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Michigan State University

Movies and Television: Resources in Special Collections: Home

Introduction

Special Collections' primary sources on movies and television include scripts, posters, early magazines, and more. Two notable collections focus on Latinx contributions to the screen arts. Explore our holdings here!

Find a movie in the library

These resources are all outside Special Collections.

For help finding feature films and documentaries, contact Michael Rodriguez, the subject librarian for film studies.

Or get 24/7 help through the library's chat service.

Rovi Media Collection

Items from the Rovi Media Collection must be requested through the catalog. We'll email as soon as your items are ready to pick up at the Patron Services Desk in the Main Library lobby.

Go to the library catalog and do a basic keyword search for an actor, film title, etc.

Example: See these results for the Mexican actress Dolores Del Rio

  • Look for Entire Catalog
  • From that menu select Rovi Media Collection and click Search
  • Click title to view full catalog record
  • Click purple GET IT button to request film

Digital & Multimedia Center • Main Library, 4 West

The Digital & Multimedia Center also has films. Go to the library catalog and do a basic keyword search for an actor, film title, etc.

Example: See these results for the Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène

  • Look for Entire Catalog
  • From that menu, select Digital/Media Center and click Search
  • Request film at Digital & Multimedia Center, 4 West (have call number ready)

Streaming video

The library subscribes to several streaming video collections. In the library catalog do an advanced keyword search for an actor, film, genre, etc.

  • Under Limited to - Collection, change the drop-down menu selection from Entire Catalog to Electronic Resources.
  • Under Limited to - Material Type, change the drop-down menu selection from Any to Video/Visual.
  • Click the movie title to see the full catalog record, with a link to connect to the streaming service.

Film Criticism

Looking for film criticism and reviews? Check out this resource guide by film studies librarian Michael Rodriguez.

Resource Guide Editor

Ruth Ann Jones

Instruction/Outreach Librarian

Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections

Michigan State University Libraries

jonesr@msu.edu

she/her/hers

American Black Journal (WDET Detroit)

The American Black Journal Archive (MSS 219) contains videotapes of American Black Journal episodes, correspondence, business files, and research materials for featured topics.

The archive covers the years 1972-2002, but most of the material is within the period 1976-1994.

This collection is stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Biographies

Biographies of actors and actresses are always a popular genre of publishing for a general audience. Browse our holdings in Special Collections.

Scholarly biographies, published by university presses, will generally be found in the library's circulating collection.

Critiques of Hollywood from the right

Our Radicalism Collection contains more than 40,000 items from radical and extremist political organizations, covering both ends of the political spectrum.

Political groups on the right regularly criticize the American entertainment industry. Browse commentary about television and movies from far-right organizations.

Latinx contributions to film history

The Latinos in Film Collection (MSS 286) has nearly 600 pieces of rare movie ephemera, incluiding posters, lobby cards, press packets, and early "photoplay" editions. The collection focuses on the portrayal of Latinx characters and on Latinx film stars. Most of the collection concerns Hollywood movies, but Mexico, Cuba, Italy and the United Kingdom are also represented.

The Latino Hollywood Screenplays Collection (MSS 373) includes scripts for more than 265 film and television productions which had Latinx characters, featured Latinx actors, or were the work of Latinx writers, directors, or producers.

Both collections are stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Magazines

The Entertainment Magazine Collection (MSS 369) has 50+ issues of tv and movie magazines, primarily from the 1950s and the 1970s. 

The Tabloid and Gossip Magazine Collection (MSS 367) is not limited to Hollywood gossip, but there is a strong focus on the entertainment industry.

Both collections are stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Our movie magazines include samples of some of the earliest newsstand titles, like Movie Weekly, as well as more recent titles.

Our collection of television magazines is strong in fan magazines and in magazines devoted to a single program, like Rod Serling's Twilight Zone Magazine. But we also have nearly 40 years' worth of TV Guide and daytime TV classics like Soap Opera Digest.

Movie programs

In the early days of cinema, going to the "moving picture" was such an event that audience members could buy a program in the theater lobby, similar to the programs handed out at live performances today.

The Motion Picture Souvenir Book Collection has 44 movie programs from throughout the 20th century. This collection is stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Special Collections also has 270+ movie programs with individual records in the library catalog.

Music from movies

Our sheet music collection includes scores for about 125 songs from movies. We also have a few examples of music from animated films.

Novelizations, tie-ins, and comics

Special Collections has thousands of novelizations, tie-in volumes, and comic books related to movies and television series.

To find them, use the Advanced Search function in the library catalog:

  • Search for the title of the media property (such as Star Trek or Planet of the Apes)
  • Under Limited to | Collection, change the menu option from Entire Catalog to Special Collections

Screenwriting

The screenwriting partners Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr. both graduated from MSU, and Cash also taught at MSU. Together they wrote the box office hits Top Gun, Turner & Hooch, and Dick Tracy, among others.

The Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr. Papers contain correspondence and drafts related to six of their co-authored scripts, allowing a rare insight into the progression of a project from the initial idea to the completed work.

This collection is stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Scripts

The Latino Hollywood Screenplays Collection includes scripts for more than 265 film and television productions which had Latinx characters, featured Latinx actors, or were the work of Latinx writers, directors, or producers. This collection is stored off-campus. Please request 3 days before your visit.

Special Collections has 150+ movie scripts cataloged individually, ranging from the 1930s to the 2000s. A handful were commercially published, but most are copies used by actors or production staff.

Special Collections also has about 125 television scripts cataloged individually. Most are from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Vertical files

Vertical files are a way for Special Collections to organize newspaper clippings, postcards, trade catalogs, event flyers, and other small items which typically are not given an individual record in the library catalog.

Vertical files vary in size, ranging a single folder with just a few sheets, to five or more folders stuffed with material. Our Popular Culture Vertical Files cover more than 850 topics.

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