Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper explores the issues and criteria involved in developing a creditable documentary film collection about the Romani people for an academic library. Throughout their history, the Roma, or Gypsies, have dealt with biased, romanticized versions of their story, perpetuated by stereotypes found in legend, literature, song, and film. The expectation in the present undertaking is that the evidence coming from documentary films provides an effective antidote for misrepresentations. The paper reviews pertinent literature, suggests a selection process, and furnishes commentaries on individual titles as they relate to a framework based on the Romani historical and geographical narrative. A critical lens, namely, an awareness of the misrepresentations that abound in all media, is recommended as the instrument through which the films should be viewed. It is this dual approach – applying a historical framework and a critical lens – that can offer librarians a foundation upon which to build and grow a well-balanced collection.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article originally published in the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, available at DOI: 10.1177/0961000618759592.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.