Category Archives: How to…

Copyright Advisory Office

The Copyright Advisory Office is a service based at Columbia University to address the relationship between copyright law and the research, teaching, and service activities of the university.

The website provides information on fair use and appropriate uses, permissions, and general information on copyright and libraries.

Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct?

The Interlibrary Loan Department has published a useful guide outlining the differences between the two services for requesting materials not currently available from Columbia University Libraries.

Please note that Borrow Direct is primarily for books and music scores. For DVDs and other non-print media, please use Interlibrary Loan.

Link to Interlibrary Loan Request It or Borrow Direct.

SoA Workshops

Resources for Film Studies and Performing Arts
These one-hour sessions provide an introduction to the vast selection of print, non-print (DVDs, CDs), image and electronic collections for film and performing arts at Columbia.
September 18 @ 2pm
September 23 @5:30pm
October 29 @2:30pm
All sessions will be held in 306 Butler.
Please RSVP —

SoA Research — Workshop

SoA Research
February 11 or February 18
2 p.m.
306 Butler Library

Do you want to find plays, screenplays, journal articles, images, movies, reviews, or biographies? Would you like to read a screenplay — online? Are you interested in early cinema history? Do you need to find information about how people dressed in 19th century New York City? Are you looking for a book on design? Would you like to search Google more effectively?

If the answer is yes, please attend one of these informal, two-hour hands-on sessions. We will review a wide range of resources with a special focus on film and performing arts related materials.

Seats are limited — please RSVP by sending email to

Welcome SoA Students!

Welcome to the Columbia University Libraries. We are a major research institution which translates into millions of items ranging from books, journals, screenplays, plays, ephemera, databases, newspapers, films, CDs and more.

To make sense of all of this, please sign up for one of the introductory two-hour workshops for researching film and theater resources.

Here is the information.

To register for the Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching, please send RSVP requests to
These workshops are ONLY for SoA students but seats are limited.

Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching
September 18 (Thursday)
306 Butler Library

Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching
September 26 (Friday)
306 Butler Library

For the Advanced Internet Searching, Photoshop or any of the other general workshops, please go to the following website to complete your registration:

Advanced Internet Searching
September 23 (Tuesday)
306 Butler

Advanced Internet Searching
September 30 (Tuesday)
306 Butler

Featured Resource

Library Essentials is a collection of short video tutorials on how to complete library research. Tutorials focus on searching for books using our online catalog CLIO, how to more effectively complete a keyword search as well as provide an introduction to a number of invaluable services. The FINDING IMAGES segment may be of special interest.

Locating Film Reviews at Columbia University

Film reviews can be found in a wide range of publications including books, newspapers, popular magazines and the scholarly journal literature. Reviews can vary in length, assessment and style. The work of notable film critics (see picture of Andrew Sarris on the left) past and present can provide a critique as well as an analysis of the film.

You can search for book publications, generally compilations of reviews, in CLIO by entering “motion pictures — reviews” as your subject search entry.

For reviews published in journals and newspapers, begin by consulting the Film and Television Subject Guide — Film Review section for recommended sources. Film and Television Literature Index and the International Index to Film Periodicals index the major journals in Film Studies. You can limit your search to film reviews. MRQE is an excellent web resource indexing major nationals, regional and other news sources. Proquest is an excellent resource for the popular journal literature.

For retrospective (generally pre-1970s), check the guide to printed resources —
Motion Pictures, Cinema, and Film.

Set e-link from Google Scholar

If you choose to search for articles using Google Scholar, you can link directly to the full-text, when available, through Columbia University Libraries — E-Resources using e-link. All you need to do is set the Scholar Preferences for “Columbia University — e-link @Columbia.”