Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: French Studies

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronology of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

Classical studies acquires works on pre-medieval France.

B. Language of Resources Collected:


We collect both French and English language editions of the works of prominent French literary authors. We do not collect French language translations of works originally published in English, except for rare books. Critical literary material is collected in both English and French using this same guideline.

We collect history works published in French and in English and translations of French texts into English, but not French translations of works published in English, originally, except for rare books. Ditto for other disciplines.

C. Geography of the Subject: Emphases and Restrictions

French studies is about the history, literature, and culture of France, not about the French, outré mer, in Africa, which is the purview of the Africana librarians.  French studies does collect on the history, literature, and contemporary affairs of French Canada in the French language.

D. Format of the Resources Collected: Restrictions, if Any

Nothing is prohibited. However, we collect  DVDs very sparingly; DVDs produced in France are not able to be played on North American DVD players.  We have in microform French Books Before 1601, a microfilm set we began collecting a very long time ago and a few other microform sets.  Recently, we have begun collecting expensive primary online resources, with purchase of Le Monde Digital Archive, 1944-2000 and some modules of Early European Books.   We offer, by subscription, ARTFL and Digitalia e books and streaming films.  As online courses require more electronic books  the new French studies selector will want to work with the users to determine what e books are needed.  The need to collect data may come along. 

E. Date of Publication of Resources Collected: Emphases, if Any

We emphasize collection of recent imprints, purchasing older materials only to fill specific, reasonable faculty requests.

We collect a few French rare books in Murray and Hong Special Collections, where we aim to offer a representative collection for teaching.

F.  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We must be attentive to DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion, in our collecting going forward, looking for publications from both mainstream and small independent publishers in North America, France, the Low Countries, and the Caribbean about racial minorities, religious minorities, LBGTQ+ persons, and other under represented peoples in the French world, their experiences and difficulties, both primary and secondary sources, and about both their present and their past histories. Consider online/electronic, open access, as well as traditional paper formats.  Finding this material, which might be outside what approval plans, takes more time for the selector to do.

G. Approval Books

Books come on the shelf-ready GOBI approval plans.  GOBI slips are also used.  We have a literary works books approval plan with AMALIVRE which brings only three star (*** the most important) literary works.  We also have a slips plan with AMALIVRE for both language/literature and all other areas (only three-star *** titles).  Many AMALIVRE slips are used, primarily in non-literary areas.  The AMALIVRE plans, for both slips and approval books,  should be revisited in conjunction with the faculty; lately, only about half as many approval books are coming as we have budgeted for.  The French studies selector uses slips and firm orders to make up the difference.  AMALIVRE may still be implementing its new online system.