General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.  

Purpose of the Collection

The UCSB Library collections serving the Department of Film and Media studies provide support for research and instruction through the PhD level.  The collections also supports visual media and performing arts scholarship in other departments and programs across campus, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, as well as area, ethnic, and gender studies, as well as the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media, the Center for Information Technology and Society, the Center for Digital Games Research, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.



Collecting areas seek to document history, production, distribution, reception, criticism, and archival theory and practice related to film, television, radio, new media, and other broadcasting and visual storytelling technologies.

Geographical Coverage

The core focus has been built around Western media industries, but the collection is growing to include global perspectives in parallel with teaching and research interests of the faculty.


Materials collected are primarily in English or English translation. Works written in other languages are also acquired depending on the availability of the items and research needs of faculty members.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

From late 1800s to the present.

Publication Dates

Most materials are published in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Types of Materials Collected

The film and media studies collection is comprised of print and electronic monographs, reference tools, video recordings, periodicals, and scholarly series. Conference proceedings are collected selectively. While a large percentage of content is exclusively published in print, reference tools, periodicals, edited volumes and anthologies are collected in electronic format when available.  Dissertations are only acquired on demand. Textbooks are generally not acquired, unless requested by faculty.

Note about media: films and videos are collected by three bodies on campus; UCSB Library and Instructional Development both support campus media needs, and the Film & Media Studies Department collects film independently to support internal media needs.

The UCSB Library media collection is comprised of international film and television recordings amassed over time through the efforts of a multiple of collection managers in efforts to meet the needs of a variety of academic departments throughout campus; Asian and Middle Eastern cinema and television are a predominate strengths of the library’s physical media collection. The library also maintains several streaming video databases that provide campus-wide access to educational films and documentaries across a variety of disciplines.

Systemwide and Other Resources

UCSB collections serving film and media research benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC’s California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses, including newspapers and film and performing arts literature databases.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Leahkim Gannett
Policy Last Updated: June 2015