In the Reference collection, you will find specialized encyclopedias and handbooks, dictionaries of film terms, biographical dictionaries for actors, directors, and other people important to film production, indexes of film reviews, catalogs of films, and directories for the film industry, among other things. If you are looking for specific information, please ask a librarian.
Subject encyclopedias are especially useful reference sources. Written on general topics such as international film, or specialized ones, such as film noir, particular ethnic groups in film, women filmmakers, or the films of individual countries, they have summary articles, often written by scholars or other experts, that give you an overview of a topic. You can browse these to help you decide if you are interested in doing more research on the topic. If you have already decided on a topic, these sources may give you a framework or context for your specific investigation. The articles will also give you names of people and places important for the topic, key dates, and other information you can use in further research. Many articles in subject encyclopedias include a bibliography or list of recommended books and articles on the topic. Using these recommendations is a good way to begin more in-depth research.
To find subject encyclopedias, use the HSU Library Catalog, not QuickSearch:
- Choose the Advanced Search tab.
- Type the term(s) for the subject you are looking for in the first Search: box, for example art, women artists, symbols, etc. Use as few words as possible.
- Change any of these to all of these or as a phrase, if needed.
- Change the first within: menu to subject.
- Type encyclopedias dictionaries in the second Search: box. (Many encyclopedias are called dictionaries. It just means that their articles are in alphabetical, or "dictionary," order.)
- Change the second within: menu to subject.
- Click the Search button.
For more help with using the Reference collection, please ask a librarian.
Print Reference Sources
Here are a few recommended reference sources available at the HSU Library. Use the call numbers to find the print sources in the Reference collection on the first floor of the library.
Online Reference Databases
On the Web
Here are some recommended sites that gather links: