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Michigan State University

Film Criticism and Reviews: Primary Sources

What Is A Primary Source?

Primary Sources online module

An online tutorial about different types of primary sources

Primary Sources in Film Studies

  • Locating Movies at the MSU Libraries

    The Digital and Multimedia Center is where to find dvds and other formats for watching of feature films. You can search the library catalog for movies, and either limit search by material type (videos) or location (D/MC). You can also extend searches to MeL, for materials not owned by MSU.
  • Press Books and Souvenir Books
    MSU Libraries' Special Collections has a large collection of press books and souvenir programs from motion picture history. There is also a large microfilm set of Cinema Pressbooks from the Warner Bros. studios. See links to catalog records below.
  • Latinos in Film
    The collection contains approximately 590 pieces of rare movie ephemera -- promotional photographs, posters, lobby cards, photoplay book editions, campaign books, press kits and television/movie scripts -- dating from the silent film era to 2005.
  • German Press Books
    This collection is comprised of over 650 titles from throughout the twentieth century. Printed in German, these press books were published to advertise movies in Germany from various countries, including the United States, Britain, France, and Germany.
  • Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections
    This is a microfilm set, located on 2W of the Main Library. For a guide to this set see:
  • More Press books in Special Collections
    Use an LC Subject Search in the MSU Libraries' catalog for MOTION PICTURE PROGRAMS.

Other Primary Sources:

  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000: "(Women and Social Movements) is intended to serve as a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1700 and 2000, the website seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding at the same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The database includes more than 25,000 pages of documents pertaining to Women and Social Movements, a dictionary of social movements and organizations, a chronology of U.S. women's history, and teaching tools with lesson ideas and document-based questions related to the website's document projects."
  • Black Thought and Culture
    Approximately 100,000 pages of monographs, essays, articles, speeches, and interviews written by leaders within the black community from the earliest times to 1975. The collection is intended for research in black studies, political science, American history, music, literature, and art. The collection begins with the works of Frederick Douglass and is targeted to include the works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Alain Locke, Mary McLeod Bethune, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Bunche, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis, Houston Baker, Jesse Jackson, Ida B. Wells, Bobby Seale, and many others.
  • ARTstor
    ARTstor is a digital image database containing approximately 400,000 images. Images are grouped into collections and represent the canon of art history (as defined by major art history survey texts) as well as specialized collections such as the MoMA Architecture and Design Collection and the Huntington Archive of Asian Art.
  • Black Studies Center : Primary resources include full runs of several historical black newspapers, photographs within text of articles, streaming video, and more.

Finding Primary Sources