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French Literature and Studies: Primary Sources

Gallica -- BnF Digital Collections

This is an incredibly exciting digital collection of historical French resources.  Gallica (click on the word to start searching) "is a platform providing access to public domain and copyrighted digital material. The project is part of a European program in which the BnF is the French aggregator for the implementation of « Europeana », the European digital library. The Bibliothèque nationale de France has been digitising its public domain documents for more than 10 years; as a result, several tens of thousand books, images, periodicals and sound recordings have been put online. The valuable collections available via Gallica as well as the scientific, historical and cultural interest of the digital library make it a highly-appreciated service."  An excellent resource for historical primary materials in French.

ARTFL Project

Founded in 1982 as a result of a collaboration between the French government and the University of Chicago, the ARTFL Project is a consortium-based service that provides its members with access to North America's largest collection of digitized French resources. ARTFL-FRANTEXT is the main ARTFL Database, comprising more than 2,900 French language texts spanning from the 12th through the 20th centuries, 168 million words and 587,000 unique word forms.

In addition, ARTFL members are also given access to a large variety of other Subscriber Databases

An excellent resource for historical primary texts in French.

Center for Research Libraries Catalog

A rich source for primary documents in many areas.  In addition to searching the catalog directly, there are Topic Guides for both French Literature and France, which include historical newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, and proceedings.  One specific collection is the  Pamphlets and Periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848.  Many of the materials cited are available directly in full-text PDFs; all may be borrowed from the Center through our Interlibrary Loan department (use your ILLiad account to make a request).

19th-Century Masterfile

19-Century Masterfile gives citations for writings from 1800-1900 from several nations.  It includes references to articles, newspapers, books, and U.S. and U.K. government documents.  You will have to search for the full text of what you find here separately, but it is a rich source of primary materials for the 19th-century.  You may find some items in our own catalog, or through WorldCat, which you can search directly for more primary material from any century.


The following encyclopedias may be considered primary sources because of their dates of publication.

  • REF AE 25 .L32 1982
    Grand Dictionnaire Universal du XIXe Siecle 16 vols.  Paris: Librairie Classique Larousse et Boyer, 1982. An excellent source for historical material.


All of the following titles are currently in the MILLER COMPACT SHELVING in the basement of Miller Library.

  • REF AE 25 .E53 PLATES 1978
    Diderot Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrations 1762-1777  5 vols. NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1978. Illustrations for the text; an excellent source for historical images.

  • REF AE 25 .G7
    Grand Encyclopedie 31 vols. Paris: H. Lamirault et Cie,1886-1902. Another historical achievement.

Microform Sets

  • Les Femmes. Clearwater Pub. Co., 1971-1980.
  • DESCRIPTION: 481 MICROFICHE. Rare works from France on microfiche from the Bibliotheque Nationale. A collection of 127 titles dating from the 17th-20th centuries, scrutinizing every aspect of women's lives.
  • LOCATION: Miller, First Floor. Microfiche #212
  • ACCESS: Printed Guide. REF HQ 1613 F4

Historical Maps

Librarian for Humanities

Karen Gillum's picture
Karen Gillum
Miller Library 107B
(207) 859-5123

In-office hours: T 10:00-11:00; F 11:00-1:00
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