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FAMST 101E: Trade & Industry Literature

Course Guide to support FAMST 101E: Early Television to the Digital Era

TV Forecast (January 10, 1953)

Cover of TV Forecast Special Issue January 10, 1953

Trade magazines and other industry literature are

key primary sources for the study of television history.

These sources are good places to start for many research topics including finding reviews, ratings and box office data, advertisements, and information about production and distribution.

Trade magazines are written by industry representatives, and it's not uncommon that an author is not named.  Articles are written to share industry information including trends, products, and techniques.  Articles in these publications are written for people within the industry using technical language or jargon. References are provided via contextual referrals to other works, and the publications are reviewed by one or more editors employed by the publication. 

Popular magazines are written by journalists, or a writer whose specialty is writing, not necessarily in the field that they are reporting. Articles are aimed at a general audience and written without using technical terms, or will define technical terms if used. The articles are reviewed by editors employed by the magazine, and referrals to other works rely on contextual information in the text. 

Search Tips

Search these magazines for the names of people, places, and things.

Examples: production titles, directors or actors, TV network call-signs, the name of a production company or studio, etc.

Pay attention to the dates of the articles and use your date filters to make sure the results fit your time period of study.

Selected Resources

Box Office Pro -- provides access from 2014-present on their website

Broadcasting & Cable -- look to the Entertainment Industry Archive for historical publications

Hollywood Reporter - look to Business Source Complete for older publications

TV Week (previously TelevisionWeek) -- moved exclusively online in 2009

Variety -- look to the Entertainment Industry Archive for historical publications

Video Age International -- provides access to content from 2015-present on their current website and 2002-2015 on their old website.

Although some trade magazines are available in full-text through online databases, others are only available through the library in print or on microfilm. Some magazines, such as American Cinematographer (1920-present), can be found on different formats for different time periods of the magazine's publication.


American Cinematographer

Microfilm: Microfilm Area TR1 .A5335  

Print: Sciences & Engineering   TR1 .A5335

Online: Performing Arts Periodical Database (1972-present) and Hathi Trust Digital Library (limited)

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