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

Your guide to American film history research at UCLA: Find articles, books, reference sources, and more.

Collections and Services During Temporary Arts Library Closure

The Arts Library, located in the Luskin School of Public Affairs building, will be undergoing seismic upgrades and as a result, is closed to patrons through Fall Quarter 2022. Due to some unexpected project delays, we are planning to reopen in January 2023 and will post more information when available. Collections will be available to patrons via Page and Pickup services. Please contact us at with questions. 

UC Library Search

UC Library Search, the University of California Libraries' discovery tool, is the way to discover items across the University of California system.

Selected Online Books and Dissertations

Some examples of online books and dissertations on a range of early film topics. Students are encouraged to search in the UCLA Library Catalog for additional books on their topics.

Browsing by Call Numbers

Most books in UCLA libraries are shelved by call number. You can browse broad call number ranges (examples below), but keep in mind that anything checked out, shelved in Reference or Class Reserves, or in other campus libraries, will be located in different places. Using the Library Catalog is recommended for searching specific books and topics.

PN1993.5.U6 - PN1993.5.U8: Motion Pictures History (United States)

PN1995.6: Motion Pictures and Censorship

PN1995.7: Pictures and sound / talking pictures

PN1995.75: Silent film

PN1995.9.G3: Gangster films (other film genres/topics also shelved in PN1995.9)

PN1998 - PN1998.3: Biographies and scholarship on individuals (mostly directors)

PN1999: Motion picture studios and corporations

PN2287: Biographies of actors/actresses

TR845 - TR899: Cinematography (includes projection, Technicolor and color cinematography, special effects)

NC1320 - NC1776: Cartooning and Animation

NA6845 - NA6846: Motion picture theaters