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Video Resources at Vassar Library

Subject Headings for Genre and National Cinemas

These are examples of subject headings that are useful for creating lists of films from the Vassar Library collection.  Genre subject headings are not always consistently applied, so for example, some of the videos in our collection with "noirish" elements do not have the subject heading "film noir," but the core titles do have this subject heading.

Search Tips for Finding Videos in the Online Catalog

To search for videos in the library catalog, go to Library's homepage and choose the Catalog tab. To limit your search to the video collection (both DVD and VHS), change the dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos.” If you want to limit to DVD format only, use the Advanced Search and limit the location to “Main DVD.”

Keyword Search

  1. Choose from the top drop-down menu and enter words from the title or creators (directors, actors or screenwriters) or subject headings
  2. Change the second dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos”
  3. To limit to DVD format only, use the Advanced Search and limit the location to “Main DVD”

Title Search

  1. Choose Title from the main drop-down menu and enter title
  2. Change the second dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos”
  3. To limit to DVD format only, use the Advanced Search and limit the location to “Main DVD”

Subject Search

  1. Choose Subject from the top drop-down menu and enter subject keywords, for example: “Feature films – Mexico”; “experimental”; Iran* (including the asterisk will find Iran/Iranian/Iranians)
  2. Change the second dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos”
  3. To limit to DVD format only, use the Advanced Search and limit the location to “Main DVD”

Author Search (for Director/Actor/Screenwriter/Cinematographer)

  1. Choose Author from the top drop-down menu and enter name of director/actor/writer/cinematographer, etc.
  2. Change the second dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos”
  3. To limit to DVD format only, use the Advanced Search and limit the location to “Main DVD”

Identifying Videos from a Specific Country

  1. Choose Subject from the top drop-down menu.
  2. Change the second dropdown menu from “View Entire Collection” to “Videos”
  3. Enter the subject "Motion Picture - country."  There is an inconsistency in the metadata- in some cases the noun form of the nation is used, in some cases the adjectival form is used, and in some cases both subject headings are included.  If you want to do a thorough search, you'll need to do both.  For example, if you're looking for films from Mexico, search for "Motion Pictures - Mexico" and "Motion Pictures - Mexican."

General Search Tips

  • The date listed in the online catalog is when the dvd/videocassette was produced, not when the film was originally released. In some cases, there will be a note in the description about when the film was released, but in others, you’ll need to look this up elsewhere.
  • If you don't find a film by title, try to search by director or actor (with an “author” search). Translations of titles of foreign films sometimes vary.
  • You're searching the catalog record and any summary/description that might be included--but nothing beyond that. Finding what you you’re looking for may require skimming through multiple records.