Here are some useful places online to look for information about silent film history.
- Lantern (film magazines — the search engine for the Media History Digital Library)
- AFI Catalog (cast lists and synopses for feature-length films, more reliable than IMDB)
- American Silent Feature Film Survival Database (Library of Congress)
- California Digital Newspaper Collection
- Chronicling America (the Library of Congress newspaper digitization project)
- Camera! magazine (a useful trade journal — eventually these should all be in Lantern, but for now you have to access each volume separately)
April 1923- February 16, 1924 (the end of Camera)
Some sources, like the FIAF catalog, are only available through university libraries. Others, like Ancestry.com, are subscription-only.