Subject Specialist
Picture: Daniel Becker

Daniel Becker
Librarian for Humanities & Business
Tel: (508) 286 5601

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About This Guide
View of the World's Fair, Paris, France, 1889 (engraving)

This page lists core resources available for research in French Studies. For additional resources related to French Studies, check our related guides, e.g. on Primary Sources, Statistics, News, etc. Relating to France and the Francophone World or on European History

Image Credit: Vue générale de l'Exposition universelle de 1889, via Wikimedia Commons (public domain).

Handbooks, Encyclopedias, and Bibliographies


Encyclopédie Larousse Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
Comprehensive encyclopedia, in French.

Credo Reference Restricted Resource Some full text availableopenURL Resource contains images
Digital library of over 700 cross-searchable reference books in a wide variety of disciplines. A great starting point for your research that also leads you right to the library catalog and other databases.

For a quick and up-to-date overview on France, check the CIA World Factbook - France Unrestricted Resource .


Medieval France: An Encyclopedia
In-depth handbook on French history during the Middle Ages (5th-15th centuries). 1995.  Call Number: Ref. ​DC33.2 .M44 1995. 

Transnational France: The Modern History of a Universal Nation Restricted Resource Some full text available
General history of France from the Revolution to the present, with a focus on the country's international connections, particularly its overseas empire. 2015.

France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History Restricted Resource Some full text available
Specialized encyclopedia covering the influence of France and the Americas on each other; via Credo Reference.

Francophone Literature & Culture

Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture Restricted Resource Some full text available
Comprehensive compendium on culture, literature, and the arts in France, with a primary focus on the period since the end of World War II. 2002.

Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Provides brief biographies of major philosophers, literary theorists, sociologists, etc., as well as entries on broad trends in the humanities and social sciences in France in the nineteenth and particularly the twentieth century. 2004.  Call Number: DC33.7 .E55 2004. 

Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides brief biographical entries about the lives and works of French women writers. 1999. 

LITAF Unrestricted Resource
Extensive bibliography of Francophone African literature. In French. 
Collins French Dictionary and Grammar Restricted Resource
French-English dictionary; via Credo Reference.

Larousse Dictionnaire Français-Anglais Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
French-English and English-French dictionary, containing more than 250,000 entries and more than 400,000 translations. 

Larousse Dictionnaire de Français Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Monolingual French dictionary, with more than 135,000 word definitions, synonyms, and idioms. 

Foreign Language Business Dictionaries Restricted Resource Some full text available

Cover of Business French DictionaryCover of Business German DictionaryCover of Business Spanish Dictionary

From Peter Collin Publishing, these dictionaries provide specialized business vocabulary in French, German, and Spanish.

Finding Books etc.
HELIN Catalog Unrestricted Resource
​To find books and e-books, audiovisual materials, board games, and other items held by the Wallace Library or our partners in the HELIN consortium, search the catalog: 

Advanced Search


Browsing the Stacks

If you prefer research by serendipity, you will find the most relevant materials in French Studies in the following call number ranges: 
  • DC1-947: History of France
  • PQ1-3999: French Literature 

Books Beyond Wheaton

SUDOC Unrestricted Resource
Union catalog of the academic, research, and university libraries of France, containing bibliographic records on books, theses, periodicals, manuscripts, etc. In French.  

BnF Catalogue Général Unrestricted Resource
Catalog of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (French National Library). 
Core Resources
MLA International Bibliography Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics and folklore, including journal articles, series, monographs, dissertations, bibliographies, and proceedings; via ProQuest; 1926 - present.

Historical Abstracts [EBSCO] Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations pertaining to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (for U.S. and Canada historian, use America: History and Life); 1955 - present. 

ARTFL Restricted Resource
Full text database of nearly 2,000 works in French, ranging from classic literature to non-fiction and technical writing. Subjects include literary criticism, biology, history, economics, and philosophy, from medieval times onward. 

Gallica Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
The large and growing collection of digitized full texts and images of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF).

Pascal & Francis Unrestricted Resource
Bibliographic database for sciences / technology (Pascal) and social sciences / humanities (Francis), compliled by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) of France, covering journal articles and conference proceedings. Formerly a subscription database, freely accessible since 2016. 1972-2015.

Persée Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Digital library of French-language scholarly periodicals, mostly in the humanities and social sciences. 

Repère Restricted Resource Some full text available
Indexes and abstracts French language periodicals. Includes full text for over 190 periodicals. 1980 - present. Note: use VPN for off-campus access Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Portal for full-text (and mostly open access) French-language journals covering the humanities and social sciences.
Additional Databases Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Repository of articles/chapters from a growing number of journals and books in the humanities and social sciences published in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. In French. 

Note: A fee may be required for the full text of articles. Before paying, check the Wallace Library's Journal Finder to see if you can access the article through a different service; also consider an interlibrary loan request

Humanities Full Text [H.W. Wilson / EBSCO] Restricted Resource Some full text availableopenURL
Indexes journals in the disciplines of archaeology and classical studies, art, folklore, history, language and literature, literary criticism, music and performing arts, philosophy, and religion; includes over 320 full text journals; 1984 - present.

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes scholarly journal articles on the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400 - 1700 A.D.).

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text availableopenURL
Full text backfiles of over 2,500 core scholarly journals in humanities, social sciences, and sciences. To help you navigate and search JSTOR, check their helpful how-to guide (PDF). 

Note: JSTOR includes 16 current titles, but for all others, JSTOR does not contain the most recent 1-7 years of content. Many of these titles are continued in the Library's print and/or electronic subscriptions, however. Check the Journal Finder for complete holdings information.

PAIS International and PAIS Archive Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes materials relating to political, social, and public policy issues. Citations include journal articles, books, directories, conference proceedings, pamphlets, reports, and government documents; a ProQuest database; 1914 - present. 

Project Muse Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full-text current and archival articles from 660+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. The Library's subscription also includes over 7,000 e-books. Updated continually.

Sociological Abstracts Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes journals, dissertations, conference papers, and selected books in sociology and related disciplines. A ProQuest database; 1952 - present. 
Scholarly Websites
Scholarly listserv on French history and culture, featuring topical discussions, forums on special topics, and book reviews, among other things. 

French Studies Web 
From the Western European Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Library, this site provides links to a wide variety of Internet resources on France and the Francophone world. 

Collège de France
Website of the prestigious (and perhaps peculiarly French) research and teaching institution to which the leading scholars working in French are appointed for life, with the stipulation that they need to teach publicly and freely accessible lectures.
The Collège de France is not to be confused with Institut de France, which encompasses the major learned societies/national academies of France, including the famed Académie française

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) 
France's major, government-funded research institution for basic research, mainly in the natural sciences, but also, albeit to a smaller extent, in the humanities and social sciences. Its open access portal HAL is particularly noteworthy. 

Modern Language Association (MLA)
Website of the Modern Language Association (MLA), the premier professional associations of scholars in language and literature. Its mission is to "promote[] the study and teaching of languages and literatures through its programs, publications, annual convention, and advocacy work" and "to advance the many areas of the humanities ..., including literature, language, writing studies, screen arts, digital humanities, pedagogy, and library studies." 

H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online
"H-Net is an international interdisciplinary organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web. [Its] edited networks publish peer reviewed essays, multimedia materials, and discussions for colleagues and the interested public." 
Documenting Your Research
Properly documenting your research is a crucial part of the research process. Check out the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University as well as our own Guide to Documenting Your Research for detailed information about different citation styles and formats. 

Scholarship in French Studies commonly uses MLA style, except for historical scholarship, which uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. To make sure that you use the correct format, please check with your professor(s). 

To manage your sources and references, try Zotero or RefWorks
Research by Subject