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French Literature

Last Updated: 21-Jan-2015

Library resources for the study of French literature and culture

New acquisitions in French literature

Works about French language and literature are found in the call number range PQ1-PQ3999. Most of them are found on the 3rd floor stacks in Green Library, others are in SAL3. Rare works and materials published before approximately 1830 can be consulted in Special Collections.

Recent Acquisitions


  1. edited by Lia Brozgal and Sara Kippur. 2016

  2. Sarah Phillips Casteel. 2016

  3. edited by John D. Lyons. 2016

  4. Anthony Mangeon. 2016

  5. edited by Douglas L. Boudreau and Marnie M. Sullivan. 2016

  6. Felix Lang. 2016

  7. Andrea Goulet. 2016

  8. edited by Ernest Cole and Oumar Cherif Diop. 2016

Useful Databases

In addition to MLA International Bibliography, Ebsco, JSTOR and Project Muse article databases, try the following:

CAIRN - full text current French scholarly journals

PERSEE - full text French scholarly journals

Gallica - the BnF's digital library

ARTFL Project - a collection of full text French literature databases and other resources

Nineteenth Century Collections Online - contains the Corvey Collection of 19th century novels in digital format

Textes de la Renaissance and Colloques, Congrès et Conférences, Renaissance européenne - primary and scholarly works on the Renaissance

Electronic Enlightenment - correspondence between 18th century intellectuals

Making of the Modern World - primary sources on European political economy and social thought

Eighteenth Century Collections Online - 18th century primary sources

Periodicals Archive Online - full text scholarly journals and magazines, international scope.

Or from Searchworks, limit to Database, French and Italian Studies, or from xSearch, choose Subject - French studies

Selected Bibliographies

Databases have largely replaced printed bibliographies, but the following titles are important to know about. Print bibliographies are still especially useful for single-author studies and similar focused topics.

Cabeen, D.C., ed. A Critical Bibliography of French Literature. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1947-.  An annotated survey of editions, bibliographies and critical studies. Six volumes cover the Medieval period through the mid-20thcentury. Z2171.C3 IC

Klapp, Otto, ed. Bibliographie der französischen Literaturwissenschaft. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1960- . This very comprehensive bibliography of scholarship on French literature will soon be available online. In the meantime, see the print edition. Z2171.B5 IC

 Annual bibliographies:

Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France. Contains an important annual Bibliographie de la littérature française. 1985- . Contains bibliographies of recent publications, divided by time period, with author and title indexes.1985-2000 issued as a numbered issue of Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France 840.5 .R454. Bibliographie de la littérature française (XVIe-XXe siècles) 2001-  .IC Z2171 .B53

Modern Language Association of America. Bibliography of French Seventeenth Century Studies. 1953-77. Continued by: French 17 (no.26-) 1978- 

French XX Bibliography: Critical and Biographical References for the Study of French Literature since 1885. N.Y.: French Institute, 1949- . Annual. 
IC Z2173.M6

The Year's Work In Modern Language Studies. London [etc.]: Modern Humanities Research Association [etc.], . PB1 .Y45  (Annual. Most recent in IC, earlier in Stacks). This annual publication offers bibliographic essays of new works of scholarship and is useful for seeing trends in research.

Etats présents - short but very useful bibliographical essays on the state of specific topics, published in the journal French Studies 

Hatin, Eugene. Bibliographie historique et critique de la presse périodique francaise, ou… Paris: Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères, fils, et cie., 1866. An important guide to early French periodicals.  Z6956 F8H36


Notable materials and special collections

The Stanford University Libraries collects widely in the fields of French and francophone literature. We have particularly strong collections on 18th century literature and intellectual history, contemporary French and francophone literature, and theater. Popular literature from both the early modern and modern period, including literary accounts of immigrant life in France, urban life, and genre fiction are also well-represented. We are currently strengthening our holdings of early modern books, especially Renaissance poetry, and early examples of the novel. Materials published earlier than approximately 1830 can be consulted in Special Collections.

Here is a selection of rare or unique materials of interest to French literary scholars. Also check Au courant for monthly updates of selected acquisitions:

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