Film periodicals published in China before 1950 are valuable resources for the study of film and related fields, but they are not widely, or easily, collected. The Fonoroff Collection contains 436 titles in 5,901 issues from this era, including sixty titles not cited in the standard reference work Zhongguo xian dai dian ying qi kan quan mu shu zhi 中国现代电影期刊全目书志. Among the rarest are Motion Picture Review 影戏杂志, generally acknowledged as China's first popular movie magazine, and Xin Bizhao ying xi lu 新比照影戏录, reputedly the first film periodical issued out of Hong Kong. Among the more infrequently encountered titles are Hong ying 红影, published in Tianjin, and a number of pre-1950 periodicals published, in Chinese, in Jakarta and Bangkok. The collection also holds a small number of general-interest periodicals, such as Lin Loon 玲珑, that feature articles on film. Some of the periodicals are represented by astonishingly full runs.
In addition to regularly published periodicals, the collection includes irregularly issued serials published by studios and leading theaters, dating from the 1920s on.