University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Historical Society homepage WCFTR homepage
WCFTR Conference About the WCFTR Collections Contact Donate How to search the archive collections

Using ArCat to Find Films, Videos, and WCFTR Manuscript Collections

ArCat allows you to search for films, videos, and manuscript collections in the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research collections.  ArCat also provides access to all of the public records, manuscript collections  and photographs held in the Wisconsin Historical Society archives.

Hints for Finding Films, Videos and Manuscript Collections in ArCat

Search Tips for Finding Films and Videos in ArCat
Search Tips for Finding Manuscripts in ArCat
Understanding Your Search Results
Where else should you search?
What if you don't find what you're looking for?
For more information about searching ArCat

Search Tips for Finding Films and Videos in ArCat

  • A "Keyword Anywhere" search using the "Guided Search" page is recommended
  • You may search using film title, cast and crew names, production company, or anything else that is known about the film
  • If you only want to find films and videos (not manuscripts), you can limit your search by medium. To do this, use the "Set More Limits" button on the search screens. This button allows you to limit all your subsequent searches to films and videos until you turn it off by clicking on "Undo Limits".
  • You must set limits before typing in your search terms.
  • To limit your search results so that you only see films and videos in your results list, highlight "Motion Picture" and/or "Videorecording" in the "Medium" section of the "Set More Limits" page.
  • More general details on setting search limits are available in the hints at the top of the "Set Limits" page.

Because all of the films and videos are not yet included in the catalog, the limits for Motion Picture and Videorecording holdings retrieves only a portion of the total in Archives custody. To find out about holdings that are not in the catalog, please contact the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research at (contact info)

Search Tips for Finding Manuscripts in ArCat

  • Type your search term(s) into the blank fields on the "Guided Search" page.
  • If you want to narrow your search, use the drop-down menus on the search page.
  • Results are listed with films first and manuscript collections further down the list. For example, results for a search on 'Ed Sullivan' will begin with a list of films from the Ed Sullivan Collection. Continue to scroll down in the results list to find manuscript collections related to Ed Sullivan.

Understanding Your Search Results

  • A bracketed note following the title will indicate whether the item is a [motion picture] or a [videorecording].
  • If no bracketed note is present, the item is a manuscript collection.
  • Films will always be listed before manuscript collections in your search results.
  • Films in ArCat are listed individually, with one film per record in most cases.
  • Television series are described in one record, with a link to individual episodes. 
  • Manuscripts in ArCat are listed as part of a larger collection, not as individual items.  Click on the collection name (labeled "Author" at the top of the results list) in your results list to learn about manuscripts that are part of that collection

Where else should you search?

  • If you are looking for a feature film…search ArCat and the Feature Film Database (link to Feature Film Database)
  • If you are looking for other kinds of films, such as documentaries, television programs, cartoons, or shorts…search ArCat. 
  • If you are looking for manuscript collections…search ArCat.

What if you don't find what you're looking for?
The archive may have what you are looking for even if you don't find it in ArCat or in the Feature Film database.  Many items that have not yet been added to the catalog are available for viewing.  To find out about these films, please contact us.

For more information about searching ArCat, please see the Wisconsin Historical Society's ArCat Search Hints page.

Copyright © 2007-2011 WCFTR
WCFTR Home page Wisconsin Historical Society University of Wisconsin-Madison