Library Services


Film Studies

Book collections

Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress)

Film Studies books are shelved within the Art collection in the UCL Main Library (Wilkins Building). 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 (including film in specific countries) ART QM
  • People in film and television ART QN

Books in Stores

Books with a STORE location can be requested either via Explore or from the Stores Service. Most can be borrowed and are usually collected from the UCL Science Library Assistance Desk from 3pm the following day.

Journal collections

Recent issues of film and cinema journals are shelved in the reading room; older issues may be located offsite and must be requested via the Stores Service. Journal holdings can be checked by searching Explore or the A-Z list of e-journal titles.

AV material

Feature films, documentary etc. on DVD

Feature films on DVD can be borrowed from UCL Main Library. DVDs can also be used in the viewing room or in your own laptop.

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.

The Bain Graffy Film Collection at UCL SSEES Library

This collection of films from and about Russia and Central and Eastern Europe is available in the SSEES Library multimedia room and includes features films, animation, documentaries and other material. Also includes a directory of internet resources on Russian cinema.

Online resources

Explore is UCL Library Services' search tool for accessing print and electronic materials. It incorporates the catalogue of printed books and journal titles with access to the full text of selected journal contents, e-books, and a range of other archival material.

Remember: if you refer to any published literature, images or films in your essays or assignments they must be properly referenced. See our guides to References, Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism and to reference management tools such as EndNote and Mendeley.


More in-depth research can be done by using subject specific databases, many of which provide full-text access to journal contents and other published literature.

Which databases to search?

Core Film databases: including the Screen Studies Collection; Art & Architecture Source; ProQuest Art, Design & Architecture Collection; Performing Arts Database

Newspapers can be an excellent source of information on the history of film and cinema, including reviews and interviews:

  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers: content from 1791 to 2007, including the archives of The Guardian and The Observer and US titles such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  • Times Digital Archive: full text of The Times (London) 1785-1985.
  • Nexis UK: international newspapers from the 1980s to the present.
  • The Daily Mail Historical Archive: more than 100 years of the Daily Mail newspaper online, 1896-2004.
Audio visual databases

Online film and television collections:

  • BoB National (Box of Broadcasts): archive of over one million television and radio programmes broadcast by 70+ channels, including access to the BBC archive from 2007. Programmes (including feature films) can be streamed only.
  • BFI Screenonline: encyclopedia of British film and television, including clips from the BFI National Archive, supplemented by contextual material from expert writers.
  • Kanopy: over 30,000 feature films and documentaries.
  • MediaPlus: 100,000 plus video, image and sound recordings including film archives, documentary materials, public information films, and television and cinema newsreels selected from the ITN/Reuters television archives.

The UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) Self Access Centre contains a large number of online resources, including films and documentaries available for streaming (select a language / video materials / films, or use the search box).

Other Internet resources

  • American Silent Feature Film Database: comprehensive survey of American silent feature films. Contains information on the nearly 11,000 U.S. feature films released between 1912-1929, and holdings information for around 3,300.
  • BBC Genome Project: database of Radio Times magazine listings published between 1923 and 2009, creating a broadcast history of the BBC. Searches bring up a synopsis and cast list.
  • BFI Filmography: detailed statistical information relating to UK feature films released to cinemas from the beginning of film history until now.
  • BFI YouTube Channel: hundreds of free films from the BFI National Archive, plus expert commentary and interviews.
  • BFI Player: register to rent films from a growing collection of latest releases and classics from the BFI archives.
  • EUscreen: free online access to videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives. Explore selected content from early 1900s until today.
  • Film Literature Index: approximately 700,000 citations to articles, film reviews and book reviews published between 1976-2001. A range of scholarly and popular titles.
  • Internet Movie Archive: library containing thousands of free movies, films, and videos, including some classic full-length films.
  • Moving Image Gateway: a BUFVC resource which collects together websites that relate to moving images and sound and their use in higher and further education.
  • News on Screen: a BUFVC resource for the study of newsreels and cinemagazines.

General Resources

Follow @UCLArtLibrary on Twitter to keep up to date with new resources.

UCL SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies) has a separate Film & Video Database. Books and journals are listed in Explore.

Senate House Library is the 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. There is a reference collection of European and American films on DVD, and viewing facilities. Books on Film Studies are also held, although these 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, Goldsmiths, King's, London School of Economics, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway and SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).

The British Library is a useful resource and all UCL staff and students can apply directly for reference access. You will need to bring identification showing proof of address (e.g. utility bill), proof of signature (e.g. driving licence) and proof of student or research status (UCL ID card) in order to obtain a reader's pass.

Searching Library Hub Discover is an easy way of checking other libraries' catalogues. There is also more information about using other libraries, and links to other library catalogues.

Other film libraries in London

  • The BFI Reuben 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. Items from the Archive can be viewed at the BFI Southbank Mediatheque. For titles not available on DVD, or not available to view in the Library, Mediatheque, or via the Archive resources online, the BFI also administers a Research Viewing Service, 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.

A wide range of training and support is available for members of staff and students. Please feel free to contact me for assistance or to make an appointment. Other services and materials which may be of use include:

Video - getting help in our libraries

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In addition

The ISD Service Desk is located on the ground floor of the Science Library and can be contacted for enquiries regarding your computer accounts, email, etc. ISD also provide IT training and resources, and an email address for questions about bibliographic software: biblio-support@ucl.ac.uk

Training is available for research students via the UCL Doctoral School, including information skills sessions run by library staff.

Library Services offers a variety of research support services in order to assist researchers. For further information please contact me directly using the contact details to the right.