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Rutgers University Libraries

American Popular Culture: Finding Images, Media, and Sound

Streaming Videos

Swank Digital Campus
Digital access to feature films and documentaries that Rutgers instructors are using in their courses this year. Content will change from semester to semester.
Kanopy
A broad selection of streaming documentaries, independent and foreign films, classics, and feature films.

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.

Sound Collections

Naxos Music Library
An on-line library of more than 75,000 tracks of music from the catalog of Naxos, a leading classical music label, and selected additional labels. Primarily classical music but also includes world music, jazz, and national anthems.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Smithsonian Global Sound
Over 2900 online audio recordings (over 42,000 tracks) of American folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, spoken word, and world music.
Off-Campus Access 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).
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access

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
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 QuickSearch to find out if that source is available at Rutgers. Select Periodical Title Begins with when searching with the journal name or Title Begins with when searching for a book.
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.

Jazz Discography

The Jazz Discography
Information on over 183,000 jazz recording sessions from 1896 to the present. Information for each session includes personnel, place and date of recording, song titles, matrix numbers, and issue (catalog) numbers for a variety of formats, from 78 rpm discs to CDs and downloads.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted access

Image Libraries

ARTstor
Approximately 700,000 images with citations in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences.
Off-Campus Access 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.
Ad*Access
"Over 7,000 U.S. and Canadian advertisements covering five product categories - Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II propaganda - dated between 1911 and 1955." A digital collection from the Duke University Libraries.
Emergence of Advertising in America
"Over 2,800 advertising items and publications dating from 1850 to 1920, illustrating the rise of consumer culture and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States." A digital collection from the Duke University Libraries.
AdViews: A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials
Thousands of television commercials from the 1950s to the 1980s.

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

Comic Books

Grand Comics Database
International database includes access to over 669,499 comic book covers and some 1,964,009 stories.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers web sites to: accessibility@rutgers.edu or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback Form.