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Research Guides

INI100: The City Where Movies Are Made

Sign In to UofT LibrarySearch

To improve your search experience, increase the number of results, and gain access to advanced features and item retrieval options, always log in by clicking My Account on the library landing page:

My account button underlined in green.

Or click the Sign In button at the top right of the LibrarySearch interface:

Sign in option underlined in green.

If you choose not to sign in at the beginning of your session, you can always click on the sign in prompt that appears above your search results:

Location of sign in prompt above search results.

Once you have signed in to LibrarySearch you can: 

  • Update your profile to be sure you will receive important library notifications
  • Check due dates, request item retrieval for pick-up, place holds, review item requests, and pay fines
  • Renew your borrowed items 
  • Email records to yourself
  • View the search history of your current session 
  • Saved your searches, search results, and citations
  • Create alerts to keep up to date on new publications

Please note: LibrarySearch login times out after 30 minutes of inactivity, automatically signing you out and resetting itself to the default search page.

Subject Headings in Library Catalogue

Search by Film Director

Search as above; use last name, first name

  • e.g., Cronenberg, David

Search by Film Title 

Use quotation marks to search for specific titles

  • e.g., "Glimpses of the High Life"

Search using Subject Headings

  1. Click on the UTL Catalogue link below
  2. Enter one of the subject headings listed below exactly as it appears in the Search Box  
  3. Choose Subject from the drop-down menu

UTL Catalogue Browse/Subject Search 


Subject Headings

  • Motion picture industry--Canada
  • Motion picture industry--Canada--History.  
  • Motion pictures--Canada--History and criticism.
  • Film Festivals
  • Press Releases
  •  Motion picture locations--Ontario--Toronto.
  • Motion picture theaters--Ontario--Toronto--History.


Searching for Films

There are few options to access films for your projects both online and borrowing DVDs or BluRays from libraries. 

Search by Film Title 

UofT Libraries Streaming Collections

UofT Libraries does have a Streaming Video List highlighting different streaming databases of film.

UofT LibrarySearch 

The other options is to search for films using  UofT LibrarySearch - Advanced Search (scroll down for tips on using Advanced Search including how to select format and build up your search).  

Use quotations marks to instruct LibrarySearch to pull results that match the film title you entered. (e.g., "Ginger Snaps", "Dead Ringers")

If you have a generic or popular title or there have been remakes of your preferred film, include the Director's last name or full name in your search. 

  1. Under Search filters, change the dropdown menu to Title and enter your film title using quotation marks (e.g., "Ginger Snaps")
  2. Below add you can add more search terms. Add the last name (or full name) of your director, actor, or other creator tied to the film (e.g., Fawcett) 
  3. Set the Format filter using the dropdown menu and select Video/Film
  4. Submit your search by clicking on Search  in the bottom right corner of the search window. 

screenshot of UofT LibrarySearch with Title "Ginger Snap" AND Fawcett, format filter set to Film/Video

Choosing a Format -- Online Streaming vs DVD BluRay 

Identify the film record that best suits your need.

  • Available Online = film can be streamed online through the Library Catalogue 
  • Available at = film can be physically borrowed (DVD or BluRay) from a UofT Library location.

screenshot of UofT Library record for Ginger Snaps with Available at and Available Online links highlighted


Choosing from Multiple LibrarySearch Records  

Be aware that sometimes the library record for the streaming and physical DVD/BluRay appear as two separate records: 

Be careful selecting the date. DVD and BluRay records reflect the date this format was released, not the year that the film was first screened / released to the public. 

screenshot of UofT LibrarySearch's 3 records of Crash (1996) directed by Cronenberg


Search by Creator 

  • Submit search for the Creator by selecting from dropdown menu Author/Creator (e.g., Cronenberg)
  • Set format dropdown menu to Video/Film 
  • Be careful selecting the date but it can be useful if a film has been remade or adapted by another filmmaker. 
  • Click on Search in the bottom right corner.

Toronto Public Library Collections

UofT Students can get a Toronto Public Library Card and access even more online and physical films, television, and videos. 

Toronto Public Libraries subscribes to several services you can use to stream or download movies and TV shows.

  • Movies & TV (Kanopy, Hoopla, Overdrive, BBC Literary Adaptations in Video) 

Advanced Search

If your topic needs more than a single word or phrase to describe, the Advanced Search interface can help you build that more complex search. 

When opening Advanced Search, you will see two lines where a search term can be entered. You also have the option of adding additional lines. 

Advanced search showing where terms are entered and how to add additional lines.

Once you have entered your search terms, you can also place limits on how and where the database searches. Each downward pointing arrow in the following image provides a different way of modifying your search.

Advanced search interface highlighting where drop-down menus can be accessed.

Using the drop down menus on the left side, you can tell the database where in the item records you would like to look for each search term. For instance, you can limit your search to locate your keyword in titles or author names as illustrated in the following image. Click on any drop down menu to see what options it provides. 

Advanced search interface highlighting the title, author and other drop down menu options.

Using the drop down menus on the right side, you can tell the database to only include items in your results that adhere to a specific criteria. For instance, using the format menu you can ask to only see results that fit a specific format like books or articles.

Advanced search interface highlighting the item format drop down menu located on the right.

Using the language menu, you can ask to see only results that are published in a specific language.

Advanced search interface highlighting the language drop down menu located on the right.

And by using the date menus, you can limit your results to items published during a specific period of time.  

Advanced search interface highlighting date feature on the bottom right.

Bringing together multiple options allows you to build that more complex search required by your research topic.

Advanced search interface modified to direct the database to locate the first search term in item titles, the second search term anywhere in the item record. Drop down menus also selected to limit results to books in English published between 2000 and 2021.