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Film and Television 6A: History of the American Motion Picture

Off-Campus Access to E-resources

If you live off campus, make sure to set up the BOL Proxy Server or VPN client on your laptop or home computer! This will enable you do conduct research and access full-text articles, databases, and other resources from anywhere.

Basic Info


Welcome to the UCLA Library guide for Film and Television 6A. This guide is intended as a starting place for researchers, pointing to tools for finding books, articles, reviews, and other information. Please use the tabs on this guide to find resources in different information categories. Also remember that 6A has numerous books available on course reserve.

Do not search this guide with keywords from your topic. You must click on the resources first in order to conduct searches.

If you have any questions, please (1) visit a library reference desk, (2) send a question via e-mail to the Arts Library, or (3) contact Diana King for an appointment or e-mail reference.

Getting Started: History of the American Cinema Online and More

Not sure where to start? These links provide access to each volume of Charles Musser's History of the American Cinema, available online, which contains a wealth of information on decades of cinema history. The set is also available in a print edition at the Arts and College Libraries.

Want more starting places? Browse some of the reference books available at the Arts Library on early motion pictures, and those listed under Resources on Popular Topics.

For use of the online version at home, make sure your computer is configured for off-campus access if you do not live on campus.

What Are Primary Sources?

A primary source is a document that was created during the time period being studied. This includes newspaper and magazine articles, original film reviews, pamphlets, interviews, government publications, manuscripts, diaries, and other sources that speak to the context of the time period. Primary sources provide firsthand evidence of historical events recorded by those who lived it, and as such usually need to be contextualized with more recent secondary sources like histories of the time period and academic film criticism in journals.

You can usually find clues to specific primary sources by looking through secondary materials like books and scholarly articles written in the present day. These often include bibliographies of the primary works used as references, and can give you ideas about other ways to search for your topic. Some more recent books also include reprints of primary sources.

Both the "Newspapers and Reviews" and "Journal and Magazine Articles" tabs contain links or citations to historical primary sources and secondary sources.


Diana King
UCLA Arts Library
1400 Public Affairs Bldg.

General Reference

Research assistance at the UCLA Arts Library is available in person on weekdays. See Reference and Research Help for complete reference service options.