Locating Books in Film Studies at Columbia University

To begin, use CLIO our online catalog. You can search by title, author, subject or keyword. If you know the title or author, this is the most direct method for identifying if we have the book in our collections.

You can search for works on films, genres, history, theory, criticism, directors, producers, and actors.

There are two best methods for searching by topic or subject–keyword and searching by subject heading.

Keyword is a powerful search. Use this to combine multiple topics that you think best describe what you are looking for. Read through “Search Tips” located at the bottom of the CLIO screen for the most effective keyword searches.
Example: cinema attractions
This keyword search will look for the terms cinema and attractions anywhere in the bibliographic record.

Another useful strategy for searching by topic or subject is to use the Library of Congress Subject Headings. This controlled vocabulary needs getting used to but can be very helpful for finding the most works on your topic.

You should know that the recognized subject heading for films is motion pictures. Try entering motion pictures and select subject headings for your search term. Take a look at the long list of entries and subdivisions.

Here are a few examples:
motion pictures — aesthetics
motion pictures — africa
motion pictures — plots, themes
motion pictures — political aspects
motion pictures — production and direction

For materials not held at Columbia, you can request books through Interlibrary Loan or BorrowDirect.

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