Film and Media Arts: Getting Started

Background Information

Getting started with research may require accessing background information to learn basic information about your topic. Biographies and encyclopedias are great places to start.


Encyclopedia articles are an excellent way to quickly learn the basic information about your research topic, providing you with the terminology and names you'll need for further research.

We have hundreds of encyclopedias in print editions on topics ranging from Anime to Zombies! To find them:

  1. Go to Usearch, the library catalog
  2. Search for: Encyclopedias AND ...
  3. Replace the .... with a concept or research topic. For example: Encyclopedias AND Anime
  4. If needed, limit your results using the Resource Type and Subject options in the right-side column.
  5. If you see a link under the title that says "Available At" or "Checked Out," the encyclopedia is available in print. If you see a link for "Online Access" it's available as an e-book.

Biography Databases

These three electronic databases provide citations and full-text biographies.

Biographies: Directors

"Conversations with Filmmakers" Series - Extensive one-on-one interviews with internationally renown filmmakers.

Faber & Faber's "Directors on Directing" series - Even more one-on-one interviews with internationally renown filmmakers.

Biographies of international film directors

Find books, e-books, videos, & more at Marriott Library

Academic libraries around the world have special collections departments with similarly unique materials, often with a regional/geographic focus. Be sure to look for their websites, too.

Guides to Related Disciplines

Graduate Studies Themes - 2020/2021

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library