Film and Media Studies


The library supports Yale’s research and teaching in film and media studies.  Undergraduate and graduate study of film is undertaken at Yale through both the film studies degree programs and the foreign language and literature programs. Yale’s film studies degree programs focus on film history and criticism. There is no filmmaking degree program at Yale, but classes are regularly offered in screenwriting, filmmaking, and film production.  Students also make films/videos and pursue film production careers independently

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

The film studies collections reflect the interests of the following departments and programs:

  • Program of Film and Media Studies
  • Program of Theater Studies
  • Program of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Because film and media studies has cross-disciplinary implications, these collections also offer support for research and teaching in Western European language and literature departments (e.g., English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, German), the Department of History, and area studies such as African Studies.

Formats collected


  • Academic and trade press monographs are acquired in print or electronic formats.
  • Maps and textbooks are generally excluded unless requested by faculty.
  • Popular-press biographies and autobiographies are collected selectively
  • Screenplays in languages other than English are collected selectively
  • Practice-oriented books on film producing, directing, screenwriting and cinematography are collected very selectively.


  • Online-only subscriptions are preferred; print subscriptions are initiated or continued when an online edition is not available, not stable, or not adequate.

Reference materials

  • Electronic reference materials, including indexing and abstracting databases, dictionaries, and encyclopedias, are almost always preferred to their print counterparts. Print reference materials are acquired when an online version is not available, not stable, or not adequate.

Audiovisual materials

  • Audiovisual materials and CD-ROMs are collected selectively. Film prints, DVDs, and Blu-rays are acquired by the Yale Film Archive, but occasionally DVDs accompany monographs collected at SML. 


  • Yale Library has extensive microform holdings supporting film studies. However, due to the increasing conversion of microform collections to digital formats and the interlibrary loan availability of microform sets from the Center for Research Libraries, microform supporting film studies is now acquired on demand only.

Languages collected

English and Western European language materials are collected extensively.

Chronological and geographical focus

Current materials are emphasized, with out of print materials purchased to replace damaged or lost copies of significant works, or in response to faculty or student requests.

In terms of time periods covered in the materials themselves, the collections run the gamut from medieval to contemporary. 

Materials from the US, Canada, Great Britain, and Western Europe are collected extensively. (See also International Collections statements for collecting outside of Europe and North America.) Materials from Australia and New Zealand were formerly collected extensively, and now are collected selectively.

Collaborations within Yale

  • The International Collections all acquire material in film and media studies published anywhere in the world pertaining to their respective regions.
  • Collaboration within HCRE (Humanities Collections and Research Education) on purchases, especially databases of wide interest to humanists including historical newspapers, pamphlets, scholarly editions, and journals.
  • Occasional collaboration with the Music Library, Divinity Library, Center for British Art, or the Law Library in purchases of or subscriptions to databases of mutual interest.
  • Bass Library