chao chen, research librarian  

by Chao Chen, Research Librarian | 617.627.2057 | Home
Tisch Library, Tufts University


French Language, Culture and Literature

Research Sources & Tips


Print (all in Reference)

Dictionnaire de Synonymes et Contraires. PC2591 .B44 1997

Dictionnaire du Français non Conventionnel. PC2689 .C44 1981

Warnant, Dictionnaire de la Prononciation Française. PC2137 .W3 1968

Le Nouveau Petit Robert. Dictionnaire Alphabétique et Analogique de la Langue Française.

(Nouvelle éd. du Petit Robert / de Paul Robert ; texte remanié et amplifié sous la direction de Josette Rey-Debove et Alain Rey.) PC2625 .R554 1996

Trésor de la Langue Française: Dictionnaire de la Langue du XIXe et du XXe Siècle. Ref. PC2625 .I4



Larousse French-English, English-French Dictionary (previously Grand Dictionnaire Français-Anglais, Anglais-Français.) PC2640 .G68 2003

Robert & Collins Senior Dictionnaire Français-Anglais, Anglais-Français. PC2640 .C69 2005

Historical Periods

Cotgrave. A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues. Reprint of the 1611 ed. PC2640. A2 C7 1611a.

Furetière. Le Dictionnaire Universel. Reprint of the 1690 ed. PC2620 .F7 1978.

And also: Godefroy (Middle Ages), Huguet (16th century), Encyclopédie (18th century, see the E-Text Tab), Dictionnaire du XIXe siècle, Bergeron (Québécois)


1. Dictionary of Literary Biography


2. Contemporary Literary Criticism--Select


3. Oxford Reference Online

Art and Architecture; social, political, religious history; history of ideas; all periods.

In print

Le Petit Robert: Dictionnaire Universel des Noms Propres. AG25 .R6 1995


Cyclopedia of World Authors. PN451 .C93 1997


Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs de Tous les Temps et de Tous les Pays N40 .B47 1966


Dictionnaire de Biographie Française CT143 .D5


Dictionnaire des Auteurs Français. PQ146 .D5 1962


Dictionnaire des Écrivains Français. PQ41 .M3


Dictionnaire des Figures et des Personnages. NX651.8 .A96 1981


Dictionnaire des Personnages Historiques . CT143 .D53 1995


Dictionnaire des Grands Auteurs de Littérature et des Sciences Humaines. Stacks: PN456 .B67 2000

Cultural and Literary Backgrounds

Encyclopædia Universalis. AE25 .E3 1984


Grand Dictionnaire Encyclopédique Larousse. AE25 .G63 1982


Dictionnaire des Institutions de la France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe Siècles. Stacks: DC35 .M3 1968


Dictionnaire des Intellectuels Français: les Personnes, les Lieux, les Moments. DC33.7 .D48


Dictionnaire des Idées Contemporaines. B804 .M65


Dictionnaire d'Histoire de France. DC35 .D53


Dictionnaire de la Mythologie Grecque et Romaine. Grimal, BL715 .G7 2002.


Dictionnaire Biblique Culturel et Littéraire. BS440 .L33 2002


Cyclopedia of Literary Characters. PN44 .M3 1998


Dictionnaire des Symboles. GR931 .D52 1996


Dictionnaire des œuvres Littéraires de Langue Française. PQ41 .B4 1994


Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. PN2035 .P313 1998


Dictionnaire du Théâtre Français Contemporain. PN2635 .S46


Dictionnaire Mondial des Films. PN1998 .D48 2002


Guide to French Poetry Explication. PQ401 .C65 1993


Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises. Stacks: PQ41 .D56 1994
Notes : [v. 1.] Le Moyen age -- [v. 2.] Le XVIIe siècle -- [v. 3.] Le XVIIIe si`ecle.


Dictionary of Modern French Literature: from the Age of Reason through Realism. PQ41 .D65 1986


Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe siècle / Pierre Larousse. Reprint of the 1866-1879 ed. [CD ROM, 2 volumes]. Circulation Desk: AE25 .L32 2002


Bibliographie des Revues et Journaux Littéraires des XIXe et XXe Siècles. PQ2 .P5


Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises. Le XXe siècle / édition réalisée sous la direction de Martine Bercot et d'André Guyaux. Stacks: PQ41 .D562 1998


Quid, an almanac/encyclopedia on French institutions and their history. Ref. AE25 .Q85 (1963-2007)


Ephraim Chamber's Cyclopaedia: English precursor to the Encyclopédi.


Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Dciences, des Arts et des Métiers

The print version: Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers. Nouvelle impression en facsimilé de la première édition de 1751-1780. (Ref. AE25 .E53 1751a)
v. 1-17. Texte. A-Z -- v.18-21. Texte. Suppl -- v. 22-23. Planches -- v. 33. Planches. Suppl. -- v. 34-35. Table, par P. Mouchon.

Dictionnaires d'Autrefois

French Dictionaries from the 17th - 20th centuries:

Nicot's Tresor de la Langue Française (1606);

Féraud's Dictionaire Critique de la Langue Française (Marseille, Mossy 1787-1788);

Littré's Dictionnaire de la Langue Française (1872-1877)
and the Dictionnaire de L'Académie Française 1st (1694), 4th (1762), 5th (1798), 6th (1835), and 8th (1932-5) editions.

Pierre Bayle's Dictionaire Historique et Critique

(a facsimile version of the 1740 edition.)

Louis Moréri, Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique

Classical French Writings

Over 2600 texts ranging from classic works of French literature to various kinds of non-fiction prose and technical writing from the 12th to the 20th century.

Plus the following collections:

B.A.S.I.L.E.: Le Corpus de la Littérature Narrative du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle: Romans, Contes, Nouvelles


Eighteenth Century Collections Online  (1701-1800)
(See also the guide for The French Enlightenment)


Voltaire électronique


The Bibliothèque bleue de Troyes:
Online collection of 252 chapbooks from the 16th to 18th centuries.


The Montaigne Project:
Full text searching of Montaigne's Essais with page images from the Bordeaux Copy.


Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus:
Madeleine & Georges de Scudéry's 17th century novel.


Balzac. La Comédie humaine:
Online critical edition with full text searching and supporting material.


CRL Pamphlets and Periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848


Begun in 1997 as the major digitization project at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Gallica includes full-text of over 100,000 volumes and 300,000 images covering the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on nineteenth-century material. Residing in Gallica are dictionaries and encyclopedias, journals, manuscripts, recordings and images. Various collections compose "Les Dossiers de Gallica," such as Gallica Classique (Garnier editions), La Bibliothèque de Voltaire à la Bibliothèque nationale de Russie, Le dossier “Sociétés Savantes.”

The Gerritsen Collection: Women's History online, 1543-1945.

The 734 French titles in this collection cover women in the military, law, and reforms in women's legal, civil, and economic rights, as well as women's influence on French literature from Gallic times through World War II. Here is a sample record:

Sand, George: Correspondance, 1812-1876
Paris: Calmann Levy,, 1882, 2386 pages

Deux visages de l'Astrée (Professor Eglal F. Henein)


Use Libraries Catalogs to find books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

Path of Discovery in the Catalogs

1. Find a title/author (assigned readings/Course Reserves);

2. Note the descriptive language of the Catalog record.

3. Use that language in further searches

  1. e.g. Click on subject/author in the record to see further results and related topics.
Author Jefferson, Ann
Title Biography and the Question of Literature in France
Publisher New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Subject French literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
French literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Biography in literature.


Search Tips

1. Literary Anthologies and Collections:

Introductory texts in anthologies provide overviews and surveys of an author and his/her works, a literary era, literary style, and so on so forth. The explanatory footnotes enhance an understanding of the works in terms of contemporary culture and literary traditions in which the authors lived and wrote. Hence, the historical significance of the works.

For example:

Anthologie des Nouvelles du Mercure Galant (1672-1710) / texte établi, présenté et annoté par Monique Vincent. PQ1275 .A57 1996

The Early French Novella; an Anthology of Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Tales / edited and translated by Patricia Francis Cholakian and Rouben Charles Cholakian. PQ1278 .C5

2. Many more books on well-studied authors, so it helps to browse through some typical subject subdivisions in book Catalogs:

Diderot Denis (last name first in subject search)

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Correspondence
Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Criticism And Interpretation.

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Dramatic Works.

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Encyclopédie.

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Fiction.

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Knowledge -- Art.

Diderot, Denis, 1713-1784 -- .Manuscripts.

3. Perform a Keyword Search on a topic:

literature and ("French-speaking" or frencophone)


1. include "and" in between keywords;

2. "or" and ( ) to nest related/varied expressions;

3. “ ” quotations marks around phrases.


Subject Databases

Use the subject databases to find scholarly journal articles.

1 & 2. JSTOR and Project Muse

JSTOR is a favorite with its full texts in core journals of all disciplines. Project Muse does not include exactly the same JSTOR journals, but it has more recent and current articles on many topics.

3. Academic OneFile

All subjects; a convenient quick start with some full texts.

4. Literature (MLA)

The principal literary studies database.

5. Film & Television Literature Index

6. Women's Studies International

7. When use GoogleScholar, a limited scholarly universe, be sure set your Scholar Preferences to access our full texts.


Search Tips:

1. On an Writer and a Related Issue

1. Start with a general search with simply the author's name, or title of the novel.

2. What issue or problem associated with the author?

André Malraux, a 20th-Century French writer who produced politically engaged works that challenged their audience to confront political and moral debates of their time.

Sample search:

Malraux and (engag* or moral* or politic*)


1. include "and" in between keywords;

2. "or" and ( ) to nest related/varied expressions;

3. engag* searches for all forms of the word, engaged, engaging, etc.

2. Review of Recent Books

Reviews of recent books on a subject are likely to summarize the current state of research in an area;

A sample search in Project Muse and limited to Book Reviews :

surrealis* and (france or french) and AND review*

Hemus, Ruth. "Surrealism: Crossings/Frontiers (review)" French Studies: A Quarterly Review, 63: 2 (2009), 228-229.

3. More articles like this "perfect" one:


Search, in Arts and Humanizes Citation Index, for the article you have read. For example:


Prasad, Pratima. "Colonial Space and Historical Truth in George Sand's 'Indiana" Etudes Litteraires, 35: 2-3 (2003), 71-85.
References: 23 Times Cited:2

You can, then, look up, in the record, the 23 references that Prasad cited for her article and, in turn, 2 articles that cited hers. The assumption is that these articles address related issues



LexisNexis Academic

  1. Libération
    Le Figaro
    Le Monde

Factiva (many more foreign language sources)


New York Times Online Archive

Times Digital Archive (1785 - 1985)

Historical U.S. Magazines and Essays

American Periodicals (1740-1940)

Essays and Popular Magazines

Search across: Essay and General Literature (1900 -84), Art Retrospective (1929 - 84), Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (1890 – 1982).


Historical British Periodicals

British Periodicals (1680s - 1930s)

British Humanities Index (1962- )



More than one million images with contributions from outstanding museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates from all over the world.


Thousands of images by Art History course at Tufts.

Image Quest

an online file of more than two million rights-cleared images from some 40 image collections.

Art Project (museums from around the world by Google)


MLA Style: (note: Examples below are based on the 2009 MLA update.) 


Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication:
  Publisher, Year.
Single author
Howard, Brett. Boston, a Social History. New York: Hawthorn,
Two or three authors
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the
  Attic: the Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979.
Editor or compiler as author
Monson, Ingrid, ed. The African Diaspora: a Musical Perspective
  . New York: Garland,  2000.
Article or chapter in a book
Le Patourel, John. “Normans and Normandy.” Dictionary of the
  Middle Ages. Ed. Joseph  Strayer. New York: Scribner’s, 1987. 251-73.


Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical Volume
  (Year): Pages. Medium (Print or Web).
Article in a scholarly journal paginated by volume
Wawrytko, Sandra. "Buddhism: Philosophy Beyond Gender."
  Journal of Chinese Philosophy 36 (2009): 293-312. Print.
Article in a scholarly journal paginated by issue
Kokai, Jennifer.  "Molding a Heroine: Patience Wright and
  Transatlantic Notions of  American Female Patriotism."  Journal of American Drama and Theater 21.2   (2009):49-66. Print.
Entire issue or special section of a journal
Perret, Delphine, ed. Maryse Conde. Spec. issue of Callaloo
  18.3 (1995): 535-711.  Print.
Article in a popular magazine
Lacayo, Richard. “Kids are Us!” Time 23 Sept. 2002: 68-70.
Article in a newspaper
Hall, Christopher. “Reliving the 1200’s With Sweat, Muscle, and
  No-Tech Tools.”  New York Times 18 Aug. (2002): B27. Print.


Lastname, Firstname of author or editor. Title of Page. Title of
  overall site if distinct  from page title. Version or edition used. Publisher or sponsor. Date of publication.  Medium (web) Date of access.
Feasley, Cordelia Throckmorton. Women's Bodies, Women's
  Property: German Common Law Books in the Fourteenth Century. Tisch Library, Tufts University. 30 Sept. 2008. Web May 2009.


Lastname, Firstname. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical.
  Volume. (Date): pages. Name of Database. Medium (web) Date of access.
Lane, Philip J. "The Existential Condition of Television Crime
  Drama." Journal of Popular Culture. 35.1 (2001); 8-16. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 20 Oct. 2008.


Citation Management Tool

Sign up for an RefWorks account.

  • 1. Store your records of books, articles, etc.
  • 2. Generate a bibliography in the style of your choice.
  • 3. Format in-text notes/footnotes while you write.


Finding Full Texts

1. Click on the findIt@tufts button button in your search results screen to a window of three sequential options:

a. link to the digital full text when available;

b. link to a Library Catalog search for the print journal;

c. link to ILliad for requesting the article when the above two options are negative.

2. Search for a journal directly here:

a. Tufts Library Catalog (including e-journals)

b. Electronic journals list

c. Use ILliad to request your article, if Tufts does not have your journal.


Set up for your ILliad account

Use ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan Service, to request articles, books and other materials that are not available at Tufts.

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last updated: 2/27/2014