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Books on Film Topics


Understanding the Library's call number system can save you time in locating information. Because call numbers are assigned to the first subject heading listed for a book in the HSU Library Catalog, and most library catalogs, knowing something about call numbers will also help you to evaluate the results of searches you perform in the Library Catalog. Our Library uses the same call numbers for our Reference Collection, our print periodicals, and our main book stacks. Once you have identified the call number or numbers relevant to your subject, you can use this information to browse in the various parts of the Library.

Our Library, like most academic libraries in North America, uses the Library of Congress Classification System to assign call numbers. In this system, the first two or three lines of a call number identify the subject of a book or other item.

Here are call number ranges for subjects of interest to the study of film:

PN includes literature in general, without regard to specific languages

PN 1990-1992.92
    PN 1992-1992.92
PN 1993-1999
    PN 1997-1997.85
TR 845-899
    TR 891
    TR 899
broadcasting
television broadcasting
motion pictures
screenplays, scenarios
cinematography
lighting for motion pictures
editing of motion pictures

To find books, use library catalogs, such as the Library Catalog, Melvyl, or WorldCat. The search terms recommended for the Library Catalog searches also work in most other library catalogs though search techniques may be somewhat different. If you need help in searching a particular library catalog, please contact the Information desk.

The HSU Library Catalog uses different terms to refer to film in different contexts. Moving pictures, motion-picture plays, motion pictures, and films are all used as subject headings. Terms for genres and styles of film, such as film noir or Western films, are used as subject headings, as are topics, such as violence in motion pictures. Until you become familiar with the subject headings relevant to your inquiry, it may be best to begin with Keyword Anywhere searches (remembering to put a plus sign before required words, for example +sex +movies), then reviewing the subject headings of relevant results.

If a book is entirely about one film, the title of the film will be the subject heading. You may find discussions of several of an actor's, cinematographer's, screenwriter's, or director's works in books with the term criticism and interpretation after the person's name as a subject. Try the person's name, the title of the film, and/or the word criticism in an Advanced Subject search in the Library Catalog. You may need to try combining these terms in different ways, such as personal name and criticism, title only, or personal name and title. Remember to set the search to Subject for all the terms.

You can also try topic keywords or a film's title and/or a personal name as a Table of Contents search in Advanced Search to find book chapters devoted to your subject.

If our Library doesn't own a book that you want, please request it from our Interlibrary Loan service. Note that WorldCat has an interlibrary loan request form built into the database. For books from other sources, use the form on our interlibrary loan page. Paper forms are also available at the Information desk in the Library. Also please note that our interlibrary loan service is available to currently enrolled HSU students, faculty, and staff only.