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Film Studies Research Guide (Loudoun)

Guide created by Julie Combs & Eliza Selander. Direct comments to

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Film & History

"Hollywood makes films for the money. Same reason McDonald's makes burgers. Sometimes McDonald's gets it right, but we don't speak of its contribution to the culinary arts. Sometimes Hollywood makes good films about the past, but that is incidental to the main purpose: money." - Mark C. Carnes, Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University

Search the Library Catalog

Search Tips

Search for books on your topic in the library catalog.  In addition to searching for books on your topic, you may also want to search by broader terms to include the cultural and/or historical context of the film. 

Sample keywords include:

  • film adaptations
  • film criticism
  • film genre and criticism (historical films or war films and criticism)
  • film title or director (Flags of Our Fathers or Clint Eastwood)
  • motion pictures and history
  • historical event (Iwo Jima)

Select 'Request Item' to have books from other NOVA libraries sent to Loudoun for pick up. If your book is at Loudoun be sure to write down the call number in order to locate the book on the shelf.

E-books and e-videos are accessible through the catalog. If you see any in your search results, click 'Online access' to open.

Library Databases

The best way to locate articles is through the library databases.  Go to Databases by Subject and look under Communication Studies, Film, & Theatre (CST) to find a list of relevant databases. Depending on the scope of your topic, you may also want to look in the subject listing History (HIS) to information on historical events. You can also perform a search in the databases below.

Remember not to write sentences in the search box.  Search by keyword, film/book title and/or name of director/author. 

Look for additional keywords or subjects offered. Also make sure to look for toolbars that provide print, email, and citation options.

Suggested Resources