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Information Services

Film Studies

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

Library Services Update

The web link below takes you to the up-to-date information about access to the Library collections, facilities and services, and how to get further help.

Collections for Film Studies

Film Studies resources in Edinburgh University Libraries include video materials like DVDs and film streaming, printed materials such as books and journals which can be in physical and electronic formats, as well as subscription-based databases which provide online access to abstracts, catalogues, bibliographies or full text of scholarly literature and film streaming services.

Main Library

Most printed literature such as books and journals and visual materials for film studies are located in the Main Library, George Square. Some older books are located in the University Collections Facility (UCF) from where items can be requested and delivered via the Library’s electronic document delivery service. All the materials are listed in DiscoverEd.

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. 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.

Video and film collections in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

A large collection of world films and documentaries is held in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures Resource Centre on the first floor of 50 George Square. The Video Catalogue Search (VIDCAT) within MyEd offers easy access to the list by title searching or browsing. There are currently around 9000 items, from rare BBC documentaries to animated short films, from Hollywood blockbusters to post-revolutionary Iranian cinema. 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.

Several hundred films can be watched online on the University network or via VPN connection away from campus.

How to search for film studies materials in DiscoverEd

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’.

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: