A Guide to Silent Westerns
This comprehensive film guide lists the screen credits and provides synopses of more than 5,400 silent western features, documentaries, shorts and serials released from the 1890s through 1930. Numerous one-, two- and three-reelers are included in this guide. These westerns came from both the major and lesser known American film studios, many long defunct.
The term western is hard to define; someone once commented that a western had to have a horse in it. The genre generally applies to that post-Civil War period beginning with the great cattle drives and ending around 1890. But the author has included tales about early California, Mexico, various Indian tribes along the Eastern seaboard, the building of the railroad, the gold rush of 1849 and the search for gold in the Yukon. Other films which seem to have less in common with the genre, such as northern westerns, are listed in a separate appendix.