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Information Services

Film Studies

This guide provides a general introduction to information resources for Film Studies in Edinburgh University Libraries.

How to watch films

Films can be watched in a variety of ways via the Library and the Resource Centre within the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

Main Library

There are over 5,000 DVD video items in the Library system. DVDs in the Main Library are interfiled with the general book collections in the Library of Congress (LC) classification scheme. The most useful shelfmark for ‘motion pictures’ is PN1995. There are about 600 DVDs of Chinese films in the East Asian Collection.

DiscoverEd can be used to search for DVDs by title, director, subject, keyword. 

Please note that films may be borrowed for educational purposes only, and so the copying of DVDs and videos for other purposes are strictly forbidden by copyright laws.

Edinburgh College of Art Library

The ECA Library holds a large collection of DVDs, ranging from art documentaries, current films, classic movies, anime, animation DVDs and artist's filmworks. The collection is located on level 1 of the Library in Evolution House. The DVDs and videos are short loan, and there is also 1 DVD player and screen in the Library, with instructions, at the study desks adjacent to the DVD collection.

DiscoverEd can be used to search for DVDs by title, director, subject, keyword. 

LLC Resource Centre

A large collection of DVDs is held in the Resource Centre of the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) on the first floor of 50 George Square.

The Video Catalogue (VIDCAT) within MyEd offers easy access to the list by title searching or browsing. There are currently around 9,000 items. DVD players as well as video and audio editing facilities are available on site. Staff and postgraduate students can borrow items from the collection overnight.

Streamable films are also available to watch via the LLC Resource Centre Media page on Media Hopper. 

Streaming films

The University Library provides access to the following streaming services (UoE login is required).

  • Academic Video Online
  • BFI Player
  • Box of Broadcasts
  • Kanopy (UoE users have full access to several dozen films which the Library has purchased for teaching. These films will be displayed after you login in and can be accessed from any device including computer, IOS and Android devices.)
  • IMV Box (Iranian films. Access for Iranian film studies course only, arranged through Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies department)

Go to the Film collections page for more information and links to these and other resources. 

How to search for film studies materials in DiscoverEd

Film Studies resources in Edinburgh University Libraries also include printed materials such as books and journals, which can be in physical and electronic formats, as well as online databases which provide access to scholarly literature.

Use DiscoverEd to search for books, journals, journal articles, DVDs, and other physical and electronic items.


In Quick Search, enter “motion pictures” (within quotation marks). You can then refine search results by material type, by subject, by library site or by database collections in which the resources occur.

Or, in Advanced Search, select ‘In subject headings’ and enter ‘motion pictures’ in the search box. For DVDs, at the search point, select Audio Visual in ‘Material Type’.

To see a list of online databases relevant to Film Studies, go to the Databases page

How to find items in your reading list

Use Resource Lists to find your course reading lists. Lookup reading lists by list title, course title, course code, course instructors.

  •   Resource lists

  •   Information for Students

Please note that not all the courses at the University use Resource Lists.

Accessing material beyond the Library collections

If the library does not have what you want then there are several ways of getting access to the material:

The National Library of Scotland

Conveniently located within ten minutes' walk of the University's Main Library, the National Library of Scotland (NLS) holds huge collections of primary and secondary source matierials on all subject areas.

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Service

This allows you to request material either held at distant university library sites including the  University Collections Facility, or material not held by the university. 

Book Recommendations

If you are unable to find the book that you need for your studies then use the Student Request a Book (RaB) service to recommend a purchase.

Visit another library

It may be possible (and sometimes quicker) to visit another library in the UK to get access to the item you require. Some reciprocal schemes and agreements allow our staff and students access to some other libraries.

Academic Support Librarian

Related subject guides

Subject Guides from other disciplines may offer useful information, depending on the area of your research interest.

Exam Papers


Exam Papers Online provides access to the collected degree examination papers of the University from 2004 onwards. They may be used by students as a study aid only.

The Library Subject Guide for Exams and Revision provides advice on how to get the most out of the Library and other University support for revising for and taking exams: