Monday, May 18, 2009

IMDB to the Rescue!

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB for short) has been on most reference librarians' go-to lists of resources for film- and TV-related questions for quite awhile now. With just a few snippets of information and a couple of clicks of the mouse, we're able to find everything from memorable Godfather quotes (it was Peter Clemenza who uttered "Leave the gun, take the cannoli") to actor trivia (did you know Bea Arthur was a qualified medical technician?). And today, we discovered yet another use for this fantastic Internet resource, thanks to one of our daily reference questions!

A patron called our Reference Desk today inquiring about some audiovisual materials devoted to Boone Hall Plantation, Brookgreen Gardens, and the Jefferson Davis Plantation -- all long-standing Southern landmarks. She requested that we find DVDs or videos that would give her a better mental image of these places than simple pictures could provide, noting that even if we weren't able to track down items that were specifically devoted to these structures, a Hollywood film including one of these landmarks as a backdrop would suffice.


When we were unable to produce any location-specific DVDs within our own collection at the MPL, we turned to IMDB for some help in finding movies that were set within these locations. Using their advanced search function limit for location, we found that the North and South miniseries, along with The Notebook and Queen, used the Boone Hall Plantation as one of their filming locations. We also discovered that Vicksburg, Mississippi, which is a city near the Jefferson Davis Plantation, was used as a backdrop for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Mississippi Burning. In all, we were able to locate five movies with the settings our patron requested using the Internet Movie Database.

IMDB: it's not just for (wannabe) movie buffs anymore!

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