Film Reference Sources
Our Reference Collection, on the first floor of the Library, is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System, which groups together items on the same subject. The Library's book stacks, on the second and third floors, and our print periodicals, on the second floor, are also arranged according to this system. Some important call numbers for works on film are:
lighting for motion pictures
editing of motion pictures
You are encouraged to browse in these sections of the Reference Collection. You will find specialized encyclopedias and handbooks, dictionaries of film terms, biographical dictionaries for actors, directors, and other people important to film production, indexes of film reviews, catalogs of films, and directories for the film industry, among other things. If you are looking for specific information, please ask for assistance at the Information desk, also on the first floor.
Here are a few representative sources in the Reference Collection:
- Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism (ref PN 81 J54 1994) You may want to use the electronic version of this text, the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism Online.
- International Motion Picture Almanac (ref PN 1993.3 I55)
- Key Concepts in Cinema Studies (ref PN 1993.45 H36 1996)
- The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry (ref PN 1993.5 U6 S539 1998)
- Film Review Index (ref PN 1995 F467 v.1-2)
- The Motion Picture Guide (ref PN 1995 N346 1985 v.1-12) and annual supplements
- International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (ref PN 1997.8 I58 2000 v.1-4)
- Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion to Film Analysis (ref TR 847 B43 1994)
Subject encyclopedias are especially useful reference sources. Written on general topics such as international film, or specialized ones, such as film noir, particular ethnic groups in film, women filmmakers, or the films of individual countries, they have summary articles, often written by scholars or other experts, that give you an overview of a topic. You can browse these to help you decide if you are interested in doing more research on the topic. If you have already decided on a topic, these sources may give you a framework or context for your specific investigation. The articles will also give you names of people and places important for the topic, key dates, and other information you can use in further research. Many articles in subject encyclopedias include a bibliography or list of recommended books and articles on the topic. Using these recommendations is a good way to begin more in-depth research.
To find subject encyclopedias, use the HSU Library Catalog, not QuickSearch:
- Choose the Advanced Search tab.
- Type the term(s) for the subject you are looking for in the first Search: box, for example art, women artists, symbols, etc. Use as few words as possible.
- Change any of these to all of these or as a phrase, if needed.
- Change the first within: menu to subject.
- Type encyclopedias dictionaries in the second Search: box. (Many encyclopedias are called dictionaries. It just means that their articles are in alphabetical, or "dictionary," order.)
- Change the second within: menu to subject.
- Click the Search button.
For more help with using the Reference collection, please ask a librarian.