Film and Television

Databases – Film


  • ABC News index -

An index to the ABC News Transcripts (Mugar Micro Mfiche Library has: 1970 – March 1997). Annual volumes (and a cumulative two-volume set covering 1970 – 1985) index the information in the transcripts by subject, names of interviewees, and titles of programs.   Mugar Micro Ref X PN4888 .T4 A22 Library has: 1970 – March 1997.

  • CBS News Index

An index to the CBS News Daily News Broadcasts (Mugar Micro Mfilm PN4888 .T4 C64a Library has: 1975 – 1988). Annual volumes provide alphabetical indexing by subject, including personal names.   Mugar Micro Ref X PN 4888 .T4 C64A Library has: vol. 1 (1975) – 12 (1986). Other Databases covering Film and Television

Magazines and Journals

The library subscribes to the online editions of the following film journals.

The library subscribes to many other film and television journals and magazines in hard copy. These may be found in Mugar Memorial Library and Pardee Management Library. Many are also available electronically: look at the eJOURNALS listing. Please consult the Boston University Online Catalog for more information about library holdings of particular journal titles.

Film and Television Reviews


MRQE (Movie Review Query Engine)

This search engine locates movie reviews on the Web. The New York Times Film Reviews : The volumes in this series reproduce film reviews from The New York Times, arranged chronologically by publication date. Each volume includes indexes to film titles, personal names, and corporate names. Times film reviews published from 1913 to 1968 are contained in an initial set of six volumes (cumulative title, personal name, and corporate name indexes are in the sixth volume).   Mugar Reference X PN1995 .N4 Library has: 1913/1931 – 1999/2000. (storage) Film Literature Index The first section of each issue includes citations to film reviews. These are listed under a subheading for Reviews within the entries for individual films.   Mugar Reference X Z5784 .M9 F45 Library has: 1973 – 2004.

Television and News Transcripts

Vanderbilt TV A full-text database containing transcripts of television and radio news programs, including ABC News, CBS News, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Network, National Public Radio, NBC, and PBS’ NewsHour. The dates covered vary for each network’s shows. These are all part of the Transcripts subcategory of the News section of the database.

ABC News Transcripts

Full-text transcripts of ABC News programs, including Nightline, This Week, 20/20, and World News Tonight. The ABC News Index (Mugar Micro Ref X PN4888 .T4 A22 Library has: 1970 – March 1997) provides subject and personal name indexing of the information contained in the transcripts. Publication of the transcripts and index ceased in 1997.  Mugar Mfilm Library has: 1970 – March 1997.

CBS News Daily News Broadcasts

Full-text transcripts of CBS News programs, including CBS Evening News, CBS News Special Reports, Face the Nation, and 60 Minutes. The CBS News Index (Mugar Micro Ref X PN 4888 .T4 C64A Library has: vol. 1 (1975) – 12 (1986)) provides subject and personal name indexing of the information contained in the transcripts. Publication of the transcripts and index ceased in 1988 and 1986, respectively.   Mugar Micro Mfilm PN4888 .T4 C64a Library has: 1975 – 1988.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film, 1896 – 1979 (storage)

This 13-volume set reproduces articles from The New York Times about all aspects of cinema and the film industry. The collection of articles provides an historical overview of the development and growth of cinema. The final volume is an index to the set, offering “references to the most significant people, places, things, and themes.” There are many other encyclopedias and dictionaries containing brief biographical information about actors and actresses, directors, producers, screenwriters, cinematographers, etc. These often contain brief entries for technical terms, film organizations, and general subjects having to do with film. Other works provide brief descriptive and bibliographic information about individual films. The following highly selective list is an introduction to the variety of these publications:

A Biographical Dictionary of Film

Mugar Reference X PN1998.2 .T49 2010 Cinema: A Critical Dictionary – Mugar Reference X PN1993.45 .C5 1980

Film Encyclopedia – Mugar Reference X PN1993.45 .K34 2008 International Motion Picture Almanac – Mugar Reference X PN 1993.3 .F29 2008-2009

International Dictionary of Broadcasting and Film – Mugar Reference X PN1990.4 .B64 The International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers World Film Directors – Mugar Reference X PN1998.2 .W67 1987


Encyclopedia of Television

A three-volume encyclopedia with entries about television personalities, shows, genres, and other topics. Each entry concludes with a brief list of references to other sources of information. The final volume has an index to the entire set.  Mugar Reference X PN1992.18 .E53 1997 There are many other encyclopedias and dictionaries containing brief descriptive and bibliographic information about individual television shows and series. These often contain additional information, including compendia of the networks’ prime-time schedules, lists of award winning or top-rated programming, etc. The following list is a highly selective introduction to the variety of these publications:

  • The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946 – PresentMugar Reference X PN1992.18 .B68 1999
  • Special Edition: A Guide to Network Television Documentary Series and Special News Reports, 1997(storage)
  • Television Drama Series Programming: A Comprehensive Chronicle, 1947 – 1984 (storage)
  • Television Specials: 3,201 Entertainment Spectaculars, 1939 – 1993 (storage)
  • Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present (storage)

Bibliographies and Catalogues


American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States

A series of books containing definitive bibliographic and descriptive information about U.S. feature films, including credits and plot summaries. The volumes issued so far cover films released from 1893 to 1950, and from 1961 to 1970. A separate volume, Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911 – 1960 (storage)

DocuSeek – is a search site for independent documentary, social issue, and educational videos available in the U.S. and Canada. Costs vary.
Film Index International [Emerson College Library]

A CD-ROM containing bibliographic information for individual films from all countries and in all languages, and biographical information about film personalities. The CD-ROM is based on a database maintained by the British Film Institute. Entries for films include credits, plot synopses, awards, and references to periodical articles. This database is available in the Emerson College Library.

FIAF Treasures from the Film Archives

An online catalog of film archives from Europe

The Critical Index: A Bibliography of Articles on Film in English, 1946 – 1973, Arranged by Names and Topics

A “guide to articles about directors, producers, actors, critics, screenwriters, cinematographers, specific films, and 175 topics dealing with the history, aesthetics, and economics of film, the relation of film to society, and the various genres of film. It consists of 5000 items from 22 film periodicals…and more than sixty general periodicals, indexed by proper name…and by topic…”

Film Index: A Bibliography

A comprehensive bibliography of writings about film published through 1936. The bibliography was compiled by the WPA Writers’ Project. There are three volumes, covering the film as art, the film as industry, and the film in society. (storage)


DVD and Video at BU

BU Catalog: For films in the Reserve room in Mugar Library, search our catalog. There are also many films that can be searched in the Krasker Media Center catalog ( .  Krasker has relocated to the basement floor of Mugar Library, 771 Commonwealth Avenue.  There are 23 new DVD/VCR players at Mugar, lower level.

Geddes Language Center Catalog of Holdings

A catalog of materials, including videotapes and DVDs, available in the collection of Boston University’s Geddes Language Center. The collection contains many foreign-language films. Geddes is located at 685 Commonwealth Avenue. “The Center’s Laboratory is open to all members of the Boston University community and welcomes visitors and guests.”

Krasker Film/Video Services Online Catalog

An online catalog of more than 15,000 titles on film, videocassette, laserdisc, and DVD. Krasker Film/Video Services is part of Boston University’s Media Group. Krasker.  Krasker has relocated to the basement floor of Mugar Library, 771 Commonwealth Avenue. Use of its facilities and collection is restricted to current faculty, students, and staff of the university.

Books in print.

The Books in Print database includes information on video and DVD titles available for purchase. Global Search This search engine performs a global search of the collections of hundreds of major stock footage sources.

Other Websites

  • The Internet Movie Database Owned by, this popular Web database contains information about films, directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, etc. The database catalogs “every pertinent detail about a movie, from who was in it, to who made it, to trivia about it, to filming locations, and even where you can find reviews and fan sites on the web.” Though this is not a scholarly database, it reflects the considerable effort that is made to present reliable and accurate information.
  • Yale University Guide on Japanese Cinema
  • Market and Advertising (Research Guide from BU) – See bottom of page for television sources.