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Michigan State University

France: Getting Started: Home

Use this guide to begin researching a topic about France or the French.

Periodical Indexes

Free Access to Pascal (Science) and Francis (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Do simple and advanced searches, classification searches (subject scheme),  on this now freely available database from the French Scientific Information Dept. of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).  Francis is the database for social sciences and humanities materials.  Indexes materials in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish from journals, conference proceedings, dissertations.  Covers materials indexed in Francis from 1972-2015, 2 million items.  Do your search.  Then look up the journal name, conference, dissertation in our online catalog for access.  If we don't have it, request ILL.


Persee is a digital library of open access, mostly French-language scholarly journals, established by the Ministry of National Education of France in 2005.  It is maintained by the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, French National Centre for Scientific Research, and University of Lyon.  It is one of the largest Francophone portals dedicated to human and social sciences, offering c. 600,000 freely available documents.

Reference Works

Cambridge History of French Literature.  Main PQ 103 .C26 2011

New Oxford Companion to Literature in French.  Main Library Reference PQ 41 .N48 1995. 

History reference works are in Main Library Reference DC section.  Or, use resources in Oxford Reference Online.

French Language Dictionaries is a guide to French, French-English, and English-French dictionaries and other word books in our collection. Or, use Oxford Reference Online Bilingual Dictionaries Section.

Annee Politique, Economique et Sociale.  Main DC 398 .A6.  This is an annual in French that provides information and primary sources about what has happened in France, in the European Union countries, and in other countries around the world, in the spheres of politics, economics and society, from 1979 to the present. 

Modern France a Very Short Introduction Main DC 226.3 .R377 2013

There are a number of subject/research guides here.

Free Web Sites

France Diplomatie   Provides information about foreign policy, current news in France, visiting France, useful addresses, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

News in Translation.  This is a subject guide by M.S.U. librarians pointing the way to news information in original languages with "automated instantaneous machine translation" options into English and other languages.

E Books in French

Digitalia Francaise.  Contains a selection of French books in social sciences and humanities published in the last 20 years.  We subscribe to this service.  The books also have their own entries in our online catalog.

There are additional, more in-depth guides for researching French topics in the MSU Libraries, here.

Contact the librarian

Agnes Haigh Widder, Humanities Bibliographer
Michigan State University Libraries
366 W. Circle Dr. E 208A
East Lansing, Mich. 48824
517-432-3532 fax

Michigan State University