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Research Guides

CIN370: Canadian Cinemas: Experimental Film

Library Session - September 2023

Recommended Resources for Assignment 1

Consider the following periodicals for appropriate material. Bear in mind the necessary focus on Canadian experimental film, as not all articles herein will be focused on Canadian experimental film.   


Whether you access resources physically at a UofT / Toronto Library or access complete scanned copies of a magazine, take the time to flip through the pages and explore not only the writing, but the inclusion of visuals, news, and advertisement as well as placement of articles over several issues of the publications.

Are there authorstrends, challenges or innovations that you start to notice (or fade) over time?  


You may also seek feature articles in national newspapers: Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.(Look closely at date range).

Searching and accessing newspaper conten through UofT Libraries does not occur from toolbar on the main library website. The UTL Newspapers Guide walks you through the different appoaches. 

Finding newspaper articles

Use the library homepage to search for newspaper articles. To find newspaper articles: 

  • Enter your keywords in the "Start your search" bar and hit enter.
  • Use the format filter to select "articles".
  • You can also also search for newspaper articles directly in the newspaper article search bar.


  • When you search from the homepage, newspaper articles will not automatically be included in the results. Select "newspaper search" under the format filters to see the newspaper article search results.

Tips for Building your Search

Choosing your Search Terms / Keywords

When searching for secondary source - 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.

Keep in mind that terminology for your keywords can differ based on the discipline, time period, or location you are researching (e.g., "Motion Pictures", Video, Streaming media).

Quotations marks (search for specific phrases or names)

  • "Experimental film", "The Hart of London""Movie Theatre", "Norman McLaren

  • Careful of spelling!!  Scroll down to Tips on using OR for Theatre VS Theater

Asterisk / Wildcard * (search for root word with different endings)

  • Canad* =  Canada, Canada's, Canadian, Canadian's, Canadians, Canadiana


Combine your Search Terms

Pair up search terms using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to instruct databases to pull different combinations to narrow or widen the search results: 

  • AND (narrows your search)

    • "Experimental films" AND Canad* AND animat*

    • "Joyce Wieland" AND "Jack Chambers"

    • "Film Festivals" AND distribution AND Canad* 

  • OR (widens your search)

    • Toronto AND Experimental AND (film OR "motion pictures" OR movies OR video OR cinem*) 

    • "Experimental films" OR "underground films" OR "avant-garde" OR avantgarde 

    • "Movie Theatre" OR "Movie Theater" 

    • Experimental AND  ("film festival" OR "film festivals"


Search Tips for Location-Specific Research

Use the Advance Search in UofT LibrarySearch or other Databases and instruction what field should be searched for your keyword. This search example is set up so the database searches the location keywords only in  the Title OR Subject fields. This strategy excludes items that are published from the locations. 

Screenshot of UofT LIbrarySearch Advanced Search - click to view this search (external link) 

Screenshot of UofT LibrarySearch Advanced Screen, first line is ("experimental film" OR "underground film") AND  Title search  for  (Canad* OR Vancouver OR "British Columbia")  OR  Subject search for  (Canad* OR Vancouver OR "British Columbia")