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Television: References Sources

This guide is intended as a starting place for researchers, pointing to tools for finding books, scholarly articles, reviews, and other topical and collection-related information in Television.


To find the libraries full selection of encyclopedias in television check BobCat

Television and Radio Scripts

  • Black, Sharon and Elizabeth Sue Moersh. Index to the Annenberg Television Script Archive. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1990-
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.16 A66 1990 v.1 1976-1977
    Only a fraction of the entire script archive, this source indexes those prime-time episodic program scripts written in 1976/1977.
  • Margaret Herrick Library. Radio Scripts: Holdings of the Margaret Herrick Library. Beverly Hills, CA: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1990.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7223 .S3 M3 1990
    Radio script holdings at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Library.

Guides, Handbooks

  • Cassata, Mary and Thomas Skill. Television: A Guide to the Literature. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1985.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7711 .C37 1985
    Divides the literature into three broad categories (Test Patterns, The Environment, Directions), providing essays and helpful bibliographies in ten chapters. Author, subject and title indexes.
  • Garay, Ronald. Cable Television: A Reference Guide to Information. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7711 .G37 1988
    Contains bibliographic essays and citations to recent literature on cable television in the U.S., including books, government documents, and periodical articles. Divided into five chapters: General Sources, Business &Economics, Programming, Law &Regulation, and Videotex, with an appendix of important addresses.
  • TV Genres: A Handbook and Reference Guide. Brian G. Rose, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.3 .U5 T88 1985
    Discusses 19 television genres, from police shows to commercials, in historical/critical essays. Each chapter contains an annotated bibliography and videography.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Histories and Program Listings

  • Barnouw, Erik. A History of Broadcasting in the United States. 3 vols. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1966-1970.
    Bobst Ref 1 HE8689.8 .B36 v.1-3
    The standard history of radio and television in the U.S., and still the best. See also Lichty and Topping, American Broadcasting: A Source Book on the History of Radio and Television Bobst Ref1 HE8689.8 .L5 1975.
  • Bognar, Desi K. International Dictionary of Broadcasting and Film. 2nd ed. Boston: Focal Press, 2000.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1990.4 .B64 2000
    This dictionary, international in scope, defines technical terms related to film and television production. Also included are lists of professional organizations, awards and award presentations festivals, international standards, and film and television systems. See also Spottiswoode, Raymond. The Focal Encyclopedia of Film and Television Techniques. London: Focal Press, 1969. Bobst Ref 1 TR847 .F62 1969b
  • Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh. The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network TV Shows, 1946 - Present. 7th ed. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1999.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.18 .B68 1999
    Documents all regular, prime-time TV series on commercial U.S. networks, from 1946 through 1984, as well as selected syndicated series. "Prime Time" is defined as 6:00pm through late night, and "Series" as a run of at least four consecutive weeks.
  • Brown, Les. Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television. 3rd ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.18 .B7 1992
    An A to Z compendium of key individuals, organizations, series and topics in U.S. television history. Includes an appendix of "highest rated programs."
  • Donovan, Paul. The Radio Companion. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
    Bobst PN1991.3 .G7 D65 1991
    Focusing on British radio programming, this guide is organized alphabetically by title of program, proper name, and corporation.
  • Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1991.3 .U6 D8 1998
    Lists shows alphabetically by full title, with a detailed index of stars and staff for cross-referencing. Limited to comedy, drama and variety programs.
  • Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949-2003. 2 vols. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2005.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.8 .A59 E74 2005
    This reference source lists only those cartoon programs specifically produced for television. Programs are organized alphabetically by title. Production credit indexing is included.
  • International Encyclopedia of Communications. 4 vols. Erik Barnouw, ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1989.
    Bobst Ref 1 P87.5 .I5 1989 v.1-4
    Provides signed, scholarly articles on hundreds of subjects related to verbal and visual communications. Entries range from individuals (Orson Welles, David Sarnoff) to larger topics (Religious Broadcasting, Interactive Media), are narrative in content, and include brief bibliographies for further research. A "Topical Guide" supplies cross-references (see especially Radio, Television, Motion Pictures, and Media).
  • McNeil, Alex. Total Television: A Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. 4th ed. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1996.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.3 .U5 M3 1996
    Lists of television programs, noteworthy specials, Emmy and Peabody award winners, and top-rated programs are included in this source. Names and program titles are indexed.
  • Schwartz, Jon D. and Robert C. Reinehr. Handbook of Old-Time Radio: A Comprehensive Guide to Golden Age Radio Listening and Collecting. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1991.3 .U6 S93 1993
    Covering the years 1926-1962, this guide to radio programming is organized both by genre and title. An annotated bibliography and program purchasing guide are also included.
  • Slide, Anthony. The Television Industry: A Historical Dictionary. New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1991.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.3 .U5 S57 1991
    A dictionary that focuses not on television personalities but on corporate names and technical terms. A general bibliography, program and name index are included.
  • Terrace, Vincent. Television Specials: 3,201 Entertainment Spectaculars, 1939-1993. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1995.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.8 .S64 T37 1995
    An alphabetical list of network entertainment specials. Includes a performers' index.

Annuals, Directories

  • Brewer, Annie M. and Donald E. Brewer. Talk Shows and Hosts on Radio: A Directory Including Show Titles and Formats, Brief Biographical Sketches of Hosts, and Locators. Dearborn, MI: Whitefoord Press, 1992.
    Bobst PN1991.8.T35B74 1992
    A directory giving biographical information about radio talk show hosts and the formats of their programs. Regional station index is included.
  • Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc.
    Bobst Ref 1 HE8689 .B75 [Latest edition in Ref 1; earlier editions in Bobst Stacks]
    Provides current names and addresses, statistics, maps and other directory information in nine sections: The Fifth Estate, Radio, Television, Cable, Satellites, Programming, Advertising &Marketing, Technology, Professional Services. Indexed.
  • International Television &Video Almanac. New York, NY: Quigley, 1965 to date.
    Bobst Ref 1 HE8698 .I55 [Latest ed. in Ref 1; scattered back issues in stacks]
    A Who's Who of people and organizations in the TV and video industries, as well as a source for statistics, awards and market data. Detailed subject index in front.
  • Screen International EuroGuide. London: EMAP Media, 1976/77 to date.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1993.3.B7 [Latest ed. in Ref 1; back issues in stacks]
    An international listing of individuals and businesses involved in all aspects of film and television production, distribution, and marketing. Includes a world statistical summary, an annual review, and government organizations.
  • Television Director's Guide. Beverly Hills, CA: Lone Eagle, 1990-1991
    Bobst PN1992.T34
    A directory of currently active television directors, a list of their work, and agent information.
  • Bowker's News Media Directory. New Providence, NJ: R.R. Bowker, 2003-.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN4875 .W62 [Latest ed. only]
    Volume 3 lists over 10,400 radio and TV stations, with their management and programming personnel. Includes information on network affiliation and air time. Extensive subject access.

Periodical and Program Indices

In addition to the resources listed below, one should refer to Humanities: Indexes & Abstracts. Links are provided to indexes with electronic availability. You may also access the databases via the alphabetical list on the library's website at:

  • BCTV: Bibliography on Cable Television. San Francisco, CA: Communications Library, 1980-1992.
    Bobst Stacks Z7711.B23
    This thorough bibliography includes books, dissertations, ephemera, etc.
  • CBS News Index. Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corporation of America.
    Bobst PN4888.T4C64a 1975-1986
    Index to news programming that aired on CBS. Program transcripts are available in the Microform Center, LL2 of Bobst.
  • Communication Abstracts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1977 to date.
    Electronic Access
    A comprehensive source of information about communication-related publications on a world-wide scale. Communication Abstracts covers communication-related articles, reports, papers, and books from a variety of publishers, research institutions, and information sources.
  • Film Literature Index. Albany, NY: Filmdex, Inc., 1973 to date.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z5784 .M9 F45 1973-present.
    Electronic Access 1976-2001
    Annual index of 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 200 other periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. The periodicals range from the scholarly to the popular. More than 2,000 subject headings provide detailed analysis of the articles. Since 1986, TV and video are indexed separately, in the back of each print volume.
  • International Index to Television Periodicals. London, FIAF, 1979 to date
    Electronic Access 
  • The best current index for television literature world-wide.
  • Review of the Arts: Film &Television. New Canaan, CT: NewsBank, 1975 to 1997.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z5784 .M9 R4
    Provides indexing to the NewsBank microfiche set located in the Microform Center on Lower Level 2. Covers over 400 U.S. newspapers; valuable for its regional emphasis.
  • Television News Index and Abstracts. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt Television News Archive, 1968 to date. 1968-71 on microfilm, 1972-1995 in print in Bobst stacks. 1968 to present available online.
    Bobst AI3. T44 and Film 1107 [Microform Center, Lower Level 2]
    Electronic Access
    Detailed index to the evening news broadcasts of the three commercial networks, ABC, CBS, NBC. Starting with the January 1989 issue, special reports and periodic news broadcasts are also indexed, including those of PBS.
  • TV Guide 25 Year Index. Catherine E. Johnson, ed. Radnor, PA: Triangle Publ., 1979.
    Bobst Ref 1 PN1992.3 .U5 P67
    See also the 1978-1982 Cumulative Supplement
    Bobst Ref1 PN1992.3 .U5 J5813 1983.


  • Blum, Eleanor. Mass Media Bibliography: An Annotated Guide to Books and Journals for Research and Reference. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z5630 .B55 1990
    Annotated bibliography of key, general works in all areas of mass media. Chapter 2 focuses on Broadcast Media. Chapters 6-9 include broadcasting research resources.
  • Carothers, Diane Foxhill. Radio Broadcasting from 1920-1990: An Annotated Bibliography. New York, NY: Garland, 1991.
    Bobst Z7221 .C37 1991
    Covering books only, this bibliography explores almost every aspect of radio broadcasting, from history to programming to regulation.
  • Chin, Felix. Cable Television: A Comprehensive Bibliography. New York, NY: IFI/Plenum, 1978.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7711 .C47
    Provides annotated entries for books and articles in seven categories: General Information & History, Regulation & Policy, Technology, Economics, Cable Uses, Education, Community Control & Franchises. An older resource, but particularly valuable for cable's formative years (1950-1977). Appendices and glossary of terms. Indexed.
  • Garay, Ronald. Cable Television: A Reference Guide to Information. New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1988.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7711 .G37 1988
    Annotated entries from books, government documents, and periodical articles. An overall index is provided.
  • Ludes, Peter. Bibliography on the Development of Television: Television Systems and Program Development in the USA, Great Britain, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Munchen: K.G. Saur, 1990.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7711 .L83 1990
    With a focus on entertainment programming, this bibliography relies on both books and journals for citations related to television development.
  • Radio and Television: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography. William E. McCavitt, comp. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978; Supplement One: 1977-1981. Scarecrow Press, 1982; Pringle &Clinton. Supplement Two: 1982-1986. Scarecrow Press, 1989.
    Bobst Ref 1 Z7221 .M23 (Suppl. &Suppl. 2)
    Taken together, these three volumes provide the best available bibliography of books and pamphlets on radio and television. Topical arrangement (Society, Audience, Technology, Home Video, etc.), with brief annotations. Indexed.