French and Francophone

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Date: Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 11:34 PM


French resources

French resources

The information presented on these pages covers all areas of the French-speaking world.

When you start looking for a source that is not available in your College or University library, you have several options. You can consult resources in the UK, in metropolitan France or in other speaking areas of the French-speaking world. You can also consult the section on French virtual sources.

French Resources in the UK

French Resources in Metropolitan France

French Resources in Other Areas of the French-Speaking World

The majority of the institutions listed in the UK and metropolitan France will have an online catalogue, which means you do not need to phone, email or go there. Access to online catalogues in other areas of the French-speaking world may vary and will depend on the French-speaking area covered (the descriptions listed under a source will usually indicate what type of access is available).

Before choosing the institution that you think is the most likely to have your source remember that many countries (including the United Kingdom and France) have META-OPACs, that is, online catalogues which collect all the OPACs of a certain area. COPAC, for example, collect major British OPACs; CCFR collects French major online catalogues. And there are even META-OPACs which allow you to do online bibliographical searches of different national OPACs at once. This facility gives you the greatest overview of what is available on a trans-national level. We therefore suggest you should start by having a look at the META-OPACs relevant to French Studies, included in our French Virtual Resources.

Although META-OPACs permit you to scan a massive amount of books (authors, titles, and subjects), this information will not include any articles. So, if you are looking for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books, the best way of resourcing these materials is to consult the MLA International Bibliography which will be available on CD-ROM or in print at your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published in modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and articles each year.

1. French Resources in Metropolitan France

These are organized according to three different categories on the following pages:

1.1 archives

Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporaine
On this site you will find information about musical biographies, festivals, concerts, theatre pogrammes and seminars. You just have to register. 

Archives nationales de France
The National Archives of France contain material from the Merovingian period to the current day. Some documents are available in online versions. Free access on presentation of appropriate ID. Photocopying facilities available. There are 3 types of entry cards: daily, temporary, annual. The following institutions are under the umbrella of the National archives:

Archives de France
This governmental institution has an advisory role in relation to the organization of all French national archives.

Ministère des Affaires étrangères
These archives hold the materials of the ministry archives, embassies, consulates, former protectorates and mandated territorie.

Centre des Archives diplomatiques de Nantes (CADN)
17 rue du Casterneau, 44000 Nantes.
Tel.: 00 33 02 51 77 25 25
Fax: 00 33 02 51 77 24 60

Centre des archives économiques et financières
9 rue de l'Aluminium, 77176 Savigny-Le-Temple.
Tel.: 00 33 01 64 87 79 24 or 25 or 26
Fax: 00 33 01 64 87 80 16

Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent. 

1.2 cultural institutions

Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
On this site information about cinematic data bases, the French language, museums, music, theatre, dance and culture is available. Access is free of charge.

Académie française
One of the oldest institutions of French culture, the role of the Académie française is to maintain the standards of the French language and to support and promote French literature. Their website also functions as a portal to publishers and further French cultural institutions:

CIEP: Centre national d'études pédagogiques
On this site you can go on a 'tour' of the French language. Access is free of charge.

CIEF: Centre International d'Etudes Francophones - Sorbonne
This research centre of the Sorbonne is dedicated to Francophone literature.

CNC: Centre national de la cinématographie
This governmental institution is responsible for supporting, administrating and distributing French film and multimedia.

Centre Pompidou
The Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou was the brainchild of President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation, where the visual arts would rub shoulders with theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word. The Bibliothèque Publique d'Information of the Centre holds extensive collections on modern art and culture.

1.3 libraries

Some French libraries require letters of introduction from your supervisor. If you are going on a research trip, make sure you have an adequate supply.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France
The French equivalent to the British Library. The BNF is spread over five different sites, so if you plan a visit, make sure you have located the documents you want to view beforehand. The sites are as follows:

  • Le site Francois Mittérrand: the central reading rooms of the BNF
  • Le site Richelieu-Louvois: holding collections of manuscripts, stamps, money and music, 'Le project Richelieu'
  • Arsenal: manuscripts, books, stamps, performing arts
  • Opéra: architecture, performing arts, decorative arts
  • Maison Jean-Vilar: an extension of the Department of Performing Arts of the BNF.

You will need to purchase a reader's pass (annual or daily). There are photocopying services, but they are not cheap.

BN-Opale Plus
This is the general search engine for tracing documents owned by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

The manuscript catalogue of the BNF. Subdivided into 'division occidentale' and 'division orientale'.

Les catalogues de la Bibliothèque Mazarine
Founded in 1643, this is the oldest library in France, holding a great variety of books, journals, manuscripts and encyclopedias, especially on literature and French history. Access is free and there are three types of cards: annual card, two days card, ten visits card. Photocopies, photographs and microfilms are available.

La Cinémathèque française
This site is a database of cinema. Follow the links to the library, museum and collections. Access is free of charge.

Institut International de la Marionnette
You can search their catalogue by title, author, subject, collection or alphabetically. Access is free of charge.

Musée national d’art moderne - Centre Pompidou
Information on editions, exhibitions and cultural events. It is also possible to order books and periodicals from their online bookshop. Access is free of charge.

Videothèque de Paris
On this site you can find information on 6500 films. Access is free of charge.

Collège de France
Information on French literature. The library is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 –17.30. Closed during the first 3 weeks of August and at Christmas. Outside researchers do not get unlimited access to the collections, but you are allowed to take photocopies and microfilms.

Bibliothèque de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, Ulm-Sèvres (Lettres & Sciences Humaines)
This is the website of one of the best libraries in Paris. Its collections are vast and its historical site is inspiring.

Please note that the following links are exemplary. If you are looking for a more comprehensive list of University libraries in France, consult:

This library of Université Paris 7 - Denis Diderot, specializes in 19th century literature. The Library is open every day from 14.00 –18.00. Access is free of charge.

Université de Strasbourg
Here you will find information on a variety of subjects including philosophy, music and arts.  There are also video-documents and music-documents. Access is free of charge.

Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance - Université Tours
Here you will find more than 45.000 monographs on history of art, philosophy, literature (French, English and Italian). There is also a library specializing in music. Access is free of charge.

Université Paris 7 - Denis Diderot
Link to the catalogue of the Bibliothèque des Lettres et Sciences humaines.

Université Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle
The libraries of Sorbonne Nouvelle comprise amongst others the Bibliothèque Centrale for humanities in general, Bibliothèque de l'Institut de Linguistique et Phonétique Générales et Appliquées, Bibliothèque de littérature générale et comparée, Bibliothèque Gaston Baty Etudes théâtrales, Bibliothèque de l'Ecole Supérieure d'Interprètes et de Traducteurs, Bibliothèque de Littérature et de linguistique francaise et latine. You can search their catalogues through the Catalogue collectif.

Université de Provence - Aix, Marseille 
The catalogue of this library will provide you with bibliographical information on the humanities, art, archeology, painting and musicology. Access is free and no fees are charged.

Université de Lille 3
A large university library with access to catalogues and much else besides. Access is free and no fees are charged.

Université de Lyon 3
Provides access to the many libraries of Lyon 3.

Université de Nantes
Contains information on French literature. Access is free and no fees are charged.

Please note that our list is not exhaustive and refer to the CCFR: Le Catalogue Collectif de France for further links to municipal libraries in France.

Catalogue of the Lyon Library (Catalogue de la Bibliothèque de Lyon)
On this site there is a great variety of catalogues, collections, books, magazines, painting, music and documents from 1920 onwards. Access is free and no fees are charged.

Bibliothèque Municipale de Grenoble
On this site you will find information on libraries, borough libraries and collection libraries. Photocopies, CD-Rom, photographs and tapes are available. Access to specific documents and to the research department is not always available. The fees vary from 7 € - 60 €.

Bibliothèque de Caen

Bibliothèque Municipale de Besançon
A catalogue of many different libraries is available from this link. Searches by using key words, the name of the author, the title, the collection or the subject are possible. Access is free and no fees are charged.

Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon
The Library of Lyon offers a great range of collections including some rare ones. You have to show ID and students are entitled to a discount on the subscription. Photocopying facilities are available. There are also  videos, cd-roms, and DVDs.

Paris Bibliothèques
This site serves as a portal to all the municipal libraries of Paris.

Le fil d'ariane
Through this website you can obtain information about 379 specialist libraries in the region of Paris.

French Resources in Other Areas of the French-Speaking World

For those doing research in other speaking areas of the French-speaking world, you can consult the resources currently available for:




Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunis)

Sub-Saharan Africa


2. French Resources in Belgium

National Libraries and Archives

Archives et musée de la littérature - Belgium
Part of the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, these archives hold predominantly Belgian archival documents. There is a section specifically dedicated to theatre. Access is free and is free of charge.

Archives de l' Etat en Belgique
Archives concentrating on Belgian heritage. Photocopies, photographs, microfilms are available.

Bibliothèque royale de Belgique

University Libraries

Université de Liège 
This catalogue gives you access to more than 500 000 books and 45 000 magazines. Free of charge.

3. French resources in Canada

This section offers information on the following French resources in Canada:

Audiovisual Resources

Libraries and Archives

Research Centres

Virtual Resources

3.1 Audiovisual resources

National Film Board of Canada / Office National de l’Office du Canada
Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries,auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic animation – and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world.

NFB productions are accessible in both official languages.

Cinémathèque québécoise
Has online access to the collections of the Médiathèque.

Nouvelles vues
The leading online journal dedicated to the study of Québec cinema.

3.2 Libraries and Archives

National Libraries and Archives

La Grande Bibliothèque
Open and free access to more than four million documents, including one million books. The national collection contains books, reference works, government publications and microforms available directly on shelves or in filing cabinets as well as magazines and newspapers, available in mobile shelving, which BAnQ personnel can obtain for you.

Specialised services such as the online and onsite reference service can be accessed from here.

BAnQ Collections
Contains national and international collections. Collections related exclusively to Québec are:

Heritage Collections (textual and visual resources related to Quebec’s cultural and political history);

Archives (13 million photos, treatises, notarial acts, maps from the 17th century to the present);

Digital Collection(an ever growing digital collection of books, journals and newspapers, manuscripts, photos, postcards, prints, etc);

Images (free electronic access to over 20,000 photos and postcards, over 7,000 prints and engravings, over 2,000 posters and 600 other documentary images)

Centres d’Archives du Québec

BAnQ's nine archive centers provide a variety of services to the various groups that use them: consultation rooms, specialized documents (archives, genealogy, local and regional history), the loan of printed and microfilm works between archive centers, photocopies of written documents and the reproduction of visual and audio material, exhibitions and guided tours, educational activities and introductions to genealogical research, services provided by mail, fax and email, remote access to certain services, research tools and hundreds of thousands of items through the BAnQ web portal.

Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (LAC) 

The collection held by the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is the shared documentary source for all Canadians. You can browse the site by subject area (22 collections for areas such as Aboriginal peoples, literature, politics and government or national identity) or by source type (databases, research aids, virtual exhibitions).

LAC hosts the thesis portal of Canada.

Archives Canada
Archives Canada is a gateway to archival resources found in over 800 repositories across Canada.

Provincial and Territorial Archives
This page lists Canada’s main provincial and territorial archives, with web access and main contact details.

Archives de la ville du Québec
Located at the 4th floor of the library Gabrielle Roy, Québec City. It contains a rich collection of both textual and non-textual documentary sources spanning from the 19th to the 20th century. Non-textual sources include 160 000 maps and architectural drawings, more than 100,000 images, 5 600 microfilms and 1800 audiovisual documents. 

Archives Montréal 1913 – 2013
The Archives Section contains private and public administrative documents of the city of Montreal as well as of external organisations and individuals whose activities are related to the city. Its corpus is divided into five distinct groups: Les fonds d’archives institutionnelles (VM et MTL),  Les fonds en provenance de la Bibliothèque de Montréal(BM), Les fonds en provenance de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal (CUM), Les fonds d’archives privées (P), Les fonds de la Société historique de Montréal (SHM).

The catalogue can be browsed by public or private collection, by individual or organisation.

National Catalogues

AMICUS is a free catalogue listing the holdings of libraries across Canada. As a national catalogue, AMICUS not only shows the published materials held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) but also those located in over 1300 libraries across Canada.

AMICUS is an information resources system developed and maintained by the National Library of Canada (NLC) for libraries, researchers and the public. It is possible to search over 25 million records from 1,300 Canadian libraries and access the entire database including National Library records. Access is free but registration is necessary.

University Libraries

Library of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) 
Online access to all UQAM’s libraries. The online catalogue lets you choose between different databases and submit a search by author, subject or collection. Access is free of charge.

Library of the Université Laval
The library of the Université Laval gives access to approximately six millions documents. books, periodicals, theses, films, music, cartographic references as well as a large number of online resources.The major part of the library’s collections is kept in the Bibliothèque des sciences humaines et sociales, located in the Jean-Charles-Bonenfantpavilion.

Library of the University of Toronto
A massive source of information and research tools for researchers. The list of libraries in the Humanities and Social Sciences can be accessed here.

It contains an important source of local digital special collections or full text digital collections that were developed at the University of Toronto Libraries, including:

Books Online
The collection includes page images, brief descriptions and full digital text of 858 digitized books from the University of Toronto Libraries.

Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides
The collection includes items printed in Canada, by Canadian authors, or about Canadian subjects, mainly of a non-literary nature.

Canadian Poetry Online
Canadian Poetry is a collection of poetry from published contemporary and 19th century Canadian poets. Contemporary poets have selected their poetry and provided biographies. It includes, listing poems and poets both in French and English.

The Barren Lands Digital Collection

Canadian Printer and Publisher

The Labrador Inuit through Moravian eyes

This also offers access to a large database of newspapers and news indexes with Canadian contemporary and historical newspapers covering the whole of Canada, including the national newspapers and those in Ontario, Québec and other provinces.  Click here.

Public Libraries

La Bibliothèque de Québec
In French only. Bibliothèques Québec contains the catalogue Astrolabe with access to the collection of all public libraries in Québec City, including electronic books. The catalogue can be browsed online (access to and borrowing of electronic books is limited to library members only). It can be a good source for research related to the social and cultural life of the city. 

Bibliothèques Montréal
In French only. Bibliothèques Montréal hosts the catalogue with access to 44 public libraries in Montréal. It can be a good source for research related to the social and cultural life of the city. 

3.3 Research Centres

Research Centres, Research Projects

Centre d’Etudes Québécoises, Université Paris 3

A new interdisciplinary research centre on Québécois studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3.

Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature et la culture québécoise (CRILCQ)

This research centre brings together specialist from across a number of Universities in the areas of literature, theatrestudies, art, music and culture. Its mission is to promote the literature and culture of Québec.

Centre d'études de la poésie québécoise

The Centre Hector-De Saint-Denys-Garneau gathers and promotes information and research on Québec’s poetry. 

Centre interuniversitaire d'études et de recherches autochtone (CIÉRA), Université Laval

This centre brings together researchers from the Université Laval,as well as other Universities in and outside Québecin the area of study of Aboriginal societies and cultures from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises, Université Laval

This is an interdisciplinary centre bringing together researchers from the Laboratoire de géographie historique del'Université Laval and the Centre d'études québécoises de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. It studies the transformations of Québécois society from the colonisation period up to the present day from a sociocultural andspatiotemporal perspective.

Bibliographie d'études comparées des littératures canadienne, québécoise et étrangère / The bibliography of Studies in Comparative Canadian, Québec and Foreign Literature – Université Sherbrooke

The Bibliography of Comparative Studies in Canadian, Québec and Foreign Literatures 1930-1995 is intended as an essential research tool for students, scholars and other readers of Canadian literatures. It is a project that involves the building, updating, and expansion of a bibliographic database of comparative studies in Canadian, Québec and foreign-language literatures.

The database includes research tools such as other bibliographies, reference works, anthologies, periodicals and histories for scholars, students and other readers of Canada’s and Québec’s literatures in a comparative framework.

Groupe de recherche en études littéraires et culturelles comparées au Canada et au Québec (VERSUS)

The VERSUS Research group is part to the Département des lettres et de la communication. Its research concentrates on the comparative study of the literatures and cultures of Québec and Canada.

Aboriginal Research Consortium (international)

The purpose of the Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International is to provide leadership and oversight on projects related to research and policy for, by, and about Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Centre for the Study of France and Francophone World / Centre des Etudes de la France et du MondeFrancophone, University of Toronto

The CEFMF is home to the interdisciplinary study of France and the Francophone world at the University of Toronto. Home to a broad range of faculty and researchers working on France and the Francophone world across a number of disciplines, to rich library and archival collections in French studies, and to the largest Department of French in Canada, as well as being an active participant in faculty and student exchange programs with peer institutions in France, the University of Toronto has long been a centre for excellence in French studies. The CEFMF builds upon the university’s distinguished tradition of teaching and scholarship in French studies.

Cercle-réseau international de recherche sur les croisements et études francophones inter-multidisciplinaires, University of York

The C-RICEFM is a non-profit international network on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary Francophone studies in literature. Its main objective is to foster scholarly exchange, knowledge dissemination, and research in the field of Francophone Literatures focussing on crossroads in literary studies.

Centre Canada- Méditérrannée

The Centre Canada-Méditerranée, is officially and academically linked to the Département d'études françaises, University of York, Ontario. It was founded by the Tunisian-born writer and acadmic, Hédi Bouraoui, Professor Emeritus of the University.  The centre has a library on the Francophone literature of Ontario, but also on SubsaharanAfrica, Caribbean and the Québec and Acadia.

Chaire de Recherche du Canada en analyse littéraire interculturelle, Université de Moncton

This research centre is devoted to the study of Canadian literatures in French, especially Québec and Acadia, from a comparative and multicultural perspective.

Centre Acadien de l’Université de Sainte-Anne, Nouvelle Ecosse

The Centre was founded in 1972 with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage and history of the Acadian people, especially those from Nova Scotia. Its collection of primary and secondary sources is regarded as the most comprehensive source in Nova Scotia.

Institut d'études acadiennes (IEA), Université de Moncton

Contains a number of sources on Acadian studies, including an international list of references (Répertoire international des études acadiennes).

A list of useful links including institutions, research centres, University Departments and other sources on Acadian studies is available here.

Acadian Archives, University of Maine, Kent

The Acadian Archives/Archives Acadiennes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent documents, preserves, and disseminates information about the culture, way of life, and history of the Franco-American and Acadian people of the Upper St John river valley. It serves as a repository for manuscript materials and audio-visual documentation relevant to regional folklore, folklife, and history.



Association Internationale des Etudes Québécoises (AIEQ)

A large international network of researchers involved in Québécois studies. Contains a section with access to a variety of research tools, such as websites, databases, etc.

American Council for Québec Studies

Hosts the refereed academic journal Québec Studies.

Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (AQAD)

The official site of the Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques.

Centre des auteurs dramatiques du Canada (CEAD)

An association of playwrights at the playwrights' service, the CEAD provides support for playwriting development and promotes Canadian Francophone plays and playwrights. It enjoys a solid reputation, as much for the sheer number of writers that it counts as members, as for its continuing objectives of quality and innovation.

Association des auteures et des auteurs de l’Ontario Français (AAOF)

Official website of the association of writers of the French Ontario.



3.4 Virtual resources

The list below is a selection of virtual sources on French Canada and is not meant to be exhaustive.

For a list of general virtual resources, consult the section on Virtual Resources – French.

Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques

A useful source containing a variety of information and resources on the French speaking communities in the Americas.

ADEL inc
Online library of the Association québécoise des auteurs dramatiques (AQAD).

Auteurs - Université de Montréal - Bibliothèque de Lettres et Science Humaines

On this site you will find hyperlinks to webpages for all major French authors. It hosts an extensive database ofQuébécois authors.

La bibliothèque électronique du Québec
Contains free downloadable texts from Québécois authors.

Collection numérique de Bibliothèque et Archives  Nationales du Québec

The Writers’ Union of Canada
The official website of the Writers’ Union of Canada containing the latest news, activities and resources on writing and publishing in Canada.

Prix littéraires du Québec
Very useful online resource on the literary prizes in Québec. It is possible to search by year, by laureate, prize, literary genre, region, organisation. A short biography of the authors listed can also be accessed.

L'île, Linfocentre littéraire des écrivains québécois
Comprehensive virtual documentary source on Québécois writers. Very reliable and accurate source of information. It contains bibliographic and biographic references on a large number of authors. Access to press articles is payable. The biographic references on the authors are updated daily and in collaboration with the authors by a group of expert graduates.

Dictionnaire des œuvres littéraires du Québec (DOLQ): des origines à 1969

DOLQ is a searchable online catalogue on literary works in Québec from conception to 1969.It is a recommended source for researchers, students and teachers in Québécois literature.
Volumes I, II, III and IV of the DOLQ are currently accessible online. All the volumes will become available on theBAnQ site. The online publication of these volumes has been made possible by the participation of the Centre derecherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature et la culture québécoises (CRILCQ).

4. French resources in the Caribbean


Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer

Archives on the colonial presence in French Overseas Territories.

The Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps two large collections:

1) the archives of the Secretariats of State and the Ministries responsible for the French colonies from the 17thCentury to the 20th Century;

2) the archives transferred from the former colonies and Algeria when independence took place between 1954 and 1962, apart from the management archives which remained in the countries concerned.

All fields of colonial history are represented from the exploration of territories and the creation and administration of the colonies, the economic relations with Metropolitan France and the training of colonial administrators to the monitoring of political and liberation movements, wars and independences. Over 38 km of dossiers, 150,000 photographs, 60,000 maps and plans and a library of 120,000 books, periodicals and press titles.

Gives access to the Archives' online research tool IREL (Instruments de recherches en ligne).

Les Archives Nationales de Haïti

General information on the archive’s activities and access. No online catalogue avalable.


Archives Départementales de Martinique
19 avenue Saint-John-Perse, B.P. 649, 97263 Fort-de-France Cedex, Tél.: 0596.63.88.46; télécopie: 0596.70.04.50; Email :

Martinique has a considerable written heritage that is still largely unknown: the Martinique Archives. Collections from public authorities and government departments, family documents and business records are the source of the island’s history, essential for researchers and necessary for the building of a shared collective memory. Safeguarding the archives and making them available to as many people as possible are therefore the major considerations for a cultural policy in Martinique. This is why the Martinique Archives is contributing to and playing a key role in the Martinique Heritage Database.

See also: Banque Numérique des Patrimoines Martiniquais under the section on virtual resources on the Caribbean.

Archives Départementales de la Guadeloupe

Archives Départementales de la Guadeloupe, Bisdary, 97 113 Gourbeyre, Email :


Association pour l’étude des littératures africaines (L’APELA)

This association brings together scholars in Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone, Italophone and Arabophoneliteratures of / on Africa, as well as diasporic literatures, with a special emphasis on the Caribbean and the MascareneIslands.



Les bibliothèques de l’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane

La Médiathèque Caraïbe – LAMECA / The Caribbean Multi-Media Library

Gateway to the Caribbean. Founded by theGeneral Council of Guadeloupe,

The rationale behind the Caribbean Multi-Media Library is to connect all documentary resources about Caribbean basin countries by developing tools to identify, locate and even circulate documents.

The Caribbean Media Library (Laméca) is the centrepiece of a network of resource centres and is in charge of collecting, processing and redistributing Caribbean-related information and documents.

Research Centres

GEREC-F: Groupe d'Études et de Recherches en Espace Créolophone et Francophone

A research group dedicated to research in Creolophone / Francophone studies. Attached to the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane.


Virtual resources

Caribbean search

Multidisciplinary online database related to the Caribbean region. Access to more than 650 journals, reports and reference books covering from subjects of politics to culture.

Le Créole
A portal with links to different sites dedicated to Creole culture.

Online catalogue of the Archives of du Musée du Quai Branly

Collections: themed online resources of the Musée du Quai Branly

Banque Numérique des Patrimoines Martiniquais under the section on virtual resources on the Caribbean.

BNPM are the initials of the Banque Numérique du Patrimoine Martiniquais, or Martinique Heritage Database. This database was set up by the General Council of Martinique. It is a portal giving access to documents on the cultural and historical heritage of Martinique, backed up by the Martinique geographical information system (SIGMA). It offers numerous search possibilities thanks to its user-friendly navigation and search engine based on the principle of interoperability between databases.

It also allows users to cross-reference different types of data from different sources (documents on historical monuments or excavations, archival or bibliographical metadata, topic-based collections, manuscripts, printed documents, periodicals, plans, maps, engravings, drawings, audiovisual resources, etc), about differentplaces (Fond Saint-Jacques, Vivé, Fort-de-France, etc), on different topics (slavery, sugar mills, rural architecture, craftsmanship, etc). Apart from very broad searches, it will also make available on-line publications on different topics (virtual exhibitions, educational documents, cultural directories, etc).


Online Journals

Caribbean studies

Caribbean Studies is a multidisciplinary academic journal published since 1961 by the Institute of Caribbean Studies, College of Social Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. The journal publishes original works on the Social Sciences and the Humanities in English, Spanish or French languages. It is divided into four parts: articles, research notes, book reviews (including review essays of multiple books and individual reviews), and news and events. Published by: Institute of Caribbean Studies.

Etudes caribéennes

Open access journal.

Pouvoirs dans la Caraïbe

Published by the Centre de recherche sur les pouvoirs locaux dans la Caraïbe (CRPLC, UMR-CNRS 8053). Open access journal with articles in French, English and Spanish.

Small Axe

Small Axefocuses on the renewal of practices of intellectual criticism. It recognizes a tradition of social, political, and cultural criticism in and about regional/diasporic Caribbean and honours that tradition but also critiquing it because it is through such argument that a tradition renews itself. Published by: Duke University Press

5. French resources in Maghreb

Because of the specificities of the (post)colonial histories of the areas covered, the French resources on the Maghreblisted below have been divided into two main categories, those that are available in metropolitan France and those that can be accessed in the Maghreb.  

Documentation Centres, Cultural Centres

Libraries and Archives

Research Centres

Alternatively, you can consult a selection of virtual resources on the Maghreb.

Virtual Resources

5.1 Documentation Centres, Cultural Centres

Documentation Centres in France

Association France-Algérie
Cultural association aimed at contributing to the development of bilateral relations between France and Algeria.

Centre de Documentation historique de l’Algérie

Access to 100,000 documents including books, memoirs, theses, postal cards, objects and archival sources.

Centre Culturel Algérien de Paris
The library of the centre is a useful resource on Algeria, the Maghreb and the Arab world. Hosts more than 30.000 items in French and Arabic, such as books, magazines, thesis and periodicals and gives access to a variety of documentary resources ranging from art, sociology, history, literature, tourism and travel. The online catalogue can be accessed from here.

Institut du Monde Arabe

An important cultural and literary resource on the Maghreb, the library of the Institute gives access to more than 85.000 items (books, documentary sources, journals, rare books, etc.). Primarily French and Arabic resources, but resources in other European languages are also available.

The development of an online catalogue is currently in progress. In meantime, questions can be sent to the librarian service.

Librairie Avicenne

Specialist bookshop on the Maghreb, with access to books in French and Arabic.


Documentation Centres in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia  

Centre de Documentation Economique et Sociale d’Oran, Oran

The Centre gives access to a range of documentary resources including books, theses, periodic journals and maps.    

Centre National de Documentation, Haut Commissariat du Royaume de Maroc

The Centre’s research portal ABHATOO gives access to a variety of sources, textual, visual and audio, relating to all aspects of the social and economic life of contemporary Morocco.

Centre de Documentation Nationale (CDN), Tunis

The collection of the CDN consists primarily of newspapers, notably: Tunisie Française (since 1900), Petit Matin(1920, Tunis Soir (1930), and Journal Officiel (1881).

Particularly helpful are the “dossiers de presse” treating a wide variety of subjects. Most materials are on microfilm (source taken from here)

5.2 Libraries and Archives

Libraries and Archives in France

Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer

Archives on the colonial presence in French Overseas Territories.

The Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps two large collections:

The archives of the Secretariats of State and the Ministries responsible for the French colonies from the 17th Century to the 20th Century;

The archives transferred from the former colonies and Algeria when independence took place between 1954 and 1962, apart from the management archives which remained in the countries concerned.

All fields of colonial history are represented from the exploration of territories and the creation and administration of the colonies, the economic relations with Metropolitan France and the training of colonial administrators to the monitoring of political and liberation movements, wars and independences. Over 38 km of dossiers, 150,000 photographs, 60,000 maps and plans and a library of 120,000 books, periodicals and press titles.

Gives access to the Archives' online research tool IREL (Instruments de recherches en ligne).

Bibliothèque et Centre de Documentation de La Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine  & CELFA(Centre d’Etudes Linguistiques et Littéraires Francophones et Africaines)

The Centre d’ Etudes Linguistiques et Littéraires Francophones et Africaines (CELFA) has an important collection on the literatures and cultures of the Maghreb.

Bibliothèque de l’Université Paris IV – Sorbonne & Le Centre International des Etudes Francophones(CIEF)

The library of the Centre International d’Etudes Francophones (CIEF) has a large collection on Maghrebian literatures including a selection of rare books. The CIEF organises numerous research seminars and conferences for national and international researchers in the area of Francophone studies.

Bibliothèque de Littérature Générale et Comparée de l’Université de Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle & Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Comparatistes (CERC)

The Library of the Département de Littérature générale et comparée gives access to 8,000 books including a specialist collection on African literature.  The Department (where the CERC is based) specialises in the comparative study of the politics and poetics of writing in Francophone literatures (in particular the Maghreb and the Caribbean).

La médiatèque Abdelmalek Sayad - Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration

La médiathèque Abdelmalek Sayad – the reference library of the Museum contains 20,000 documents and 200 journal titles, and is an important source on the history and memory of immigration in France.


Libraries and Archives in Algeria and Tunisia

Les Archives Nationales de Tunisie,122, Boulevard 9 avril 1938, Tunis 

Contains archives relating to the pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial period.

The gathering of public records in Tunisia started in 1874, making Tunisia the second country, after Egypt, to opt for the organisation of its records, and this even before the establishment of the French Protectorate (1881-1956). In 1967, the Presidency State Secretariat underwent a whole restructuring, and the archives administration became known as the « Division des Archives générales et de la Documentation » (Division of General Archives and Documentation). Since the beginning of 1999, the National Archives services were transferred from the Prime Ministry to their new headquarters located at 122, Boulevard 9 avril 1938 in Tunis.

Bibliothèque Nationale de Tunisie

The main collections of the national library consist of: a) manuscripts (240,000), including 40,000 pieces related to Arabic-Islamic culture, b) monographs (1,000.000), c) periodic journals (16,000) published in Tunisia dating back to 1860. The library also gives access to non textual sources, such as maps, postcards, plans and etchings, as well as audio-visual sources.

BiblioUniv Algérie (le Portail des Universités Algèriennes), Alger

Online portal to documentary resources held in Algerian Universities. The portal is maintained and edited by the Centre de recherche sur l’information scientifique et technique CERIST 05, Algiers.

CCDZ : Catalogue Collectif d’Algérie

A national catalogue of documentary sources of University, research centres and school libraries in Algeria.

Website available in Arabic only. The library offers access to collections in French, English and Arabic. Available to members only, although it is possible for overseas researchers to request special library access.

Located on two sites: a) old site: BP127 El Hamma, Les Annassers, tel: (213) (0)21 67 57 81, fax: (213) (0)21 67 29 99, Email:; b) new site: 1 avenue Frantz Fanon, tel: (213) (0)21 63 10 49, fax: (213) (0)21 61 04 35.

Bibliothèque  de l’Université d'Alger 1, Algiers
The library contains collections of literary works in French, English and Arabic.

Bibliothèque Centrale - Université Constantine 1, Algiers
Offers access to collections in French, English and Arabic on a variety of subjects and topics. Pluridisciplinaryperspective.

Bibliothèque du CRASC (Centre de recherche en anthropologie sociale et culturelle), Bir El Djir Oran
Documentary sources available in French, English and Arabic. Open access to researchers.

Bibliothèque Jacques Berque, Frenda, Tiaret

No website. Documentary sources on a variety of subjects available primarily in French. The library is affiliated to the University of Tiaret in the West of Algeria.

Bibliothèque universitaire de Tizi Ouzou, Tizi Ouzou

Documentary sources available in French, English and Tamazight. Open access to researchers sponsored by a researcher from the University of Tizi Ouzou; alternatively, the librarian can be contacted to apply for access.

Bibliothèque des Glycines, Algiers
5 chemin Slimane Hocine, 16000 Alger, tel: 021 23 94 85

No website. The Bibliothèque des Glycines hosts documentary sources on the countries and cultures of Algeria and the Maghreb. It contains an important collection of “Cahiers berbères”.

Institut français d’Algérie, Algiers
Documentary sources available primarily in French.



Centre des Archives Nationales d’Alger, Algiers
Les Vergers, Birkhadem, Alger, tel: (213) (0)21 54 16 20, fax: (213) (0)21 44 96 24.

Public access to a variety of documentary sources including microfilms, catalogues, official journals, audio-visual materials. The centre owns an important collection of 3000 maps and plans from the colonial period that cannot be found in France. Archival colonial sources dating back to 1830, although the majority of sources relate to the colonial period 1920-1962.

Centre des archives de la wilaya d’Alger, Algiers
Rue Hocine Asselah, Alger, tel: (213) (0)21 71 14 26.

Access to sources related to the prefectural colonial archives that remained in Algeria after the country’s independence.

5.3 Research Centres

Research Centres in France

Université Paris VII (Denis Diderot)

The University’s research portfolio includes a range of research projects in the area of literature, social sciences and humanities, as well as interdisciplinary research groups in society and migration in the (post)colonial context, including the Maghreb. See here.

The library is accessible from here

Le Centre d’Etudes des Nouveaux Espaces Littéraires de l’Université Paris XIII (Paris-Nord)

Previously known as the Centre d'études francophones et comparées (CELFC), this research centre in French and comparative studies concentrates on the exploration of new and emerging literary spaces ("nouveaux espaceslittéraires", "littératures émergentes"), challenging traditional readings of literary spaces. Transdisciplinary studies with a strong accent on theory.

In 2005, the CELFC became the Centre d'Étude des Nouveaux Espaces Littéraires (CENEL). 

Centre de Recherches Interculturelles sur les Domaines Anglophones et Francophones (CRIDAF)

Hosts an interdisciplinary research group bringing together specialists in comparative Anglophone and Francophone literatures.

Centre de Recherches Moyen-Orient Méditerranée (CERMOM), Ecole Doctorale de l’INALCO (InstitutNational des Langues et Civilisations Orientales), Paris

Interdisciplinary research centre devoted to the study of Arabic studies, Hebrew and Jewish studies as well as Turkish and Islamic areas.

Coordination Internationale des Chercheurs sur les Littératures Maghrébines

Internationale association of researchers with a wide distribution list and membership access to the biannual peer-reviewed publication Expressions Maghrébines, previously known as Etudes Littéraires Maghrébines.

Université de Lyon Lumière 2

The Faculté des Lettres, Sciences du Language et Arts hosts the research group on French and Francophone contemporary literatures Passages XX-XXI.

Research Centres in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines d’Algérie (CEMA), Oran

The Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) is a private body funded by the Institut Américain d’ÉtudesMaghrébines. Its mission is to facilitate scientific research in the area of North Africa, all disciplines covered, and to encourage the information exchange in the field of research.

Centre National de Recherche en Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle, Oran

The CRASC is a national research institute in the area of human sciences and the production of knowledge in society created in 1992.

Centre des Etudes et Recherches en Sciences Sociales (CERSS) of the University Mohammed V – Agdal, Rabat

Brings together university lecturers, researchers and specialists from across Universities in Morocco. Specialises in the area of social studies of contemporary Morocco.

Centre Jacques Berque, Rabat

Belonging to the network of the twenty-seven centres of research in French outside France (IFRE – Instituts Françaisde recherche à l’étranger), the Centre Jacques Berque is a multidisciplinary research centre in the areas of sociology, politics and literature in Morocco and the Maghreb. It has a library with 12,000 documents on contemporary Morocco and the Maghreb.

Centre National de Documentation, Haut Commissariat du Royaume de Maroc

The Centre’s research portal ABHATOO gives access to a variety of sources, textual, visual and audio, relating to all aspects of the social and economic life of contemporary Morocco.

Université Mohammed V - Agdal, Rabat

Hosts a research group on Maghrebian literatures, le Groupe d’études maghrébines, Départment de langue etlittérature françaises.

Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis / Centre for Maghreb Studies in Tunis (CEMAT), Impasse Menabrea,19 bis, rue d’Angleterre, 1049 Tunis-Hachad

CEMAT is the American Research Center in Tunis, one of the three centers under the American Institute for MaghribiStudies (AIMS) (the other two are TALM in Tangier and CEMA in Oran).   CEMAT has a two-room library specializing in works in English about North Africa.  The library includes about 2000 books and about 1000 theses, plus journals and collections of press clippings and miscellaneous articles by topic area. It has a large number of theses, both published and unpublished, by American scholars on the Maghreb. The Centre organizes conferences and one-day events onMaghreb-related subjects.

Note: the Library is non-circulating; the materials must be consulted in the Library and cannot be checked out.  

Centre de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CERES), 23 rue d’Espagne, 1000 Tunis

Large collection of books and periodicals on the Maghreb in Social Science subjects. The CERES publishes the RevueTunisienne de Sciences Sociales

Faculté des Lettres, des Arts et des Humanités, Université de la Manouba, La Manouba 2010,Tunis

The French, English and Arabic Departments have a variety of subjects related to the Maghreb, not only literature, but also to linguistics and "civilisation". A full list of research units can be found here

Institut de Belles Lettres Arabes (IBLA)12bis, rue Jamâa el Haoua, Bab El Menara, 1008 Tunis

Extensive collection on Maghrebian literature, Islam and Maghrebian culture.

Institut de Recherche sur le Magreb Contemporain, Tunis

Since year 2000 under the trusteeship of the CNRS. Specialises in research in the areas of Social Sciences and Humanities and covers all regions of the Maghreb (Tunisie, Algérie, Libye, Mauritanie), except Morocco (see the Centre Jacques Berque in Rabat).

It has a library with open access. Large collection of up-to-date periodicals and books on Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian society, economy, history etc. The Institut’s online catalogue is available onsite only.

The IRMC also edits an annual peer-reviewed publication Maghreb et sciences sociales.



5.4 Virtual Resources

Website with a variety of information and resources on Algeria covering subjects ranging from literature, theatre, music, dance and film to history and society.

Le Maghreb des Films

The project and the association Le Maghreb des Films was founded in 2009 by the group Coup de Soleil. A platform for diffusion, debate on and promotion of the Maghrebian filmatographic production in and outside France. Publishes the biannual publication Le Maghreb des Films.

Littératures Maghrébines (LIMAG)
A comprehensive source on Maghrebian literatures and cultures. Contains a growing resource on Maghrebian film.

Website containing a variety of sources on the Maghrebian Francophone literatures of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco; has access to the interactive database LIMAG with 24848 entries of books, thesis and movies, 2849 entries of periodicals and 34144 references to articles.

Founded by Charles Bonn and run by the Centre International de Chercheurs sur les Littératures Maghrébines, Lyon, France. The centre publishes a biannual peer-reviewed journal Expressions Maghrébines.

6. French resources in Sub-Saharan Africa

Because of the specificities of the (post)colonial histories of the areas covered, the French resources on the Sub-Saharan Africa listed below have been divided into two the following main categories:

Libraries and Archives

Research Centres

Virtual Resources

6.1 Libraries and Archives

Les Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer 

Archives on the colonial presence in French Overseas Territories.

The Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps two large collections

1) The archives of the Secretariats of State and the Ministries responsible for the French colonies from the 17thCentury to the 20th Century;

2) The archives transferred from the former colonies and Algeria when independence took place between 1954 and 1962, apart from the management archives which remained in the countries concerned.

All fields of colonial history are represented from the exploration of territories and the creation and administration of the colonies, the economic relations with Metropolitan France and the training of colonial administrators to the monitoring of political and liberation movements, wars and independences. Over 38 km of dossiers, 150,000 photographs, 60,000 maps and plans and a library of 120,000 books, periodicals and press titles.

Gives access to the Archives' online research tool IREL (Instruments de recherches en ligne).

Les Archives du Musée Branly

The collections of the Les Archives du Musée Branly offer combined access to the institutional and private resources of the Musée de l’Homme, the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, and other resources.

Bibliothèque de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme

The Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme is a research site specializing in the human and social sciences based on inter/pluridisciplinarity with a marked international dimension. The organization of the collections, which are multilingual and available on different supports, respects the principle that presided over the Fondation’s creation: promoting the most innovative and creative research.  The current documentary policy continues to align itself with the main research orientations in the social and human sciences.  Direct access to the catalogue Babylone.

Bibliotheque interuniversitaire Cujas

Library related to the subjects of law theory, economics and politics. The Library is also a depository for the United Nations publications.

Database “Voyages en Afrique” — Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

«Voyages en Afrique» contains a variety of information and resources covering the colonial history of the African continent and the Pacific islands (Madagascar, la Réunion, l'Ile Maurice). 

Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine (BDIC) (Nanterre)

Access to documentary sources and books on colonial and postcolonial history of Francophone, Anglophone andLusophone Africa.

Médiathèque du Musée du Quai Branly

The Médiathèque’s collections mainly come from two institutions: the Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, formerly the Musée des Colonies founded in 1931, and the Musée de l’Homme, created in 1937 and heir to the Muséed’Ethnographie du Trocadéro. The collections are continually growing as a result of new acquisitions. It is possible to search the catalogue online.

The media library is a centre of excellence on ethnology and offers a wide choice of works on the art and civilisationsof Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas.  It also conserves documents relating to their cultural heritage: photographs, archives, documentation on the collections.

La Bibliothèque du Musée de l’Homme

The Musée de l’homme is closed for renovation until 2015.

It is possible to search the collections of the library by searching the central catalogue of the Muséum Nationald’Histoire Naturelle.

6.2 Research Centres

Université Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Has a research unit on Social Sciences and Humanities covering subjects from geography, history, sociology, philosophy, psychology to anthropology.

Université Montesquieu (Bordeaux IV)

See the research group GRECCAP (Groupement de recherches comparatives en droit constitutionnel, administratif etpolitique) for studies on the theme of African Law and institutional development for the developing countries (Droitsafricains et développement institutionnel des pays en développement). 

Laboratoire LLACAN (Langue, Langages et Cultures d’Afrique Noire) (CNRS)
Part of the Institut National des Civilisation Orientales (INALCO), CNRS, Paris. Good source of information on the study of African languages and linguistics, as well as African literatures.

Online access to LLAN articles and publications on languages, language and cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa.


Cahiers de Littérature Orale

Collection Afrique et Langage

Revue Mandenka

Réseau des études africaines en France (CNRS)

Interdisciplinary thematic network (Réseau Thématique pluridisciplinaire) on African studies.

Centre d’étude des mondes africains (CEMAF) (CNRS/ Paris)

Interdisciplinary research centre (history, ethnology, anthropology, political sciences) with access to a number of documentary sources on Africa.

Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM) (CNRS / Bordeaux / Montpelier/ Pau)

Pluridisciplinary research centre on the study of Africa (political sciences, history, sociology, economics). Access to a research library with 30,000 books and 850 periodicals.

Centre d’études Africaines (CEAF)

The Centre of African Studies (Centre d’études africaines - CEAf) has contributed to the renewal of social sciences research on Africa and its global diaspora. Anthropologists, geographers, historians and sociologists associated with the Centre work in a multi-disciplinary perspective, considering the past in the analysis of the present and space in the analysis of societies. As a place of education and influence of a large part of French anthropology, the CEAF continues to diversify its research themes and to renew its research questions.

Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. It was established in 1973 as an independent pan-African research organisation primarily focusing on social sciences research in Africa.

The CODESRIA Documentation and Information Centre (CODICE) offers electronic resources in full text in open access:

6.3 Virtual resources


H-West-Africa is free and open to everyone with an interest in  West African history and culture. It is sponsored by the African Studies Centre, Michigan State University; the West African Research Association (Secretariat at the University of Wisconsin, Madison), and the West African Research Centre (headquartered in Dakar)

Jeune Afrique


Chez Gangoueus

A blog on African literature in French.

7. French resources in Switzerland

National Libraries and Archives

Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse

Swiss Federal Archives

Archives littéraires suisses - Berne
Access to catalogues of Swiss libraries, including a facility to scour archives for manuscripts. Access is free for researchers.

University Libraries

Université de Genève
The library catalogue of the University of Geneva, and also a portal to all other libraries in Geneva.

8. French resources in the UK

There are several institutions that hold French materials in Britain. They can be classified in the following categories:

8.1 Archives

The National Archives
This is the national achive of England, Wales and the United Kingdom. It brings together and preserves the records of the central government and the courts of law. The records span an unbroken period from the 11th century to the present day. Their website runs a database search engine to help you find the records you need. They also have several searchable databases to help you find out about records held by other archives.

Arts and Humanities Data Service
As a postgraduate student in humanities you will find this service useful and relevant. It includes 5 different domains:

  • Archaeology Data Service
  • Visual Arts Data Service
  • Oxford Text Archive
  • Performing Arts Data Service
  • History Data Service.

Archives Hub is a portal bringing together descriptions of thousands of the UK's archive collections and representing nearly 300 institutions across the country.

AIM25 is a database of archives and manuscript collections from many of London's higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and City livery companies.

8.2 Cultural institutions

British Council
On this site you will find information on e-journals, journals and multimedia.

Institut Français
The Médiathèque provides access to various aspects of French language and culture, and offers a wide range of services. There is unrestricted public access to all multimedia collections. Books, videos, CDs,CDroms and comics are available and the subscription fee is £20 for 6 months and £30 for 1 year.

French Embassy in London
The French Embassy has created a cooperation programme dedicated to research activities such as seminars, workshops and colloquia. 

Alliance française - London
The Alliance Française is the world's largest French teaching association with over 1,000 schools in 129 countries. In the United Kingdom, classes, social and cultural events are offered through a well-established network of 14 schools and about 50 clubs.

The Society for French Studies
The oldest and leading learned association for French studies in the UK and Ireland, exists to promote teaching and research in French studies in higher education. Their site offers links to grants, conferences, current research, publications, and information geared towards postgraduates. The society publishes the French Studies Journal.

Dix-Neuf - University of Bristol
Dix-Neuf is dedicated to multi-disciplinary research in the French/francophone nineteenth century. You can link to their online resources through this page.

Association for French Language Studies
AFLS was founded in 1981 to encourage and promote language teaching activities and research in French Language and Linguistics as areas worthy of consideration in their own right. The Association acts as a forum for scholarly discussion and for the exchange of information among those interested and engaged in teaching French in Higher Education.

Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France
The Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF) was founded in 1979 to provide a forum for those involved in teaching and researching modern France and the Francophone world. From its creation it has been an interdisciplinary association and draws its members from a wide range of academic disciplines and departments in higher and further education in the UK and overseas.

8.3 Libraries

We cannot list all the libraries in the UK holding French resources. So before checking one of the larger libraries on this page, always search the catalogues of your University library first, and those which are in your neighbourhood. University libraries tend to have different specialisms depending on the research interests of the lecturers and researchers associated with the institution, so collections may vary considerably. Be creative when doing your research and use COPAC to locate your materials.

The British Library
The British Library is one of the world's greatest libraries. It holds over 150 million items from every age of global civilization. You can search the catalogues and order copies of some documents online. Access is free but you need to get a reader's pass. Photocopying, microfilming, photographic and digital services are available but be warned: charges are very high. If you can copy the materials elsewhere, then do so. See the special webpages dedicated to the French Collections of the British Library, including Francophone resources.

Bodleian Library at Oxford
This is the main research library of Oxford University, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library, having a stock of 6 million volumes. Admission open to members of Oxford University is free, and to other bona fide scholars on production of a suitable letter of recommendation and proof of identity. Graduate students affiliated to universities and colleges funded by the higher education funding councils of the UK or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from payment.

Cambridge University Library
This library has more than 5 million books and more than 1.5 million serial volumes. For vacation access only your student ID is required, although during term time and for the section Manuscripts & Rare Books you have to produce a letter from your supervisor. Students from foreign universities are subject to an administration charge of £10 for six months.

The Taylor Institution Library (Oxford)
The Taylor Institution Library is devoted to modern languages and has a total stock of over 500,000 volumes - it is the largest specialist library in its field in the UK. Its collection concentrates on the literary and philological aspects of continental European culture, but also contains much background materials in fields such as history and philosophy.

John Rylands University of Manchester Library
Holdings of specialized library collections, including manuscripts, early printed books, and rare materials.

University of London Library: Senate House
The University of London Library is one of the major academic libraries of the United Kingdom. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). However, lending rights are only given automatically to University of London students and staff. Anyone else has to pay a fee (there are various different categories). Photocopying (also onto CDs) is available at a reasonable rate.

British Film Institute Library
The BFI Library provides access to a large collection of documentation and information on film and television including French films and scripts.

Institut Français du Royaume Uni (London)
The Médiathèque of the Institut Français holds the largest free-access collection of French material in the UK – feature films, documentaries, music, poetry, novels, comic books, children's books and much more. There is unrestricted public access to all multimedia collections. Books, videos, CDs, CDroms and comics are available and the subscription fee is £20 for 6 months and £30 for 1 year.

The National Art Library - Victoria and Albert Museum
NAL is both a major reference library and the Victoria and Albert Museum's curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book, with a special collection of prints, drawings and paintings.

9. Virtual resources

Besides descriptions and catalogues of real libraries and archives, you can find on the Net numerous virtual libraries, that is, numerous websites containing the transcriptions of entire texts. We suggest that you should have recourse to them only for the first reading, or in order to search for particular words or phrases. If you need to quote those texts in your thesis or papers, you should refer to printed editions, whose philological accuracy is more easily verifiable. On the other hand, the Net offers you several other research tools, such as:

  • META-OPACs: these are search engines that allow you to scan materials of several library catalogues at once.
  • humanities portals and sites, that is, portals/sites devoted to different aspects and fields of humanities
  •  digital works and authors, that is, web-sites devoted to individual authors or works
  •  e-journals, that is, periodicals published only (or also) online.

Another essential digital source of information is the

  • MLA International Bibliography which represents the best source for tracing secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books. It will be available on CD-ROM (or in print) in your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and journals each year.

9.1 Digital works and authors

You can now access many literary works either online (for free) or on CD-ROM (then you will have to purchase the CD-ROM or consult it at a library that might hold it). In any case, the digitization of literature can be a great research tool as it will allow you to do specific searches in the text and in the case of online literature brings it into your house without your having to venture out to the library or the bookshop. For links to online literature, check our section on virtual libraries. There you will find many of the literary works you are studying online. To list them all individually on this page would be an infinite task. We have therefore limited our authors' page to few examples. If you are interested in CD-ROMs dedicated to particular authors, one major publisher of literature-based CD-ROMs is Chadwyck-Healey. For more information on their products click here: ProQuest and Chadwyck Healey.

Examples of digital authors and sites listing digital authors

French: Authors and Texts - Romance Studies at Harvard
This page of the Romance Studies website of Harvard University provides an extensive list of sites dedicated to authors and online literature.

Auteurs - Université de Montréal - Bibliothèque de Lettres et Science Humaines
On this site you will find hyperlinks to webpages for all major French authors.

Contemporary Women's Writing in French
Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing
This site is dedicated to promoting awareness of the work of women authors, including French authors, who emerged in the 1990s. It also provides access to information about other academic resources in this general field of research.

Fondation Voltaire 
This Oxford University site is dedicated to Voltaire, and includes the transcription of his works and letters. The site also provides an online version of the complete works of Montesquieu, the correspondence of Pierre Bayle and that of Mme de Graffigny.

L' Encyclopédie de Diderot et D'Alembert
The online version of the Encyclopédie.

Europeana provides access to over 50 million digitised items - books, music, artworks and more.

9.2 e-journals

Périodiques électroniques
It is not an e-journal in itself, but the catalogue of more than one thousand periodicals available on-line through theBNF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) website.

E-journals at Williams College
Another catalogue which gives you access to the online version of 12 journals dedicated to different aspects of French Studies.

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture Web Journal CLCWeb
This is a peer-refereed quarterly of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences published online on the www through Purdue University Press.

9.3 humanities portals and sites


Intute Arts and Humanities Hub
This site is one of the most useful for all areas of research in the Humanities. It contains links to sites within all subject areas of the Humanities (simply click on French Studies in this case) and you will be offered routes to projects/organizations, primary sources, research-related sites, secondary sources, teaching and learning related sites and also bibliographical sources. It is regularly updated and continuously maintained.

This site is of interest to researchers, academics, students and teachers in the French language. It provides links to bibliographical resources, libraries, academic institutions, cultural organizations/events, research centers, media, conferences, etc.

The British Academy Portal
This is the British Academy's directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences. It is designed as an entry point to resources available for those working in higher education and research, including the domain of modern languages amongst many other subjects.

Gabriel - Gateway to Europe's National Libraries
This is the World Wide Web service of Europe's National Libraries represented in the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). It offers information about all the National Libraries of Europe, their services and online exhibitions. - le portail de la culture 
From this site you can search websites, articles, organizations, museums and libraries of all cultural sectors.

Littérature francophone virtuelle
On this site you will find information about autobiographies, bibliographies, philosophy, poetry, publications and novels. Moreover, this site serves as a virtual library providing an extensive amount of literature online. Access is free of charge.

HAPAX: French resources on the Web
Hapax is an experimental server featuring Web links to French-related resources. It is of interest to university-level teachers and students. Access is free of charge.

French Resources - Romance Studies at Harvard University
This portal organized by the Department of Romance Studies at Harvard provides excellent links to French Resources.

ENSSIB Sciences de l'Information et des Bibliothèques En Ligne
This portal will allow you to access a plethora of further portals and sites covering, online libraries, information on libraries (material and virtual), education, information technology, literature, pedagogical resources online, and on many other areas.

Centre National du Livre
General information on French books and publishing houses. Access is free of charge.

This is site is of interest to researchers, academics, students and teachers in the French language. It provides links to bibliographical resources, libraries, academic institutions, cultural organizations/events, research centers, media, conferences, etc.

Littérature de langue française en ligne
On this site, you will find Web links to sites on French literature, theatre, cinema, dictionaries, encyclopedias and multimedia. Access is free of charge.

Literature of the French Middle Ages
On this site you will find information on a great variety of French documents and texts from Medieval times. Access is free to all students.

The Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL)
This is a collection of some of the most important literary works of Classical and Medieval civilization. OMACL is an academic site, written and maintained by medieval scholars. All articles have been judged by at least two peer reviewers.

Fabula: la recherche en littérature
This site offers a plethora of information on literature, fiction, theory of literature and poetics.

Mauvais genres
Here you will find references for the genres of detective stories, science fiction and fantasy.

Zazieweb: la communauté des e-lecteurs
This is an interactive site where you can respond to and communicate about all kinds of literary questions. A great portal to further sites concerned with the debates and dissemination of literature. It is free.

Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory - SAS IMLR  
This site is dedicated to supporting researchers by directing them to emergent research in Cultural Memory that may not yet be listed on major bibliographic databases. It is also designed to direct users to writing on Cultural Memory in general that offers a theoretical framework to support their developing research.

Through this site you can connect to a collection of texts and hypertexts in French concerned with Theatre Studies.

Eighteenth-Century Resources - Literature
A great online resource for eigteenth-century studies - check out their French section!

ARTFL project of the University of Chicago
An extremely interesting and useful site containing many databases including Provençal poetry, French Women's writing, online French dictionaries, an online version of Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie, etc.  Restricted to institutional subscribers.

Links dedicated to francophone resources with emphasis on countries other than France

L'ILE - Le Centre de documentation virtuel sur la littérature et les écrivains québécois
Site giving access to information about French Canadian literature.

New York University Libaries: web page on francophone resources
Check out this excellent section on francophone resources of the New York University Libraries.

French-at-a touch
This is a francophone sourcing tool for students and academics, providing links to all kinds of information (geographical, economic, historical and gastronomic) on the different regions, départements, cities and towns of thefrancophone countries.

Conseil International d'Etudes Francophones 
The Conseil International d'Études Francophones (CIÉF), or Council of International Francophone Studies, is a non-profit association whose aim is to encourage interdisciplinary studies, research, and publications concerning all countries and regions of French expression. Anchored in North America where it was born, the CIÉF is designed for those who belong to French-speaking communities as well as those who are interested in the Francophone world.

Agence universitaire de la francophonie
This huge portal of the Agence universitaire de la francophonie will allow you to connect to further online francophoneresources, virtual libraries, educational sites, partner sites in francophone countries, and many other interesting links. The site is dedicated to 'L'information scientifique et technique en français pour les universitaires Nord-Sud'.

Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
This site represents the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, offering links to its different member states, and information and news on political and cultural activities, and its different agencies.

The Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies

The Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (SFPS) is an international organisation which exists in order to promote, facilitate and otherwise support the work of all scholars and researchers working on colonial/postcolonial studies in the French-speaking world. SFPS was created in 2002 with the aim of continuing and developing the pioneering work of its predecessor organisation, the Association for the Study of Caribbean and African Literature in French (ASCALF).
The virtual library of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie

9.4 Metaopacs

British META-OPACs

The most searched British META-OPAC. It contains the online catalogue of 22 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library catalogue.


SUDOC: Système universitaire de documentation
This search engine allows you to undertake integrated catalogue searches of French University libraries and other educational institutions. It covers more than 5 million references on books, theses, journals and other types of documents.

CCFR: Le Catalogue Collectif de France
This catalogue allows you to locate and reserve more than 14 million documents stored in the main libraries of France - municipal and those associated with Universities and research centres. It includes the references of BMR (Cataloguedes fonds rétroconvertis des bibliothèques municipales) - the municipal libraries - and those of BN-Opale Plus and ofSUDOC.

Transnational META-OPACs

Karlsruhe Virtueller Katalog KVK
The wonderful University of Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue allows you to search all the major libraries and national opacsin the world at once. Indispensable.

9.5 Virtual Libraries

This is a search engine that allows you to scour all major virtual libraries.

Exeter Textes Littéraires électroniques
Through this site you can access literary texts and you can also place your order if you wish. Access is free of charge.

ABU : La bibliothèque universelle
On this site you will find information on books and be able to consult the texts of online catalogues. Access is free of charge.

Poésie française 
On this site you will find more than 5.500 French poems from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. You can also search for a particular poem. Access is free of charge.

Le Laboratoire de Français Ancien
On this site you will find information on three libraries. 4.5 million documents are available, 1 million monographs, 9 million magazines, 12 million musical documents. Access is free to all students.

Gallica: la bibliothèque numérique
A project of the BNF, this online library offers access to 70000 literary works, 80000 images and a vast amount of sound materials. Available online and free of charge.

Athena Textes français
This is an online library organized by Geneva University offering access to francophone literature.

ClicNet: Littérature francophone virtuelle du XIXe siècle
A virtual library dedicated to nineteenth-century French literature.

Littérature orale et écrite des îliens 
A great website for basic information on French Caribbean writers: Littérature guadeloupéenne, haïtienne,martiniquaise, littérature de l'Océan indien, littérature polynésienne.