Maria Velez-Serna

(Micro)film Studies: Triangulating the Local Picture House

Maria Velez-Serna is a Research Assistant in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. She obtained her PhD there with a thesis titled Film Distribution in Scotland Before 1918, which proposes an empirical approach to the history of the local film trade, using archive and local press material. Her research interests include early cinema and film exhibition, with a particular interest in the digital humanities and historical geo-databases.

In her talk Dr Velez-Serna addresses the field- and library work undertaken for her study into the history of early cinema in Scotland. In particular, she stresses the methodological consequences of digitisation for researchers.


Useful Sources


  • Abel, Richard. “The Pleasures and Perils of Big Data in Digitized Newspapers.” Film History: An International Journal 25, no. 1 (2013): 1–10.
  • Allen, Robert C. “Decentering Historical Audience Studies: A Modest Proposal.” Hollywood in the Neighborhood: Historical Case Studies of Local Moviegoing, edited by Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, 20–33. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2008.
  • Farge, Arlette. The Allure of the Archives. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
  • Hoyt, Eric. “Lenses for Lantern: Data Mining, Visualization, and Excavating Film History’s Neglected Sources.” Film History: An International Journal 26, no. 2 (2014): 146–68.
  • Moretti, Franco. Distant Reading. London: Verso, 2013.
  • Mussell, Jim. “Doing and Making: History as Digital Practice.” History in the Digital Age, edited by Tony Weller, 79–93. London and New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • Serna, Laura Isabel. Making Cinelandia: American Films and Mexican Film Culture before the Golden Age. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.
  • Steedman, Carolyn. Dust: The Archive and Cultural History. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001.