Federation of Film Archives, is a noble effort to compile film databases. Up-graded every six months, it’s clearly a work-in-progress and the new version offers an international index to film and TV periodicals from 1983 to September 1994, a thesaurus guide to them and a list of all film periodicals indexed from 1972-1994.
The disc also contains specific FIAF databases, with a complete list of members, a bibliography of all their publications from 1966-1993 and the addition of two new features: the directory of film and TV documentation collections and the “Treasures From the Film Archives”– FIAF members’ silent film holdings.
The international periodical index covers topics under sections of general subjects, individual films, biography, directors, authors, periodicals and full text search.
On the upside, the material covered is diverse. Items range from “Abortions in Film” to “Zoetrope Studios” and the individual films section purports to include every film that has been reviewed or written about.
The downside is that the catalog — though extensive within its own terms — represents virtually nothing written before the late ’70s and is hampered by a cross-reference system that could be made more comprehensive.
With any luck, these shortcomings will be addressed. A full downloading facility has already been promised for future FIAF discs.
The disc’s most outstanding feature is the “Treasures From the Film Archives, ” offering specific location of silent movie prints. It does not however, indicate their condition, completeness or availability. The inaugural test run of this particular database includes 1,000 entries “for the purpose of allowing users to comment on form and accuracy.”