Pathfinder for Film Studies

How to do a very simple film studies search

Lets use the ALFRED HITCHCOCK film VERTIGO for an example.

1. The Film

First check Roger (the UCSD Libraries on-line catalog) to see if the Film & Video Library owns the film. You are looking for VERTIGO [videorecording]. You can either use scoped Roger (limited by collection), or regular Roger (the entire catalog) for a title search. A title search - VERTIGO in regular Roger will retrieve everything with VERTIGO as the first word in the title. In this particular case the 1st item in the list retrieved is VERTIGO ( 8 entries ). Click on and you will get the film. In scoped Roger (limited to the FVL) your title search - VERTIGO will be automatically narrowed to the 8 entries.

If you want to retrieve a list of all the Hitchcock films the FVL owns do an Author (director) search.

In general when you are looking for the film or video only, it is better to use scoped Roger.

You can view the film (vhs,dvd or laser disc) at the FVL.

2. Books


Roger (UCSD Library catalog)

  • Title Using VERTIGO as a title search term will get you entries with VERTIGO as the first word in the title. Among the books on dizziness you will find at least one book on VERTIGO the film - VERTIGO: THE MAKING OF A HITCHCOCK CLASSIC.
  • Keyword Using HITCHCOCK, will get you a large collections of books. Many but not all about Alfred Hitchcock.Using VERTIGO will get all records with the word VERTIGO in the record. Limit by using the phrase VERTIGO AND NOT DIZZINESS will retrieve less records.
  • Subject search on HITCHCOCK, ALFRED, will retrieve a large list of items on the director.

Can't find it at UCSD try;

Circuit (Library catalogs for UCSD, SDSU, USD, & CSUSM. 24 hour wait.)

MELVYL/CDL (UC system-wide catalog)
At CDL menu you will see - choose a database, select MELVYL catalog

3. Journal articles


You will want to change from Roger to CDL. CDL includes MELVYL the UC system's on-line library catalog and a collection of UC licensed databases. You will use the same basic search strategies as you use in Roger. At the CDL menu page you will see Choose a database.

Three helpful (among many) databases for this subject are;

  • Expanded Academic ASAP (Scholarly and popular journals. many full text )
  • ArtAbstract (Citations to articles and reviews from 200 art related journals )
  • Film Literature Index (Annually indexes 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 200 other periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. The periodicals range from the scholarly to the popular.)

Expanded Academic ASAP (CDL's UC licensed database)

  1. A subject search VERTIGO will give you a long list of articles. Once again a lot of articles on dizziness! Also articles on the film.
  2. To limit a subject search combine terms. VERTIGO MOTION PICTURE. Thiswill narrow your hits to articles about the film.
  3. A Subject search HITCHCOCK, ALFRED will retrieve another long list.
  4. To limit, try HITCHCOCK, ALFRED, VERTIGO. This will retrieve articles directly related to the film.

ArtAbstract (CDL's UC licensed database)

  • A Subject search ALFRED HITCHCOCK will retrieve articles. HITCHCOCK, ALFRED retrieved 0 hits!. Each database handles somewhat differently so be prepared to vary your search from time to time.
  • A Subject search VERTIGO retrieved articles on the film.

Film Literature Index (CDL UC licensed database)
You can search the citations or browse by subject headings, browse by person names, browse by production titles, or browse by corporate names.

4. On-line