This guide gives information about:
The UCL blog Library news for artists also lists new film resources.
Explore is the Library's search facility for accessing print and electronic materials. It incorporates the catalogue of books and journal titles with access to selected journal contents, achive materials, exam papers and the research publications repository.
The principal collection for Film Studies is in the Main Library (in the Wilkins building) in the South Junction reading rooms on the first floor. See
separate pages for maps and opening hours.
Books in the Main Library
The Film Studies books are shelved within the Art collection. A classmark (shelf location) beginning with the word ART refers to a book on the open shelves.
All Film Studies books have the classification ART Q. The main sections are:
- Film and television: general ART Q
- Philosophy and psychology ART QB
- Society and cinema ART QC
- The industry and its economics ART QE
- Production ART QH
- Technical aspects ART QJ
- Genres ART QK
- History ART QM
- People in film and television ART QN
Books in Stores
A classmark beginning with the word STORE, or with a number - e.g. 98-15234, refers to a work housed away from the UCL Main Library. For these items, you will need to make a request via Explore or fill in the online store request form. Most but not all items in Store are borrowable and can usually be collected from the Science Library Assistance Desk from 3pm the following day.
The library subscribes to Film Studies periodicals in both print and electronic format. Copies of print periodicals are shelved in the South Junction reading rooms within the Art Periodicals collection. All Art periodicals are for reference use only and cannot be removed from the library but articles may be photocopied, subject to copyright
restrictions. Some older titles and those which are also available electronically are kept in the closed access Stores. There are special
arrangements for obtaining materials held in Store. The holdings record of each title on the library catalogue will tell you
exactly where any volume is held.
Titles of journals and selected contents can be searched in Explore. More extensive searches of journal contents can be undertaken by using one of several abstracting and indexing databases or to which the Library provides access, or by accessing the electronic version of the journal where available (see below.)
See UCL Library Services' general information on accessing theses here. In addition, ADIT: The Art & Design Index to Theses is a comprehensive index of postgraduate research theses in art and design subjects in the UK developed by a consortium of UK higher education institutions.
Feature films on DVD are are shelved in the Main Library
Issue Desk area and VHS tapes are shelved in the Main Library photocopying room. DVDs are available for either short (up to 2 days) or one week loan and are clearly marked as such. A small number are for reference use only and must be used in the viewing room which is adjacent to the Main Library Reference Room (see below).
Titles can be located on Explore by searching the library catalogue and refining results by Type to 'Audio Visual'. Feature films are arranged alphabetically on the shelves by nationality of the director. For example:
DVD FRA:TRU (France : Truffaut)
DVD GBR:LOA (Great Britain : Loach)
DVD GER:HER (Germany : Herzog)
DVD SPA:ALM (Spain : Almodovar)
DVD USA:LYN (United States : Lynch)
The collection also contains sections of short film anthologies (DVD ANT), documentaries (DVD DOC) and television series (DVD TV).
Main Library Viewing Room
There is a viewing room in the Main Library which has facilities for DVD, VHS, Blu-ray and audio CD formats. There are 4 viewing stations and headphones and remote control handsets can be borrowed from the Issue Desk.
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Material held in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL; if you are offsite, you will usually need your user ID/password to gain access. Explore is the first point of access for electronic resources, but more in-depth searching of subject specific databases can be done from the Databases section on the Library website.
Databases and e-journal collections
Journal articles in either print or electronic format can be located using either an abstracting and indexing database or an e-journal collection. Some of these resources are entirely full text, some provide a mixture of full text articles and citations, while others are abstracting and indexing databases, providing references to texts from other sources (both electronic and print).
Individual e-journals can be located by title using the library catalogue via Explore or via one of the e-journal collections listed below. When using the library catalogue to locate e-journals, always check the holdings statement to see which issues are available electronically.
* indicates full text resource
- ARTbibliographies Modern: full abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogues, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art from 1974 onwards.
- Art Full Text*: index of abstracts and selected full text of articles from art periodicals published throughout the world. Index 1984-, abstracts 1994-, full text 1997-.
- Art Retrospective: index of art periodicals published throughout the world, 1929-1984. See Art Full Text for subsequent abstracts and full texts from this index.
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index: indexes journals published in all areas of humanities since 1975. Part of the Web of Science.
- Arts & Humanities Full Text*: full text of 400+ art titles, 1973-current.
- British Humanities Index: Index of published literature in the humanities, covering humanities journals
and weekly magazines, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK and the
- Film Indexes Online: gateway to film resources, consisting of:
- FIAF Plus*:
International Index to Film periodicals, covering over 330 periodicals from 1972 onwards.
- Film Index International: Index to over over 120,000 films and 700,000 personalities, plus coverage of
international film awards and prizes, searchable plot summaries, full cast
and crew lists, and extensive bibliographies. Produced by the BFI.
- American Film Institute Catalog: authoritative resource of American film information for the years 1893–1972, produced by the American Film Institute.
- JSTOR*: full text archive of important scholarly journals, including over 100 titles covering the arts.
- MLA International
Bibliography: indexes literature, languages and linguistics material from 1926.
- Project Muse*: full text of journals, mainly in the humanities and social sciences.
A full list of databases with significant Film content can be found here. Follow this link for a complete list of the databases available at UCL Library Services. As well as the Art related databases, Anthropology covers film, media and cultural studies.
Audio visual databases
The library also provides access to some online film archives available only for use in education. For further freely available web-based resources see here.
- BFI Screenonline : encyclopedia of British film and television, including clips from the BFI National Archive, supplemented by contextual material from expert writers.
- JISC Media Hub: video, image and audio resources including film archives, documentary materials, public information films, and television and cinema newsreels selected from the ITN/Reuters television archives.
Other Web resources
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SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies) is part
of UCL and staff and students have
borrowing rights using their UCL ID card. Books and journals are listed in the UCL Library catalogue. DVDs are listed in the SSEES Film & Video Database.
Senate House Library
Senate House Library in Malet Street is the main University of London library and any registered member of UCL can join and borrow from there. A leaflet, Film & Media Studies, is
available with full details of relevant materials and their locations. There is a reference collection
of European and American films on DVD, and viewing facilities. Films cannot be borrowed.
More than 3000 books on Film Studies are held,
though are distributed throughout several areas of the library.
UCL students have reference access to other University of London college libraries. Those with significant Film Studies collections are Birkbeck,
London School of Economics, Queen
Mary, Royal Holloway and SOAS
(School of Oriental and African Studies).
Film Libraries in London
- The new British Film Institute Library at BFI Southbank has a comprehensive collection of books, journals, documents and audio recordings about the world of film and television. The library is free of charge to use. The majority of items can be accessed on the day, but offsite materials need to be pre-ordered. Access to Special Collections is by appointment.
- The BFI National Archive holds one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of film and television material, including 60,000 fiction film titles, 750,000 television titles, audio recordings, posters, scripts and more. The Archive administers a Research Viewing service of items in the archive not generally available on DVD, for which there is a charge.
- The Imperial War Museum's Collections catalogue
includes 22,000 records of films and related materials. Film viewings can be arranged.
Please check other libraries' access requirements before visiting. Academic
libraries usually do not lend short-loan materials to reference-only visitors,
even for use on-site. Films come under this category.
More information about the use of other
libraries is available on the Library Services website..
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If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or ask for
the subject librarian for Film Studies:
Telephone: internal: 32594; external: 020 7679 2594
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