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Film & Media Studies Research Guide

Highlighted Resource: Variety

Accessing Variety

Variety has long been the leading trade publication of the entertainment industry. Depending on what years you are researching, a few different sources are available.

The commercial website for Variety is important to be familiar with, but you will have to create citations manually for any articles you find there. These two scholarly databases are recommended because they not only provide comprehensive, full-text coverage of Variety, but they also provide citations for all of the articles they index.

1905-2000: Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive.

1999 - Present: Film and Television Literature With Full Text

For both databases:

  • Search normally. On the left you can filter by the publication title Variety (and Daily Variety in Film and Television Literature Index). OR
  • Use the “Advanced Search” function and enter Variety as the “Publication Title” together with your search terms. OR
  • Use the "Publications" link on top to go to the Variety landing page in the database to browse issues or search within the publication.

Both databases have other industry trade publications that are worth exploring in addition to Variety.

Alternative for the Classical Hollywood Studio EraMedia History Digital Library

  • Offers free and open access for the years 1905-1954, as well as access to a number of other trade journals.
  • You will have to create your own citations manually for any articles that you find.

Daily Variety Archives: The Woodruff Library also has access to the Daily Variety archives. Ask James Steffen for information about how to access. You must be a current Emory student or faculty member.

Highlighted Resource: More MPAA Production Code Administration files

New Online Collection:
MPAA Production Code Administration files at the Herrick Library.

The Margaret Herrick Library has created a new online collection of Production Code Administration files:

"Full documentation from a selection of 500 film titles in the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration records. Will Hays, as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) in 1930, introduced the Production Code, a document designed to help the industry regulate itself by following certain moral principles and guidelines. Hays chose Joseph Breen to oversee the administration of the Code in 1934. Under Breen, the studios were required to submit all screenplays for approval and all films released by MPPDA member companies were required to display a Code seal. In 1946, the organization changed its name to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hays was succeeded by Eric Johnston. The Production Code remained in force until 1968, when it was superseded by the MPAA ratings system, which is still in use today."

This new selection complements 500 files that were released earlier on microfilm and recently made available online under the title Hollywood, Censorship, and the Motion Picture Production Code, 1927-1968.

Highlighted Resource: MPAA Production Code Administration files

Hollywood, censorship, and the motion picture production code, 1927-1968

Online version of the microfilm collection History of the Cinema. Series 1: Hollywood and the Production Code Administration (MICFILM 4482, plus printed guide). Selected files from the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration, filmed from the holdings of the Magaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The set contains files on 500 films dating from 1927 to 1968, including some significant foreign film releases.

To view a chronological list of films in the collection, click on the link "View All Documents."

Highlighted Resource: Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

Proquest's Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive includes full-text searching and access for key trade newspapers in theater, film, broadcast media and music, most notably the leading industry trade journal, Variety. The database is primarily historical in focus; coverage extends to the year 2000. For more recent content in the same journals, check eJournals @ Emory (

Titles available in the database include:

  • American Film (Archive: 1975-1992)
  • Back Stage (Archive: 1960-2000)
  • The Billboard (Archive: 1894-1960)
  • Billboard (Archive: 1963-2000)
  • Boxoffice (Archive: 1920-2000)
  • Broadcasting, Combined With Broadcast Advertising (Archive: 1933-1936)
  • Broadcasting, Broadcast Advertising (Archive: 1936-1945)
  • Broadcasting, Telecasting (Archive: 1945-1957)
  • Broadcasting (Archive: 1957-1993)
  • Broadcasting & Cable (Archive: 1993-2000)
  • Contrast (Archive: 1961-1966)
  • The Independent Film Journal (Archive: 1937-1979)
  • The Film Journal (Archive: 1979-1996)
  • Music America Magazine (Archive: 1976-1977)
  • Musician, Player, and Listener (Archive: 1977-1982)
  • Musician (Archive: 1982-1999)
  • New Musical Express (Archive: 1952-2000)
  • Radio & Records (Archive: 1973-1993)
  • R & R (Archive: 1994-2000)
  • Screen international (Archive: 1976-2000)
  • Spin (Archive: 1985-2000)
  • The Stage (Archive: 1880-1959)
  • The Stage and Television Today (Archive: 1959-1994)
  • The Stage (Archive: 1995-2000)
  • Variety (Archive: 1905-2000)

Highlighted Resource: Media History Digital Library

Media History Digital Library

The Media History Digital Library is an open-access collection of digitized media industry trade papers and fan magazines. In addition to high quality image scans of individual issues, it includes full-text searching. Many of these periodicals are not fully indexed or searchable elsewhere. Publications reproduced include:

  • Business Screen (1938-1973)
  • The Film Daily (1918-1936)
  • International Photographer (1929-1941)
  • Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (1930-1949)
  • Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (1950-1954)
  • The Educational Screen (1922-1962)
  • Moving Picture World (1912-1918)
  • Photoplay (1917-1940)
  • Radio Age: Research, Manufacturing, Communications, Broadcasting, Television (1942-1957)
  • Radio Broadcast (1922-1930)

Highlighted Resource: American Film Institute Catalog

This excellent online resource for American feature films gives production information, date of release and date of copyright, length in reels and minutes, director and production staff, source (if based on short story, novel, play), a full cast list (including many uncredited roles)and a plot summary. Contains more detailed and accurate information than commercial websites such as and

Entries often include notes and review sources from cinema and trade journals not indexed anywhere else, making this a useful starting point for more advanced research. Also in print as: Reference PN1998 .A57