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Film Studies Research Guide (Loudoun)

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

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History of Film

The motion picture, also called film or movie, is a remarkably effective medium in conveying drama and especially in the evocation of emotion. The art of motion pictures is exceedingly complex, requiring contributions from nearly all the other arts as well as countless technical skills (for example, in sound recording, photography, and optics). Emerging at the end of the 19th century, this new art form became one of the most popular and influential media of the 20th century and beyond.

"motion picture." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britannica Academic. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016. 

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:

  • motion pictures AND history
  • motion picture industry AND history
  • motion pictures AND Germany OR Weimar AND history
  • Weimar cinema
  • motion pictures AND Soviet Union OR Russia AND history
  • Soviet films
  • motion pictures AND United States AND history

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 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. You can also perform a search in the databases below.

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

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

Suggested Resources

How Hollywood Does It - Film History & Techniques of Early Cinema. Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2013. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.