Library staff recommendation: International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

Louise Brooks on the front cover of Volume 1

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

St. James Press, 4th edition. Volume 1: Films; Volume 2: Directors; Volume 3: Actors and Actresses; Volume 4: Writers and Production Artists.
Greenfield Reference 791.4303 In85 2000

For anyone who likes movies (and who doesn’t), this is a great starting point for research as well as a fun set to browse. Each entry includes “a brief biography, a complete filmography, a selected bibliography of works by and about the entrant, and a critical essay written by a specialist in the field.” (from the “Editor’s Note”, V. 2, p. vii.) Almost all of the entries have a photograph of the person or a film still. If you’re doing research or writing a paper on a film or person covered in this title, your research just got a lot easier: the bibliography guides you to the best sources, and the brief critical essays are excellent.

The UArts Greenfield Library has three older editions of this title; a few entries are removed from each edition in order to make room for the new entries. Quentin Tarantino, for example, wasn’t included in this until the 1997 edition.

Looking for an animator? See Volume 4, Writers and Production Artists.

The great Ray Harryhausen (1920- ) and the Medusa head from Clash of the Titans (1981). From the 1997 edition, volume 4.


Recommended by Sara MacDonald, Public Services Librarian

Digital Resource of the Week: Atlas Obscura

On the About Us page, the Atlas Obscura team says, “if you’re looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.”

Yangshuo and Moon Hill
Yangshuo and Moon Hill

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a collaborative website documenting unusual and interesting places around the world. You’ll learn about architecture, museums, and natural wonders. Search by continent, country, or even state. There are dozens of curious sites right here in Philadelphia! Also explore by categories such as martian landscapes, strange science, or eccentric homes.

Pierre Cardin's Bubble House
Pierre Cardin's Bubble House

If you like the weird and wonderful, follow their blog.

Dead Pals of Sam Sanfillippo
Dead Pals of Sam Sanfillippo

Library staff recommendation: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
By Alison Bechdel
741.50924 B387f Greenfield Open Stacks

This graphic memoir is emotionally powerful while remaining enjoyable. Bechdel tackles subjects such as homosexuality, fidelity and death using text and images that are tender, painstakingly rendered and suggestive. Exploring her past in the format of a graphic novel makes her story feel very personal. Drawing the reader in through colorless imagery, her text then elaborates on the sadness and struggle illustrated on the faces of her characters.

She recounts growing up in rural Pennsylvania, focusing her memories on her relationship with her father. Discovering her own sexuality as she matures, Bechdel reflects on her childhood with the knowledge that her father was gay. She is honest and insightful, sharing private details that occasionally make the reader wince with sympathy and discomfort.

Recommended by Shannon Robinson

Library staff recommendation: Not a Box

Not a Box
By Antoinette Portis
741.641 P836n 2006
Greenfield Open Stacks

To me, this book represents the importance of being grateful for the little things. You may not be as excited by an empty cardboard box as you once were, but it’s nice to try to remember to see things with new eyes and remember to look for the potential in often overlooked things.  In honor of the upcoming holiday season, I hope this book will remind you of your perhaps long forgotten imagination and the beauty waiting to be found in even the simplest of things.

Also by Antoinette Portis:

A Penguin Story

741.641 P836p 2009 Greenfield Open Stacks

Recommended by Casey Murphy

New in ARTstor from UArts Visual Resources: Pierre Alechinsky

Pierre Alechinsky, born 1927, is a Belgian artist who has worked in painting, printmaking and film.

"The Tall Grass" 1951

He is considered one of the founding members of the Cobra movement, which was an international group of artists who shared a fondness for experimentation and had a vision for a new art.

"Leather and Brass" 1961

They rejected Western aesthetics and received inspiration from folk and naive art. The characteristics of the Cobra group can be seen in Alechinsky’s vivid colors and spontaneous line, as well as his fantastic subjects.

If you would like to see more work by Alechinsky, click on an image to be taken directly to ARTstor. And for more information about Pierre Alechinsky or The Cobra Art Movement please visit Grove Art Online.

"Termites" 1956

New in ARTstor from UArts Visual Resources: Ida Applebroog

"ooze/whose" 1991

Ida Applebroog is an American artist. Born in New York in 1929 and educated in Chicago, her work became well known in the 1970s. Her success has continued since then and she is still currently producing art. She has received several awards and has had her work displayed in some of the most prominent museums in the U.S.

"Now Then" (detail) 1980

Her artworks have very powerful connotations, which address issues of feminism, morality and social consciousness, and she often juxtaposes cartoonish images with far more serious subject matters.

If you would like to see more works by Ida Applebroog, click on an image to be taken directly to ARTstor. For more information about the artist, please visit Grove Art Online.

"Marginalia (Isaac Stern) 1992

The Visual Resources Collection, now in ARTstor!

The Visual Resources’ digital image collection will now be hosted on ARTstor.  This means that all of the images that were previously available in MDID will now be in the ARTstor collections. The images function just like the other images in ARTstor, they can be searched, saved, and downloaded into the Offline Image Viewer for presentations.

To browse the images in the Visual Resources Collection, just click on the orange link for “The Visual Resources Collection of the University of the Arts” towards the bottom of ARTstor’s main page at

The images in the Visual Resources Collection are only visible to UArts faculty, staff and students. Other organizations using ARTstor will not be able to see the collection.

In the future, all new digital images will be added to the ARTstor collection rather than MDID. As always, if you are not finding the images you need in ARTstor, let us know, we would be happy to locate or create them for you.

If you have any questions about ARTstor or the Visual Resources Collection, please contact Laura Grutzeck, the Visual Resources Librarian.

Digital Resource of the Week: Paleo Art

Paleo Art, from the Smithsonian Institution, highlights beautiful illustrations used to explore and preserve natural specimens from the Paleontological period. This website demonstrates the importance of drawing to the field of paleobiology.

Ceratosaurusgil drawing from 1920
Ceratosaurusgil drawing from 1920

There are three sections to Paleo Art. Historical Art is the collection of illustrations. Working with fossils and other fragile specimens, detailed drawings of the specimens allow scientists and historians to review objects that cannot easily be handled or photographed. Illustrations depict everything from dinosaurs to shrimp. Illustration Care provides an overview of how the Smithsonian preserves and maintains these important documents. Illustration Techniques explains how to become a paleontological illustrator and why illustrations can be more useful to scientists than photographs.

If you are interested in fossils and skeletons, you can search the National Museum of Natural History’s Paleobiology Collections to see more. You can view nearly half a million specimens online! Visit the Smithsonian’s Department of Paleobiology for more information. Also check out the UArts Libraries for some great books on paleontology, fossils, and dinosaurs.

Library staff recommendation: Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice

Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice
by Ivan Brunetti
741.5 B835c Greenfield Open Stacks

In Cartooning, Ivan Brunetti gives both the novice and the experienced professional new insights into this popular yet little understood art form. Designed as a 15 week instructional course, Brunetti touches upon the technical aspects of comics, but also goes behind the surface to show the emotional possibilities of comics, and how those emotions can be communicated through the combination of drawings, panels and words. Most importantly, Brunetti helps to provide an artistic rationale for cartooning, and why it is a form of art making worth pursuing.

If you are looking for more books on how to make comics, please see:
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden
741.5028 Ab34d 2008 Greenfield Open Stacks
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
741.5 M459u 1994 Greenfield Open Stacks

Recommended by Mike Sgier
Recommended by Mike Sgier

Library staff recommendation: The Gecko’s Foot: Bio-Inspiration: Engineeered from Nature

The Gecko’s Foot: Bio-Inspiration: Engineered from Nature
By Peter Forbes
600 F745g 2006 Greenfield Open Stacks

How do geckos cling to walls and ceilings? Exactly what makes spider silk so strong
and so flexible? On what biological model was self-cleaning glass developed? Insects
shouldn’t be able to fly; how do they do it? What causes iridescence? Call it
bio-inspiration or biomimicry, but call it amazing inspiration for design and materials

If you like this book, you may also enjoy:
Cat’s Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People by Steven Vogel.
574.191 V862c Greenfield Open Stacks
Magnifications: Photography with the Scanning Electron Microscope by David Scharf.
778.31 Sch17m Greenfield Open Stacks
Hidden Beauty: Microworlds Revealed by France Bourély.
570 B666h Greenfield Open Stacks