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Intro to American Studies: Basic Resources: Finding Images, Media, and Sound

This guide focuses on basic resources that you can use when seeking information or materials relating to American Studies.

Finding Films

Want to know if the Rutgers Libraries own a particular film?

Enter the title into the QuickSearch Browse search box.

DVDs and VHS cassettes are on shelves on the lower level of Dana Library near the group lounge area. Simply take the empty box for the item you want upstairs to the Circulation Desk located in the first floor lobby of the library. Circulation staff will retrieve the tape, CD or DVD for you and check it out to you just as they would a book.

Most circulating DVDs owned by the Media Center in New Brunswick are eligible for the Rutgers Delivery Service.

Media Library Collection

Sound Collections

Smithsonian Global Sound Over 2900 online audio recordings (over 42,000 tracks) of American folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, spoken word, and world music. Rutgers-restricted Access

DRAM: Database of Recorded American Music CD quality audio, complete and original liner notes and essays from New World Records, Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI) and other important labels. Over 1,200 complete CDs (7,500 compositions). Rutgers-restricted Access

Streaming Video Collections

In addition to media on DVD and other. formats, the Libraries have individual titles available in streaming video. For example:

Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn film project

We also subscribe to a number of streaming video databases.

Swank Digital Campus
Access to course-assigned feature films. Because this service is maintained to support classroom instruction, the films available through Swank will vary from semester to semester.
  • The Ten Commandments (1956)
  • Kanopy
    A broad selection of streaming documentaries, independent and foreign films, classics, and feature films.
  • Out in the Night (2014)
  • Radio, Television, and Film

    Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text
    Includes Variety film reviews from 1914 to the present as well as more than 36,000 images from the MPTV Image Archive.   Rutgers-restricted Access
    Film Literature Index
    Index to scholarly and popular film and television periodicals worldwide from 1976 to 2001. Search or browse citations.
    FIAF International FilmArchive Database
    1972- . Index to over 300 international film periodicals, including academic journals and trade papers. Rutgers-restricted Access
    Paley Center for Media Database
    The Paley Center (New York City) houses a media collection of nearly 150,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. The database includes synopsis of programs. The Edward John Noble Scholars Room has carrels equipped with an audio/visual monitor for viewing and listening to the Paley Center's collection of programs and computers that access the library's database. Use of the Scholars Room is available to students and others affiliated with educational organizations at a rate of $15 per day; The Scholar's Room is open: Wednesdays to Sundays 12:00 to 6:00 pm, and 12:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursdays.
    American History in Video
    Digitized documentaries, newsreel films, and archival footage.   Rutgers-restricted Access

    Finding Early Film Reviews

    Film Review Index. 2 vols
    Patricia King Hanson & Stephen L. Hanson, editors. Phoenix, Ariz., Oryx Press, 1986-
    One of the best sources for finding early film reviews, the Film Review Index cites reviews to over 7000 feature films released between 1914 and 1985. Vol. 1: 1882-1949; Vol. 2: 1950-1985. In addition to popular magazines, the index also lists reviews in trade publications, newspapers, anthologies, and selected books.
    Dana Call Number: Ref. PN1995 .F513 1986

    Once you have the list of sources in which a specific film was reviewed, you will need to go to the Rutgers Library Catalog to find out if that source is available at Rutgers.
    Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature Retrospective. 1900- .
    Index to the major general interest and popular periodicals from the late 19th century to 1982. An excellent source for finding film reviews.

    Image Libraries

    ARTstor Approximately 700,000 images with citations in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. Rutgers-restricted Access

    New York Public Library Digital Gallery Over 685,000 images digitized from NYPL collections.

    Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century Search or browse a rich collection of images taken from the collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

    You can also use Google Image Search to look for images of particular people or subjects.

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