Subject Specialist
Picture: Cary Gouldin

Cary Gouldin
Humanities Liaison
Tel: (508) 286 3924

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About This Guide
La Liberté guidant le peuple, by Eugène Delacroix (1830)

La Liberté guidant le peuple, by Eugène Delacroix (1830), via Wikimedia Commons.

This page lists primary sources, statistics, and original texts for research in French Studies. For additional resources, also check our guide to European History.

Below, you will find links to

Digital Primary Source Collections
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).

Europeana Unrestricted Resource Some full text availableopenURL Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
 "Explore millions of items from a range of Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, tv and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings, they're all here."

World Digital Library (WDL) Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio
"The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world. The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures." 

HathiTrust Digital Library Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
Digital library created from the collections of major research libraries in the United States and around the world. Items range from medieval Arabic manuscripts to early modern European incunabula, from colonial American pamphlets to 19th-century treatises on natural history. Although a part of the collection is only accessible to members of participating/contributing institutions, many materials (particularly those no longer in copyright) are freely accessible.

ABU: La Bibliothèque Universelle Unrestricted Resource
L'accés libre au texte integral d'oeuvres du domaine public francophone sur Internet depuis 1993. (French public domain texts, maintained by the Association des Bibliophiles Universels.)

Réseau francophone numérique (RFN) Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
RFN provides access to over 80 full text journals and newspapers published from the 19th to mid 20th centuries. Also includes books, reviews, maps, and archives. Contributing libraries include the national libraries of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Quebec and Switzerland, the Library of Alexandria, and several other French speaking institutions. In French. 

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History Unrestricted Resource
Organized by time period and country.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
One of the earliest efforts to collect open-access primary sources on the World Wide Web, founded and edited by Professor Paul Halsall of Fordham University. Besides official documents, this site includes narrative accounts, personal memoirs, songs, newspaper reports, as well as cultural, philosophical, religious, and scientific documents. It covers ancient, medieval, and modern history across all continents. 

Blue Mountain Project: Historic Avant-Garde Periodicals for Digital Research Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Digital collection of often rare European art, music, and culture periodicals from 1848 to c. 1923.

ARTstor Restricted Resource Resource contains images
Searchable database of over 1 million digital images and associated catalog data. ARTstor covers many time periods and cultures, and documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture. Users can search and view images. To download images users must create an account. More information at Finding Images. You can find additional resources regarding image use and copyright by visiting this link, and find out more about how Artstor collections are used in The Artstor Blog.

Newberry French Revolution Collection Pamphlets Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Digital collection of pamphlets from the French Revolution, held by the Newberry Library and hosted on the Internet Archive. More than 30,000 digitized pamphlets spanning the period from the 1780s to the early 1800s are available. 

Current Events

LexisNexis Academic Restricted Resource Some full text available
Indexes and abstracts U.S. and foreign newspapers, journals, transcripts, federal and state case law, law reviews, state and country profiles, company information and more. Many documents are in full text; dates of coverage vary.

Also check the following news aggregators:  

Historical News

Gallica Presse & Revues Unrestricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Extensive collection of digitized historical newspapers from France. A subset of Gallica, the French national digital library, the collection includes both major and minor publications, including Le Figaro, L'Humanité, and Le Petit Journal. Varying dates of coverage, usually ending around 1945. 

Gazetier Universel Unrestricted Resource Some full text available
A digital library of newspapers from the Ancien regime of France, covering publications large and small, Parisian and provincial, from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. (The period of the French Revolution is not included.)
Data & Statistics Unrestricted Resource
Open data portal of the French government, providing information on such areas as government finance, unemployment, crime, tourism, and electoral results.

Insee (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques) Unrestricted Resource
Insee is the official site of France's National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, which collects and analyzes information and statistics on economic and social indicators.

European Union Open Data Portal Unrestricted Resource
Open data repository of the European Union; contains a wealth of data on subjects including business and economics, energy and the environment, and labor and social issues. 

Eurobarometer Unrestricted Resource
Public opinion polls on various subjects conducted throughout the European Union; 1973-present.  Note: The raw data behind these polls is available at GESIS

UNESCO Institute for Statistics Unrestricted Resource
Provides in-depth statistics on culture, education, science, and technology in more than 200 countries. 

Government & Legal Information
Logo of the French national government
Official website of the French national government (i.e. primarily the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers). Also see the separate websites of the President of the Republic, the Assemblée Nationale, and the Senate

Government website dedicated to law and the legal system in France, including the full text of the French constitution and other legislation. (For a brief overview in English, check the guide to French law from the Law Library of Congress.) 

Journal Officiel de la République française (JO)
The official gazette of France. Originally published regularly in print, the JO became an online-only publication in January 2016. All issues since 1990 can be searched through this portal. 

Service Public 
Meant mainly for French citizens, this website provides information on various administrative questions, e.g., how to file for divorce, get a passport, or apply for welfare benefits. 

CEDEF - Centre de Documentation Economie-Finances
Part of the website of French ministries of the economy and finance, CEDEF offers information on various aspects of the French economy, including government finance, tourism, etc. 
Website of the French ministry of culture, offering a wealth of information on all aspects of cultural life and cultural institutions. 

France in the United States 
Official website of the French embassy in Washington, D.C.