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Film Studies Research Guide: Books

A guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, including key resources and crucial search strategies.

Subject Headings

The subject heading for books on Film Studies in Orbis is MOTION PICTURES. Similarly, the movie business is called the motion picture industry and screenplays are motion picture plays. Certain subject headings do use FILMS, usually for genre terms

Subject headings strive to identify topics with consistent terminology. The basic terminology is produced by the Library of Congress. Always look at the subject headings in any catalog, database or index to make sure that you are searching with the most relevant terminology. 


How to Find Books about a Particular Film

Books about a particular film can be searched in Orbis entering the film title as the subject:

How to Find Books about People and Studios

Books about any person or group of people can also be searched in Orbis using a subject search, either with LastName FirstName, or a description of the group:


For works (movies as well as books, sometimes including screenplays) by a particular person, use an author search:

How to Find Books about Genres and Topics

See the Topics section for detailed information.

Briefly, however, you use a Keyword search to look for genres and topics, especially if you are unsure of the Library of Congress Subject Heading. A keyword search finds the term anywhere in the Orbis record. When you do a keyword search, be sure to look at the subject headings used to describe this topic and also search by the correct Library of Congress Subject Heading.

Also, use a keyword search if you have multiple concepts or topics to search. Remember that the subject heading for film in general is Motion Pictures, but genres may use the term Films, and a few books (usually uncatalogued items) have a subject headings with the word Cinema.