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last updated: 4/23/2012

Film Studies Collection Development Policy

Film Studies

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This policy is intended as a guideline for purchases on the Film Studies budget. This document provides an overview of the Film Studies collection, and should serve as a guide for maintaining and updating the collection, and a reference for other collectors and administrators.

    2. Audience
      The intended audience is the IU library community and the Film Studies program.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      This collection should support teaching and research in the film studies program (, part of the Communication and Culture department ( The Communication and Culture Department includes 440 students, a master's program, and a doctoral program, but these resources are also used by many introductory freshman composition courses in the English department. The possible creation of a Center for American Cinema at the IU-Bloomington campus would create a larger demand on the collection and higher visibility nationally.

      1. History of the collection
      2. Brief overview of the collection
      3. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        Overall the Film Studies collection is a strong research collection. The collection supports the curricular and research programs of Film Studies, which includes faculty in the departments of African American Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, French, Italian, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, Germanic Studies, Instructional Systems Technology, and Slavic Languages and Literature, and to support cinema related curriculum and research in the departments of English, Theatre and Drama, Fine Arts and the School of Music. It includes materials on filmmaking and film culture in Third World nations. It also supports the curricular and research program of Visual Anthropology.

      4. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Collecting is done in the following areas: history and art of the film; history and art of directors, specific films, actors; to a limited degree, studies on the techniques and craft of film production as well as the scientific aspects of filmmaking, and documentary film where it is applicable to the study of film and film culture. Holdings in history of film, the film industry, film criticism, and film theory are particularly strong.

      5. Collection locations
        The collection is located in the Main Library Research Collections. Titles are also found in the Fine Arts and the Music libraries.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Languages: English and all western languages are strongly emphasized in the collection. Limited selections are made in non-Western languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Third World languages.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Geographic Areas: North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      All periods of film writing and film history are included.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      All dates are included.
      Particular attention needs to be given to the collection of older film periodicals from the early 1900s. Early texts on film history and theory are often characterized as more popular than scholarly and as a result are sometimes not included in research collections. This is an area that would benefit from retrospective collection development. The collection has benefited in greatly in this area with the David Bradley gift.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Inclusions: Books, periodicals, microforms, scripts, exhibition/museum publications. A strong emphasis is placed on print resources.

      Exclusions: Original scripts; scores; press books; film memorabilia; posters; film stills; 16, 35, and 70mm films. Film Studies is fortunately supported by the Media Department's collection of films.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    Collection manager- Angela Courtney, Librarian for English and American Literature, Philosophy, and Film Studies.
    There is some overlap with the English collection interests, as well as fine arts and music.

  4. Related Collections
    The Media and Reserve Services Department collects videorecordings, including feature films on video; documentaries with significance to the study of filmmaking; experimental films; and secondary works on films, filmmakers, genres, and the history of motion pictures. The Librarian for Film Studies works with the subject and area librarians to coordinate the selection of interdisciplinary works related to the study of film. While most scholarly books on film will be purchased on the Film Studies fund, exceptions include works in minor Western European languages and the most specialized works in non-Western languages. The Business/SPEA Librarian collects works on the business aspects of the filmmaking industry.

    The Lilly Library collects original documentation on motion pictures and the motion picture industry, including scripts, press books, and various kinds of memorabilia. The papers of two major filmmakers, Orson Welles and John Ford, are among the major film resources held by the Lilly Library. The David Bradley Film collection significantly augments the film, special collections, and book holdings of Indiana University.The Audiovisual Center Film Library collects 16mm films and videocassettes on film. Relevant topics include experimental films, feature films, film study, filmmakers, and the history of motion pictures.

    The Black Film Center Archive, which is part of the department of African America Studies, houses a collection of black films. These films have substantial participation by African Americans as writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants, or depict some aspect of black experience.

    The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction has a collection of erotic/pornographic films that constitutes a unique resource for research.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Approval plan forms, LC slips, vendor catalogs, and reviews, advertisements, and announcements in journals (including but not limited to Wide Angle, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, The Moving Image, Post Script, and Film History).

  6. Preservation

  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    To date, selection has been based on the existence of duplicate copies. For the next phase, age, use statistics, and condition will be considered. Journal runs that are duplicated in the libraries' online subscriptions will also be considered.

    Film Studies Home Page

    Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/23/2012