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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Multilingual Electronic Resources for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies: FIAF

A guide to 13 databases with significant content in both English and the languages of the region

What does FIAF stand for?

The acronym "FIAF" is derived from "Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film," a.k.a. The International Federation of Film Archives, based in Brussels, which maintains this database. It was founded in 1938 in Paris, and currently collaborates to collect film documentation from 120 archives across 65 countries. 

Linguistic Coverage

Number of citations to materials in Slavic & East European languages in the FIAF Index to Film Periodicals:

  • Polish:  8,301
  • Russian:  6,892
  • Czech:  6,763 (largely includes Slovak)
  • Bulgarian:  2,746
  • Hungarian: 1,813
  • Romanian:  2,052
  • Slovenian:  1,114

Articles from journals dealing with film & TV


  • FIAF "includes complete data from all volumes (1972 to the present) of the International Index to Film Periodicals, plus records from its TV-related companion (1979 to 2000)."
  • "FIAF Index to Film Periodicals is a bibliographical index offering in-depth coverage of the world's foremost academic and popular film journals from 1972 to the present day." The index contains over 500,000 article citations from more than 345 periodicals.
  • "The Index to Film Periodicals allows detailed searching of a half of a million records contained in the database. Each entry consists of a full bibliographic description, an abstract and comprehensive headings (biographical names, film titles and general subjects). It is also the only database offering film periodical indexing using a hierarchically ordered controlled thesaurus with more than 20,000 subject terms. The index contains comprehensive television periodical indexing until 2000 and TV related articles from film periodicals continue to be indexed."
  • In addition to the general index above, there are additional searchable databases of specialized collections, including:
  • Treasures from the Film Archives, which contains credits and holdings information for nearly 50,000 films from the silent era, prior to 1929. 
  • The Documentation Collections database contains comprehensive information about the world's foremost film archives, libraries, and educational institutions. 
  • "The FIAF Affiliates' Publications search allows you to find detailed information on books, pamphlets, programmes, and other materials published since 1966 by FIAF archives."
  • "The Reference Works section of FIAF Plus includes the full text of five key reference works covering the area of Film and Television Studies," including:  Critical Ideas in Television Studies, Encyclopedia of Early Cinema, Film Analysis: A Norton Reader, Oxford History of World Cinema, and the Routledge Companion to Film Studies.

While the absolute numbers of articles on film and TV in Eastern Europe and the CIS are rather small, compared to the overall size of the database, they are not insignificant. Citations to articles in Slavic & East European languages alone comprise over 8% of the database. FIAF also offers the advantages (and disadvantages) of searching a film- and TV-only database. Here are a couple of hits out of total of 49 results of a search for articles on  the director (Andrzej) Wajda published in the US (it is best to use FIAF's controlled term United States of America).


FIAF, like IBZ, uses a transliteration system for Cyrillic alphabets that is similar to the one often used in continental Europe (i.e., "сценарист" becomes "scenarist," "Островский" becomes "Ostrovskij," "я" becomes "ja"). However, there are some exceptions (i.e., "Жан д'Арк" is represented as "ZHan d'Ark," not "Zan d'Ark.").

Subject Guide

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Slavic Reference Service
Slavic Reference Service
International and Area Studies Library
Room 317
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, Illinois 61801