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Women's Suffrage in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Collections

Using the Collections

Learn about where to search, get a few strategies for searching, and find out more about viewing or listening to items in the collections.

Where to Search

Bain News Service. [Suffragettes with flag]. George Grantham Bain Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Search Strategies

  1. In the Online Catalog, Advanced Search is the easiest way to get to moving image and recorded sound holdings. Try these special keywords to limit your results to only moving image or recorded sound items:
    • If you are searching for film or television, add movingim in a second keyword search box. (An older term that some catalog records use is motion picture, so it's worth trying both keywords as you search.)
    • If you are looking for recorded sound, add recording in the second box.
  2. SONIC is the best place to search for radio broadcasts.
  3. While both the Online Catalog and SONIC offer some subject access, it is usually more effective to search by titledate, or name. A popular subject such as suffrage, however, will tend to yield some good results.
    • truncation: In the Online Catalog, a search for suffrag? will return results with all of the various endings of the root suffrag- (ie. suffrage, suffragist, suffragette).
  4. Many performers are not listed in our records for radio broadcasts, and while it is always worth trying to search a performer's name, the specific program title and a date are often more useful for locating broadcasts. Often news broadcasts have very generic titles and our cataloging rarely includes information about the specific stories covered on a broadcast for a given day.
  5. In SONIC, form and genre terms may assist you when searching by subject. See our guide to those terms at the link below.
  6. The Moving Image Section has several published collection catalogs.
    Full-text copies of our four published catalogs can be found on the Hathi Trust Digital Library:
  7. Get in touch! If you can't find a film or broadcast in the online catalog, that doesn't mean we don't have it. The Library has several onsite indexes, card catalogs, and internal databases that are not searchable online. Reference librarians in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Research Centers are always happy to help locate materials. Use the Ask-a-Librarian links in this Guide, or see additional contact information in the links below.

Library of Congress Research Centers

For more information on conducting research with moving image and recorded sound materials, go to the "Using the Collections" section of this guide, or get in touch with reference librarians in the two research centers of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress:

Viewing & Listening Procedures

Harris & Ewing. Paul, Alice. (1919). Harris & Ewing Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

To view or listen to materials, submit a request to our reference librarians.

Each user of the Library's research areas, including the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Research Centers, is required to have a Reader Identification Card issued by the Library.

When submitting viewing requests, please provide the title, call number, and date of the item. Names associated with the item, such as director/creator or performers, are also helpful. Call numbers will be a combination of capital letters and numbers, and will vary depending on the format of the item and the collection it is in (e.g. VBG 3214; FCA 4414-4416, LWO 5599 gr12 r2a1-3b, NCPB 5434, Decca 12-1401).

For recordings, album notes and jackets may also be requested.

Viewing Appointments

Appointments for viewing film prints and video copies should be made as far in advance as possible to guarantee that requests can be fulfilled, with a minimum of ten days advance notice. A six-week lead time will guarantee that all but the most irreparably damaged items can be made accessible. Less advance notice curtails staff time to inspect requested items and deliver them to the Moving Image Research Center from off-site storage. Viewers can call the Research Center at 202-707-8572 or submit requests through Ask A Librarian.

Although advance notice is not needed for items that have been digitized, a reservation is recommended to guarantee equipment availability.  If an appointment needs to be canceled or rescheduled, please contact the reference staff as soon as possible.  Cancelation without sufficient notice can prevent others from having access to the facilities.

Listening Appointments

Appointments are required for listening to most of the material in our collection. Recordings do not circulate. Listeners can telephone the Research Center at (202) 707-7833 or submit requests through Ask a Librarian.

A growing number of our recordings have been digitized and are available for listening on demand. All others will take at least two weeks for our engineers to digitize for your listening appointment. Special arrangements are required for requests of more than five items at one time. Certain audio formats will require more time to digitize and will necessitate a longer wait. Please contact the Research Center as soon as possible with large requests or to identify previously digitized recordings.

Recording equipment of any type is not allowed.
Photographing images from the screen for reference purposes will be permitted only when authorized in advance by our reference staff.