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home about Jeremy Murray-Brown documentary course other courses BU Documentary Makers Screenings Resources


BARNOUW, Erik: Documentary, a History of the Non-Fiction Film (2nd revised edition, 1993)


Early Film

  • The American Film Institute catalog of motion pictures produced in the United States, Volume A: Film Beginnings (Library Reference)
  • Arnold, H.J.P.: Photographer of the World, The Biography of Herbert Ponting
  • Brownlow, Kevin: The War, The West, and The Wilderness
  • Dickson, W. K-L.: The Biograph In Battle
  • Gidley, Mick: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian, Incorporated
  • Holm, Bill and Quimby, George Irving: Edward S. Curtis in the Land of the War Canoes
  • Musser, Charles: Before the Nickelodeon
  • Niver, Kemp R: Early motion pictures: the paper print collection in the Library of Congress (Library Reference Shelves)
  • Ponting, Herbert George: The Great White South
  • Savours, Ann (editor): Scott's Last Voyage Through the Antarctic Camera of Herbert Ponting


  • Calder-Marshall, Arthur: The Innocent Eye
  • Flaherty, Frances: The Odyssey of a Film-Maker
  • Murphy, William T.: Robert Flaherty, a guide to references and resources
  • Rotha, Paul (with Jay Ruby, editor): Robert J. Flaherty, A Biography

British Movement

  • Dartington Hall Trustees: The Factual Film
  • Hardy, Forsyth: John Grierson, A Documentary Biography
  • Hardy, Forsyth (editor): Grierson on Documentary
  • Lovell, Alan and Hillier, Jim: Studies in Documentary
  • Pronay, N and Spring, D.W.: Propaganda, Politics and Film, 1918-45
  • Rotha, Paul: Documentary Diary
  • Sussex, Elizabeth: The Rise and Fall of British Documentary
  • Swann, Paul: The British Documentary Film Movement, 1926-1946
  • Watt, Harry: Don't Look At The Camera

American Movement

  • Fielding, Raymond: The American Newsreel 1911-1967
  • Fielding, Raymond: The March of Time
  • Lorentz, Pare: FDR's Moviemaker, Memoirs and Scripts
  • Mellow, James R.: Walker Evans
  • Snyder, Robert: Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film
  • Stott, William: Documentary Expression and Thirties America


  • Bluem, A. William: Documentary in American television
  • Einstein, Daniel: Special edition : a guide to network television documentary series and special news reports, 1955-1979 (Library Reference Shelves)
  • Einstein, Daniel: Special edition : a guide to network television documentary series and special news reports, 1980-1989 (Library Reference Shelves)
  • Levin, G. Roy: Documentary Explorations
  • Rosenthal, Alan: The New Documentary in Action
  • Rosenthal, Alan: The Documentary Conscience
  • Sherman, Sharon R.: Documenting Ourselves


  • Barsam, Richard M.: Nonfiction Film, A Critical History
  • Barsam, Richard M. (editor): Nonfiction Film Theory and Criticism
  • Ellis, Jack C.: The documentary idea
  • Ivens, Joris: The Camera and I
  • Jacobs, Lewis (editor): The Documentary Tradition
  • Kracauer, Siegfried: From Caligari to Hitler
  • Leyda, Jay: Kino
  • Rotha, Paul: Documentary Film
  • Vertov, Dziga: Kino-Eye

Books on visual images relevant to the documentary idea (also on reserve):

  • The American Image: Photographs from the National Archives, 1860-1960, introduction by Alan Trachtenberg (Random House, 1979)
  • Documenting America 1935-1943, edited by Carl Fleischhauer and Beverly W. Brannan (University of California Press, 1988)
  • Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater, by Barbara Melosh (Smithsonian Institution, 1991)
  • Freeze Frame: Alaska Eskimos in the Movies, by Ann Fienup-Riordan (University of Washington Press, 1995)
  • Symbols of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America 1890-1950, by Maren Stange (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
  • Wall-to-Wall America: A Cultural History of Post Office Murals in the Great Depression, by Karal Ann Marling (University of Minnesota, 1982)

On deposit in the Beebe Library:

  1. My monograph on Vertov;
  2. A New Yorker piece on an early documentary film maker, Hans Hermann Schomburgk;
  3. "San Pietro and the 'Art of War' " by Lance Bertelsen, from Southwest Review, Spring 1989, 230-56;
  4. Miscellaneous material useful to documentary makers, including information on stock footage archives.

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Email: jeremymb@bu.ed