1915-1969) 
  • It “reflects and summarizes developments, and provides a detailed index to films reviewed in Film Daily. Each year the Yearbook provides a state of the industry summary through its features, editorial, detailed notes on film-related companies, advertising and indexing.....

Gallup Looks at the Movies: Audience Research Reports, 1940-1950

  • Call No: PN1995.9 .A8 G35 1979, click on link above and scroll down to view details.  
  • Audience Research Inc., a Gallup Poll affiliate directed by David Ogilvy, was commissioned by David O. Selznick and other Hollywood producers to furnish data that would objectively record what the public wanted to see in the movies.
  • Among the topics covered in the reports are star popularity, movie advertising and publicity, movie titles, pairing of leading men and women, and 3-D and wide-screen formats.

Hollywood and the Production Code

  • Call No: PN1993.5 .U6 H545 2006 
  • Full titles: History of Cinema. Series 1, Hollywood and the Production Code: Selected files from the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration collection
  • This collection contains the files related to 500 films produced between 1927 and 1968, selected from the records of the Production Code Administration (PCA). The records document forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry.

J. Edgar Hoover and Radicalism in Hollywood 

  • Call No: HV8144 .F43 J2 2007 
  • Full Title: J. Edgar Hoover and Radicalism in Hollywood. Part 1, Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry
  • Files in this collection include investigations of mainstream films, informer reports, and surveillance of hundreds of influential writers, actors, directors, producers, union leaders, and studio executives.
  • The investigations chronicle the working of major studios, such as Paramount, RKO, and Warner Brothers, and the power struggles between the studios, studio management, and labor unions. 

Little Magazines Series: Selected Complete Short-run Cinema Periodicals, 1889-1972.

  • Call No. PN1993 .L48 1975 
  • Produced in conjunction with the British Film Institute, this set contains twentyfive English-language film periodicals published between 1889 and 1972. The content ranges from trade periodicals and fan magazines, to titles dealing with independent and underground movies. The set offers unique insights into the development of early film-making and the emergence of new film technology.
  • SEE Reel Guide (in print) for complete list of titles. Some titles included: The Optical Magic Lantern Journal (1889-1903) which changed into The Optical Lantern and Cinematograph Journal in 1904, The Edison Kinetogram, Documentary Film News, International Film Review, and more. 

Moving Picture World

  • Call No: PN1993 .M69 v.1(1907)-89 no.9(1927)  
  • A trade publication reviewed current releases and published news, features, and interviews relating to all aspects of the film industry. It aimed to feature the most detailed news items, the best reviews and feature articles, particularly by Louis Reeves Harrison, W. Stephen Bush and George Blaisdell. It targeted exhibitor-oriented readership so the publication includes advertisements and carried regular columns on projection, advertising, and theater music.  


  • Call No: PN V275 (New York, N.Y.) v. 1(1905/06)+ (with some exceptions).  

Warner Bros Screenplays, 1930-1950

  • Call No: PN1997 .A1 W5736 1989 
  • Collection contains "final shooting scripts for a significant portion of Warner’s entire output from 1930 to 1950. ... For each category [of genre], motion pictures have been chosen to illustrate important variations in narrative form; for important pictures, intermediate scripts have been included in addition to the final shooting script." Thomson/Gale website

Citing Microfilm

“Microform” is the general term for documents reproduced in reduced size on transparent media such as microfilm (which comes in rolls) or microfiche (small sheets). Most sources you access as microforms will have originated as printed materials.

Typically, you will: 

  1. Follow the directions for citing the original source (see the citation style guides
  2. Add the information necessary to access the source on microfilm or microfiche (see Yale U. Microform: Microfilm & Microfiche ).
  3. Microform citation information may include a name for the microfilm service, volume number, year, and any letters or numbers identifying the specific film roll or fiche number.

Citing Personal Correspondance

from Purdue U. OWL

How do I cite letters, or email, (Personal Communication) in MLA? Letters fall under the MLA’s guidelines for personal communication, which are as follows:

  • Author’s LastName, Author’s FirstName.
  • Letter to the author.
  • Date of Letter.
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers requires that you put “TS.” After the date of the letter if it is a typed letter. In text, you should differentiate between the letters, if you have numerous untitled letters from the same author. Although the MLA has no guidelines for this, we suggest including the date in the sentence referring to the letter. For example: In the letter dated 14 December 2010, he writes, “…it is cold outside” (Smith).