The Film Supply Database

About the database

The film supply database contains entries on films known to have been offered on the German market between 1895 and 1920, with as much additional information as possible, such as original and alternate titles, production country and company, cast, genre, plot synopsis, length, censorship information, shooting locations etc. The database contains 45,000 film titles (of which some unidentified ones may be alternate titles of the same film). Most of these are entertainment films in general distribution – erotic films, educational films, scientific films, industrial films, and local films are not covered as comprehensively, because less information could be found for those.

The data was compiled and digitalized by Herbert Birett. Approximately 270 sources were used, ranging from catalogues and the trade press to censorship lists. The data was acquired by the research project “Industrialisierung der Wahrnehmung” (“Industrialization of Perception”), funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) and situated at the University of Siegen, Germany. The current database framework with extended search and filter options was developed within the research project “Visual Communities”.

The new interface not only provides a wide range of search options (nearly every data field is searchable, various fields can be combined and results restricted with filters), but also basic analysis functions. For example, it is possible to produce a table of a selection of films, such as those by a certain director, arranged by year and production company (or production country), which can then be exported for offline use. Many other kinds of analyses are possible, but they have to be conducted manually.

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