Navigation Aids

VCat: Video Catalog
Search Collection

Main Content

How to Find a Film

example: select a facet
example: select a facet

VCat has a faceted search interface that allows you to filter searches by selecting collection-specific criteria such as format, genre, spoken language, subtitle language, year of release, country of production, and location within the Penn Libraries. These "facets" appear in lists on the right side of the page.

Search Strategies

Begin with the search box: One way to begin the search process is to search for a keyword using the "Search Collections" box and then apply one or more of the facets to narrow down the list of results.

Begin with the facets: Another way to begin is to select a facet first, which will bring up all the films in the collection that share that facet. You can apply additional facets and enter keywords in the "Search Collections" box to narrow the results.

Search for related films: The right hand side of each individual film page offers a checkbox list of all the facets that apply to that film. You can select as many of the checkboxes as you like and then click "Go" to begin a new search for films with those same facets.

About faceted searching

  • Each selected facet will be displayed at the top of the list under "Currently Used Filters." Selecting an additional facet will run a search for a new criterion within the existing set of results, and, along with a new list of results, the facet options will change to reflect the records and facets available in the new results set.
  • To see additional options for any given facet, click on the word "browse" in that individual facet's box. This will bring up a list of all the options for that facet. Click on any facet to add it to your search criteria.
  • To remove a selected facet at any stage in the process, click the red x-dot (red x-dot) next to that facet in the "Currently Used Filters" list at the top of the column.

Additional search options

There are more ways to explore the collection under the Quick Links heading that appears in the left hand column of every VCat page.

Browse by title or director: Using the browse options will bring up alphabetical lists of all the film titles or directors represented in the collection. Once in a browse page you can jump to any letter of the alphabet by choosing the appropriate link from the top of the page.

Look for "What's new": Selecting this link will bring up film descriptions displayed in the order that they have been added to the Libraries' collections. The most recent additions will appear first.

Advanced Search Techniques

The search box at the top of the page will return relevance ranked results based on the terms you enter. There are some additional techniques that you can use to focus your results.

1. You can use the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT to combine search terms.

  • French AND revolution will return only results with both words
  • French OR revolution will return results with either word
  • French NOT revolution will return results that contain the first word but not the second

Note: The operators (AND, OR, NOT) must be entered in all caps.

2. Use quotes to search for specific phrases like

  • "French revolution"
  • "child star"

3. Use * to find variations on your search term

  • revolution* will find: revolution and revolutionary
  • child* will find: child, children and childhood

Date range searches

There are two ways to use the search box to look for films by date ranges.

1. To search for films by their original release date use the format: year:[xxxx TO xxxx]

  • year:[1912 TO 1934] will find films released between 1912 and 1934

2. To search for films by the date of the video release use the format: publication_date:[xxxx TO xxxx]

  • publication_date:[2005 TO 2008] will find videos released between 2005 and 2008