Skip to Main Content

Gould Library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

CAMS 210: Film History I

Microform Collections

The following collections of primary sources on microfilm and microfiche may or may not be relevant to your research or your particular film. Check for your film among the title lists for each collection to see if it is included in the collection:

History of Cinema: Series 1: Hollywood and the Production Code

History of Cinema: Series 1: Hollywood and the Production Code
PN1993.5 U6 H57 2006 [Microform]

In 1983, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) donated the records of the Hollywood film industry's Production Code Administration (PCA) to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. This collection of documents, covering forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry, contains detailed case files (commonly referred to as "censorship files") for nearly twenty thousand film projects that were submitted to the Production Code staff for consideration.

Files normally include correspondence between studios or producers and the staffs of the PCA or the MPAA; letters to and from theater owners, censor boards, religious organizations, government entities, and other special interest groups concerned with the content of motion pictures. Files may include PCA interoffice communications such as telegrams, memoranda, and meeting notes; literary materials submitted for evaluation including stories, script synopses, script readers' reports, and treatments; song lyrics; and wardrobe photographs. Files may also include articles and reviews from newspapers, magazines, and trade journals; reports from state and national censor boards; copies of the official Code certificate letter; and a PCA analysis sheet detailing the characters and story of the finished film.

The History of Cinema: Hollywood and the Production Code microfilm collection includes a selection of five hundred files, each one relating to a particular film. The files are arranged in chronological order by the year of the film's release. Films released within the same year are arranged in alphabetical order by title. An online index of the film titles for which files are included in the collection is available at the tab above. For an index of the files by chronology or by director of the film covered, please consult the printed guide available on top of the third floor microfilm cabinets, call number PN1993.5.U6 H57 2006.

Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections

Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections
PN1995.9.P79 C55 2001 [Microform]

Cinema pressbooks are primary resource materials originally distributed to cinema owners and the mass media with the intent of publicizing a specific motion picture. They often contained technical descriptions and synopses of a film, brief biographies of and interviews with the film's stars, advertisement and poster designs, still photographs, and suggestions for effective promotion of the film. Today, pressbooks have been replaced by the electronic press kit which includes behind-the-scenes footage from the film and videotaped interviews with the stars but will often contain the same kind of printed synopses, biographies and interviews, and still photographs that a pressbook might have contained.

The Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections microfilm contains 1700 pressbooks from three studios and covers the years of transition from silent to talking pictures through the "Golden Era" of Hollywood filmmaking.

The Cinema Pressbooks from the Original Studio Collections microfilm collection is comprised of four sub-collections: Warner Bros. sound features, 1927 to 1949Warner Bros. silent features, 1922 to 1929Monogram Pictures, 1937 to 1946; and United Artists (including Eagle Lion Films), 1919 to 1949. Click these links to locate film titles and reel numbers for pressbooks included in the collection (use command-F to search on the page). A complete, alphabetical index of all film titles included in the collection is available at the publisher's Web site.

BFI Cinema Pressbooks 1920-1940

BFI Cinema Pressbooks 1920-1940
PN1995.9.P79 C56 1991 [Microform]

Cinema pressbooks are primary resource materials originally distributed to cinema owners and the mass media with the intent of publicizing a specific motion picture. They often contained technical descriptions and synopses of a film, brief biographies of and interviews with the film's stars, advertisement and poster designs, still photographs, and suggestions for effective promotion of the film. Today, pressbooks have been replaced by the electronic press kit which includes behind-the-scenes footage from the film and videotaped interviews with the stars but will often contain the same kind of printed synopses, biographies and interviews, and still photographs that a pressbook might have contained.

The BFI Cinema Pressbooks 1920-1940 collection contains 774 pressbooks from eight major American studios and several smaller independents and covers the 1920s and 1930s.

Click the "Microform Collections: BFI Cinema Pressbooks 1920-1940" tab above to find film titles and number of fiche for pressbooks included in the collection (use command-F to search on the page). A complete, searchable PDF guide to the collection is also available for download.