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France: History and Literature: Free Web Sites

Use this guide to research topics in French history and literature. Last updated 06-05-2023

Free Web Sites

A few general sites, followed by an alphabetical list.  

Cairn.Info Free Access Journals

Index to French journals in the humanities and social sciences. Some full-text available for free. CAIRN aggregates scholarly journal content for social science and humanities journals published in France and Belgium. Most of the content dates back only to 2001.

[Diversity Materials Websites]

Archives Homo Lists of French-language LGBT periodicals and ephemera; searchable catalog of 1500 books

Archives Recherches cultures Lesbiennes Searchable catalog of 3,000 volume library

Website of Jacques Ars Annotated bibliography of 1500 French LBGTQ titles in fiction, poetry, theater and nonfiction

Le Point G: Bibliotheque Municipale de Lyon Guide to collections including 10 thematic bibliographies and catalog link to 2600 plus notices

Big Tata Union catalog of library holdings of 7 French LBGTQI organizations; guide to 24 LGBTQ archival collections held by French institutions

Librarie les Mots a la Bouche (Paris) Oldest and best stocked LGBTQI bookstore in France; online mail order catalog

Decolonizing Sexualities Network Blog and bibliography of books and articles on decolonial critiques of sexuality and gender, including numerous sources on francophone countries.

Gallica Digital Library

A database of some 70,000 French texts and 80,000 images created by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, chosen from its own and other French collections. Contains literature, history, science, philosophy, law, economic and political science materials. Some 1250 of the works can be word searched within the texts.  You might wish to use its English language interface, here.

European Library

The European Library web service is a portal which offers access to the combined resources (books, magazines, journals.... - both digital and non-digital) of the 43 national libraries of Europe. It offers free searching and delivers digital objects - some free, some not.

European Parliament

European Parliament, EP, is the legislative body of the European Union, EU, a political and economic union of 27 member states, founded in 1952.  Makes laws, approves EU budget, supervises work of the EU.  Shares power with Council of the EU and European Commission.  This website is a portal to the info about the EP's work, and inner workings. 


Enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections.  Images - paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects. Texts - books, newspapers, letters, diaries and archival papers. Sounds - music and spoken word from cylinders, tapes, discs and radio broadcasts. Videos - films, newsreels and TV broadcasts.

Free Access to Pascal and Francis

Free Access to Pascal (Science) and Francis (humanities and social sciences) site is an archive of the PASCAL and FRANCIS bibliographic databases produced by the Inist-CNRS between 1972 and 2015 and previously accessible on a subscription basis. Over 14 million bibliographic references. From this landing page, click on the “A database” tab then on the “Pascal Francis” icon, top right column. You need to set up a personal user account.

French Embassy in the U.S.

Type "free electronic resources" into the search box at top right.  There are nearly 500 clickable documents resulting.

French Studies

This guide is a list of scholarly resources in French Studies. Intended primarily for librarians; it may be useful to scholars in this field.  It is curated and managed by members of the European Studies Section (ESS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries. Users are free to copy and edit content from this guide for their own purposes.

Open Edition

Searching, with full-text access to hundred's of open access journals in French, covering the humanities and social sciences.  On this page are links for searching for free e-books and free e-journals.  With directions for use.


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.

Alphabetical list begins here.

ABU: La Bibliotheque Universelle


ABU maintains hyperlinked, searchable files of public-domain texts in the French language. Of the almost 300 texts from over 100 authors available as of May 2012, almost all are literary works; the exceptions are usually either political or philosophical (for example, the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen, some Marx and Engels, some Leibniz), although there are also titles in history of science and other fields as well. (Updates vary)


Alliance Internationale des Editeurs Independants

Is an international network of 750 publishing houses around the world in favor of bibliodiversity.  Site offers, on the occasion of their 20th anniversary, a literary world tour in more than 30 countries: 45 readings in 25 languages ​​to listen to and watch here!  Site offers member publishers links to tools, online surveys and analyses, and workshops to support independent publishers in their activities, reflections and digital practices.


Archives Charlie a Harvard

The attacks of January 7, 8 and 9 2015 against Charlie Hebdo (periodical's offices) and a kosher supermarket in Paris have started a vigorous debate on fundamental issues such as freedom of expression, relation between state, religion and society, respect for other beliefs and perspectives than our own, inequalities, and the disenfranchisement of individuals and communities. Goal is to preserve manuscript, printed, digital, and ephemeral materials produced in the aftermath of these events. These materials will be archived by Harvard Library, and made available for research and education to scholars, teachers, and students.  Site available in both French and English.

Archives Nationales d'Outre Mer

As the heir to more than three centuries of history, the Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer keeps two large collections with different administrative and archive pasts.  One is the archives of the Secretariats of State and the Ministries responsible for the French colonies from the XVIIth Century to the XXth Century.  The other is 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. To these are added private and company archives relating to the Overseas Territories as well as a specialised library, map library and image library.  Use their Instruments de Rechercrecherchene (IREL-Anom) database.

 Archives Portal Europe 

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

ARLIMA The Literature Archive of the Middle Ages

Les Archives de Litterature du Moyen Age (ARLIMA) was founded in 2005 for students and researchers specializing in the Middle Ages because creation of a bibliography on an author or a text has become so much more arduous because of the proliferation of printed and electronic bibliographical tools at scholars' disposal.  It provides as full bibliographic coverage as possible on a large number of authors and texts from the Middle Ages, mainly French and Latin languages, but not excluding other Western European languages.  Not exhaustive.  Maybe not even completely accurate.  It is not a directory of internet sites, but of printed works, mostly.

Artists in Paris: Mapping the 18th Century Art World

Artists in Paris is an open-access digital humanities and art history project that maps hundreds of 18th-century artists' homes and studios. This website's database contains an entry for 471 artists. All of these artists were "members of the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture) between 1675 (when comprehensive address records began) and 1793 (when the Academy was disbanded during the French Revolution)." While it's possible to search by artist name, drawing on personal knowledge of French 18th-century painters and sculptors, there is a handy Guide section that explains how to get the most out of the resource. Perhaps the easiest way to start using Artists in Paris is to filter by year, which produces color-coded markers on the map indicating addresses where artists lived. The color of the marker indicates the type of artist, such as history painter, engraver, or landscapist. Clicking on the markers displays information about the corresponding artist.

Assemblee Nationale Francaise

Can be accessed in French, English, German, Italian, or Spanish. Contains French government documents at the national level. Free information. Register as an individual.


Base de Francais Medieval

From Univ. de Lyon.  Contains 170 complete Old and Middle French texts, written from 9th through end of the 15th centuries.


Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec (BANQ)


Bibliotheque Mazarine

Mazarinum is the name of the digital collections of the Mazarine Library, Paris.  It contains 15th-19th century books, archival documents, illustrated materials, photographic materials, the original Encyclopedie of Diderot.  They have begun digitizing items from their collection, found here, also harvested by the digital sites Gallica and Europeana.


Bibliotheque Nationale de France


Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique


Bibliotheques Specialisees de la Ville de Paris

Website of special libraries of Paris. Contains catalog of collections and full texts of various works: views of Paris, collection of wallpapers, embroidery patterns, fashion plates, two major atlases of Paris, documents of Louise Michel, Diary of John Grualt, 1639 atlas of the world, dust jackets of American illustrated pulp fiction of the 1920s and 1930s, digitized 78 rpm records.



This is a portal to collections documenting the cultural heritage of Brittany (France). Its search engine allows you to search across the digitized collections of several institutions.  Materials included: pictures and postcards, press archives, learned societies' bulletins, funds re academic research, oral heritage archives, audiovisual archives, museum collections, heritage and architectural inventories, iconography, maps, plans, manuscripts and other rare material.  It also offers thematic dossiers about Breton history, which can be discovered through a timeline or an interactive map. The interface is available in French, Breton and English (with some limitations).

Bureau International de l'Edition Francaise (BIEF)

Supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the BIEF promotes French publishers and published works abroad.  Site has a link to a French publishers' member directory.  They also compile thematic catalogs of books published by French publishers available here online.  The site offers member publishers a newsletter and some of the reports and articles in it are available on the site.  The help to finance French publishers' attendance at international book fairs around the world.  They offer professional meetings/workshops for people involved in French publishing and around the world.

Catalogue Collectif de la France

The French collective catalog (CCFr) is a tool for querying several catalogs of French libraries, some of which are located abroad. It is supplemented by a national directory of libraries and documentary funds (RNBFD).  Since February 2001, it has been entrusted to the National Library of France (department of cooperation).

CCFR Catalogue Collectif de France

National Union Catalog effort of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France.   Over 30 million documents.  Click on the A Propos link near top right of entry screen for a description of the contents, which are always being added to. 

Centre National du Livre (CNL)

Founded in 1946.  Public establishment of the French Ministry of Culture.  Supports all players in the book chain: authors, translators, publishers, booksellers, librarians.  Scroll to end.  Site offers links to online reports about books and reading; press releases, press release kits and speeches distributed by the National Book Centre; a search engine to find bookstores.  They promote books and reading and translation of French works into other languages and vice versa.  They give grants for writers, publishing, translating, residencies, and literary events. 

CIFNAL: Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections

The goal is to promote and facilitate the cooperative exchange of ideas and resources between French and North American libraries. CIFNAL is under the aegis of the Global Resources Network of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). M.S.U. Libraries is not a member of CIFNAL, specifically. The CIFNAL website offers links to some very good French resources.  They offer a database of academic institutions in the U.S. and Canada with strong French and Francophone collections called Finding French and Francophone Special Collections.

ClicNet: Litterature Francophone Virtuelle

Site is edited by Carole Netter, Swarthmore College.  French language and literature.

ColiN Catalogue des Oeuvres Litteraires Numeriques--Construire le Corpus du Quebec

A project from Litterature Quebecoise Mobile that is creating an inventory of Quebec digital literary works.  To be included works must have a strong literary content and a significant, if not dominant, digital component, and generally produced first in French.  At least one person on the creation or editing team must be from Quebec or the work must have been produced in Quebec.  Is a catalog, not full texts.  In advanced search you can search by author, title, subject, keyword, collection, class.  Limit by date. Le Portail de la Culture Le Portail de la Culture From the French goverment ministry of Culture and Communication, this is a portal into to French national cultural collections and museums. Genealogy, history of arts, art images, online exhibits, video, photos, etc. Browse by various themes: archaeology, architecture, archives, maps, postcards, paintings, engravings, historic monuments, furnishings, overseas, prehistory, sculpture, theatre, voyages, and more.

Culturetheque Digital Library

This site is the official digital library of the Institut Français. Enjoy French ebooks, over 250 magazine titles, music, film clips, bandes dessinées, podcasts, and more—all online, to download or enjoy via streaming. With a strong focus on everyday life from fashion to travel and cooking, this is the ultimate database for any Francophile. TV programs and resources for language learners as well. To access Culturethèque, you must be a FIAF Member.  There are directions here for signing up for an account.  User guide.

Digital Librarian: a Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web: French Literature

Maintained by Cortland, N.Y. librarian Margaret V. Cortland.

Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature

Lists internet sources for literary texts in Western European languages other than English. Links are grouped by language. Within each language, collections from multiple sources are listed in order of size of the collection, followed by texts by individual authors arranged alphabetically by author. Brief annotations indicate the content of each site and any difficulties that might be encountered. Site includes texts in some ancient languages (Ancient Greek, Latin, Old Norse), languages found in Eastern Europe (Greek and Finnish), and less widely spoken languages (Galician, Provencal). Most links are to freely available sources on the internet (exception is ARTFL to which MSU subscribes and has its own entry in electronic resources list).

Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert.  Collaborative Translation Project

Offers English translation of the expansive-thirty-two volumes in total-Enlightenment period encyclopedia overseen by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Users can browse and search translated articles in a number of ways, browse original illustration plates, explore related material, and more.

Epopee, Bibliographie Comparatiste Site

Contains a bibliography on the evolutionary epic (300 titles of books and articles since 1997 in several languages) for the study of the modern and contemporary epic and more.

e rara

The platform for digitized rare books from Swiss libraries.  Almost 17,000 Swiss printed items. 15th-20th centuries.  Browse keywords, titles, authors, or search through  thematic collections on alchemy/magic/Kabbalah, anatomy, historical scientific literature, Swiss children's and young people's books, Vitruviana, birds, works of Rousseau, 18th-19th c. works printed in Ticino, works from Rheinau Monastery, 17th c. Italian prose and poetry, Fondo Giani, Library of the Naturforschende Gesellschaft Zurich, Bibliotheque des Pasteurs, 18th-19th c. Bernensia,  Limit by language, range of dates, publisher, place of publication, type of material (book, map, illustrated material, music print), holding library.

Eurodocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe

These links connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries (and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social, and cultural history). Covers medieval and Renaissance, Europe as a supranational region, as well as documents of individual countries. From Brigham Young University.

European History Primary Sources

Provides links to free scholarly websites of digitized primary documents and online digital archives on European history.  Browse by country, language, time period, subject or type of source.

Europeana Migration

A sub-collection of Europeana, a website described above in this list.  Offers photographs, artworks, documents, sounds, videos and more on the topic of migration to, from and within Europe, gathered from museums, galleries, libraries, audio-visual archives and archives across Europe, in English or other European languages.  Funded by the European Commission and its member states. Co-funded by the European Union.


Europeana Research [Newspapers]

Full Text from digitised newspapers from the National Library of France. 20 different titles are featured; the time span for each title can be seen on The European Library newspapers portal. The text for each title is available as a zip file. Each zip file is then organised by year, and the text (in the json format) is within each folder, along with issue level metadata. Title-level metadata is available in the root of the zip file for each issue.

Finding Translations

This is a research guide to help people find literature in translation in the M.S.U. Libraries.


French and Francophone Digital Humanities Projects

The goal of this LibGuide is to list Digital Humanities projects in French and Francophone Studies that are currently underway in the world.  This is a great way to discover what others are doing, what kind of projects are of interest, and also, to make new connections and foster new collaborations and partnerships.The different tabs show from where the projects originated, except for the Caribbean tab which highlights both projects designed by people in the Caribbean as well as projects about the Caribbean that originated from a different place. Made by the CIFNAL Collection Development Working Group, American librarians working with France/French collection building in academic libraries.

French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe

This project uses database technology to map the French book trade across late-Enlightenment Europe, between 1769 and 1794.  It charts best-selling texts and authors; reading tastes across Europe; changing patterns of demand over time; and networks of exchange in the print-trade. The project tracks the movement of around 400,000 copies of 4,000 books across Europe.  It details, where possible, the exact editions of these works, the routes by which they travelled and the locations of the clients that bought or sold them. To the original database, they added, in Dec., 2022, records of over 25 auction sales at Parisian Chambre syndicale de la librairie et imprimerie; records of licensed print runs for books under new Permission simple license from 1778; records of pirated books...1778-1780; records of all titles suspended at Parisian customs inspections... 1770-1791; inventory of all books found in Bastille's secret depot following its capture by the revolutionary crowds, most but not all were highly illegal.  Old site is still available at

French Connection

This is a site offering links to French and Francophone cultural resources, including: history, current events, and media; language and literature; art and culture; libraries; e-texts; government information; publishing; tourism; industry and trade; education. Also links to gateways and search engines.

French Culture

This site aims to provide Americans with resources on all aspects of French culture: literature, performing arts, film, television, higher education, grant programs, and French language.  Find out when/where French culture events happen, such as art exhibits, film showings, book signings, music festivals/performances.  Sections:  Books, film, TV and new media, visual and performing arts.  Interviews and video clips and links to French TV channels may be streamed online free of charge, even in the U.S.


French Digital Diplomatic Archives

Provides access to several thousand digitized documents from the Ministry as well as documents from Gallica selected for their cultural and historical interest. Categories include diplomatic history, treaties, agreements and conventions, French mandates and protectorates, and official intergovernmental and foreign publications. It will be added to on a regular basis.  This site explains about it.

French Libraries (guide from U of Cal. Berkeley)

List of links to web sites of libraries in France and news sites.

French Renaissance Paleography

Paleography is the history and study of handwriting. Old scripts can be very beautiful, but sometimes difficult to read. This site presents over 100 carefully selected French manuscripts written between 1300 and 1700, with tools for deciphering them and learning about their social, cultural, and institutional settings.You can also browse for manuscripts by region, date, and these broad topics: art and culture, economy, family, gender, government and politics, law, major events, notable people, or religion.  A project of the Newberry Library and the University of Toronto.

French Revolution Digital Archive

FRDAis a multi-year collaboration of the Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) to produce a digital version of the key research sources of the French Revolution and make them available to the international scholarly community. The archive is based around two main resources, the Archives parlementaires and a vast corpus of images first brought together in 1989 and known as the Images de la Revolution française.

French Revolution Images: Iconography from the Collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France

Provides access to the most complete searchable digital archive of French Revolution images available. It is based on a benchmark image-base, Images de la Révolution Française developed by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France at the Revolution’s bicentennial in 1989. The Images were originally offered in analog format on laserdisc.  The BnF rescanned at high resolution 5,126 of the images on the laserdisc from the original materials. All 5,126 images are now available online. They  were selected from across the BnF’s departments, and include thousands of images from important 19th and early 20th century collections. All images are from the period from 1787 through 1799. Only visual materials directly tied to the Revolution itself are included. Search by artist, subject, genre, and place; browse within various themes.  A spreadsheet of the full metadata can also be accessed via the The Standford Digital Repository.

FYI France

By Jack Kessler. Contains links to resources, and services, of and about 800+ libraries in France, and publishing and online digital information there and generally in Europe, useful to librarians, Internet and Minitel users, researchers, teachers, students, writers, book-collectors, book-dealers, publishers, and anyone interested in the Internet, Minitel, libraries, France and Europe -- since 1992.

H-France Professional Resources

H-France is the premier American, scholarly electronic discussion list about the history of France, offered by H-Net. Within their website is this page "Resources" which offers links to online history resources, maps, bibliographies and indexes, databases, dictionaries, search engines, some phone books, and guides to some cities, including Paris. There are also links to practical information: searching for lodging, government, libraries, museums, the Metro, trains, universities, the weather.

Historical Research in Europe

Historical Research in Europe attempts "to unite both web-based and printed resources about [Western] European libraries and archives in a single interactive database." Search by keyword, country, any one of 25 pre-defined subject groupings (such as World War II or immigration), subject terms, historical periods, type of archive (such as church or diplomatic), personal or family name, or broad historical topic. Search results lead either to guides to archival materials held in University of Wisconsin's library system (which M.S.U. Libraries may also own; check our online catalog) or to web sites of particular archival institutions. Done by University of Wisconsin under Barbara Walden's inspiration.


ICON International Coalition on Newspapers

"Comprehensive source of information about significant newspaper collections in print, digital and micro formats."  Use the Advanced Search.  Put in your country, language, and range of dates desired.  Various news titles will be retrieved, with dates of coverage.

Indexes and Guides to Western European Periodicals

American Library Association, ACRL, Western European Studies Section created and maintains this guide. Its purpose is to list print and electronic indexes to European periodicals from the 17th Century to the mid-20th Century. This includes indexes to specific titles, periods, subjects, and geographic areas. In addition, it lists descriptive guides and online web sites that may contain useful information in the absence of an index. Indexes portion: Lists indexes and tables of contents alphabetically, by century. Includes web sites and hypertext archives with index. Guides portion: Lists bibliographic and historical guides to periodicals without indexes or tables of contents alphabetically, by century. Web sites portion: Links to online bibliographies and guides, as well as hypertext archives that do not provide an index. The guide itself is divided into two sections: one providing access to "comprehensive resources," covering several countries or languages; and one listing language specific resources: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, italian, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish. There is also an overall search function. While new electronic resources are starting to provide subject access to periodicals pre-1950, anyone searching for articles published on a specific topic in Western Europe during the early 20th, 19th, or even earlier centuries, will find this guide useful, because many of the electronic indexes are incomplete.


Institut Francais du Royaume Uni

A U.K. site that is part of the Institut français a worldwide network promoting French language and culture and encouraging cross-cultural exchange and cultural diversity. Founded in 1910, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni comprises a language centre, a cinema (Ciné Lumière), a multi-media library (La Médiathèque), and a children’s library. At the heart of the Institut français’ mission is the teaching of the French language.

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

Collection of primary sources of historic documents from the early modern period to the present for both Europe and the Americas. Includes links to other sources of information on modern history and on the nature of historiography, and links to maps, images, and music.


Literary Tour de France

Web site being developed by Robert Darnton, prominent American professor of French history and recently retired Director of Libraries of Harvard University.  "By browsing through [this site on the history of the book in pre-revolutionary France], readers can create a trail of their own through the documents while pursuing topics that interest them. They also can consult many of the essays I have written about the STN, book history, and related issues in the general fields of cultural history and the social history of ideas. And if they would like to follow a path already prepared for them, they can click through the following material [already digitized below] in an order that constitutes a literary tour de France."  The STN is "the archives of the Société typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a Swiss publishing house across the border from the Franche Comté, which did a huge wholesale trade everywhere in the kingdom [of France] while producing its own editions."



Website of Le Louvre, the major musee of France.


Mai 68: A Library Research Guide

From University of California, Berkeley, by Claude Potts, a noted Western European Studies librarian.

Making of Charlemagne's Europe (MCE)

Offers a single, unified database framework for the extraction of prosopographical and socio-economic data found in early medieval legal documents. Legal documents contain an extraordinary wealth of information for the political, social and economic history of this period. The aim of this project is to offer a common framework capable of extracting and comparing the data contained within legal documents, while still, at the same time, allowing users to identify and control for the most significant distortions typically affecting this material (such as modes of transmission, e.g. via an original or a later copy). The second aim is to apply this framework to legal documents surviving from the reign of Charlemagne (25 September 768 to 28 January 814 AD). Over four thousand charters survive from the reign of Charlemagne; the database includes almost a thousand of them, selected for maximum variety in types of repository, modes of transmission, geographical area, recipients and issuers, etc.

Mandragore, Base du Manuscrits Enlumines de la BNF

Map of Lexical Distances Between Europe's Languages

Presents an alternate view of European cultures: rather than geographic and territorial borders defining the outlines of Western Europe, the Indo-European language families are used to depict relationships and to rethink the way we view proximity.

Mapping Gothic France

France and Great Britain are home to a number of striking examples of gothic architecture built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, including cathedrals and castles. On this website, created by Columbia University art historian and archeology scholar Stephen Murray and Vassar College art professor Andrew Tallon, visitors can explore photographs of these structures and learn more about the history of this architecture. On The Main Map, visitors can explore annotated photographs of structures by geographic pin. Many of these pins included multiple photographs, allowing visitors to examine the exterior and interior of structures in great deal from their own computer. The majority of structures are located in modern France, but this collection also includes a large number of buildings in the United Kingdom. Another way to experience the site is via The Historical Maps and Timeline section, which features an animated map outlining the intersections between the history of France and the construction of these buildings. Meanwhile, visitors with a passion for architecture will enjoy the Comparison feature, which allows visitors to layer a variety of exterior and interior architectural features on different structures. A work in progress, the Stories and Essays section provides more information about Gothic architecture as well as the history of France.

Musee National de l'Histoire de l'Immigration

It is is a multidisciplinary cultural, scientific and educational institution: [with] exhibition spaces, theater, cinema, a site for reflection and debate as well as artistic activities....  When it opened in April, 2007, it had no collection.  This was created ex-nihilo  by locating, purchasing, or obtaining by deposit, a collection to show 200 years of the history of immigration in France. Chronologically, it meant analyzing the history of immigration in France, from the beginning of the 19th century to the present time and from a methodological point of view, defining the major events, its long progression and the plurality of views within its communities, whether national or in exile.  They use history, anthropology, and art to help viewers grasp the social and historical contexts of the subject of immigration.

The public face of the Fondation Napoleon, a charitable organization headquartered in Paris that is devoted to the preservation and study of the first and second Napoleonic empires, 1804-1815 and 1852-1870. This was a time of dramatic political, social, and cultural upheaval and transition in Europe. This portal provides access in French and in English to primary, secondary, and tertiary source material, including some 5,000 digitized texts and images, along with teaching tools, a newsletter, magazine, and a variety of other supplementary material.

Newberry French Revolutionary Collection Pamphlets

The Chicago, Illinois Newberry Library's French Revolution Collection consists of more than 30,000 pamphlets and more than 23,000 issues of 180 periodicals published between 1780 and 1810. The collection was acquired by the Newberry between 1957 and 1961 from Michel Bernstein, a book dealer in Paris. There are complete runs of well-known journals, as well as many rare and unknown publications. The collection represents the opinions of all the factions that opposed and defended the monarchy during the turbulent period between 1789-1799 and also contains innumerable ephemeral publications of the early Republic. While the majority of the pamphlets were printed in Paris by the Imprimerie nationale, there are also significant numbers of provincial publishers and fictitious imprints.

OAIster Catalog of Open Access Resources

Over 1500 organizations with OAI-compliant repositories contribute over 50 million records to this database which uses the OCLC WorldCat interface.  Has finding aids for archival collections.

Old Book Illustrations

"Old Book Illustrations was born of the desire to share illustrations from a modest collection of books, which we set out to scan and publish. With the wealth of resources available online, it became increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to explore other collections and include these images along with our own." Contains links to book illustrations first published in the 18th century through the first quarter of the 20th century.  We particularly emphasizes Victorian and French Romantic illustrations up to the death of Gustave Dore. "We also focused our efforts on offering as many different paths and avenues as possible to help you find your way to an illustration, whether you are looking for something specific or browsing randomly. The many links organizing content by artist, language, publisher, date of birth, and more are designed to make searching easier and indecision rewarding." Access by artist, engraver, format, publisher, technique, title.  General and advanced search options.  Advanced search can be filtered by broad categories, such as buildings, animals, plants, people, etc.  Be sure to read the Terms of Use page, a link at the bottom of the entry page. 

Paris: Life and Luxury

Allows one to travel to 18th-century Paris via this Getty Museum exhibit.  Material culture objects from the upper classes at this time.

Paris Musees

“Paris Musées is a public entity that oversees the 14 municipal museums of Paris, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais, and the Catacombs,” writes Hyperallergic. “Users can download a file that contains a high definition (300 DPI) image, a document with details about the selected work, and a guide of best practices for using and citing the sources of the image.” The fact that the entire collection is public domain means that the public can use the images for any purpose, including commercial ones.


Offers a selection of digitized documents from the collection of precious books, published between the 15th and 18th centuries, and kept in the library of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.  This collection illustrates the fields of the history and philosophy of science, and more specifically the scientific works by Swiss authors. Thus, thousands of images from books that have entered the public domain (maps, plans, old prints, manuscripts and incunabula) are directly accessible and downloadable.

Presse et Litterature au XIXe Siecle. Dix Ans de Recherche. Bibliographie

Authored by Marie-Eve Therenty, University of Montpellier.  A bibliography of citations about 19th c. newspapers and other periodicals in France.


Website launched by Bibliotheque Nationale de France.  Makes available over 15 million newspaper articles from three centuries.  Search in broad categories: arts, catastrophes, conflicts/international relations, economics, education, justice, media, politics, religion, health, sciences, society, sports/leisure.

Revue des Deux Mondes

First published in 1829, with the objective of establishing a cultural, economic, and political bridge between France and the United States. Truly multidisciplinary, the Revue covers all major subjects affecting our societies and is one of the primary agents of intercultural dialogue and debate between the New and Old Worlds, but also the North and South, the East and West. Providing commentary and analysis on world events from a mostly French perspective, the journal has, over the years, accumulated an impressive list of contributors. The Revue is one of the few publications that may rightly claim to be a cultural institution. Years from 1829 are available here and on the Gallica website. It is possible to do a search here for authors, titles, keywords, etc. BUT, BEWARE. HERE you need to pay to read the whole article! Best to do your search here, find your citations, and then look up the journal in the M.S.U. Libraries' online catalog and use an edition digitized in the Hathi Trust project.

Shakespeare and Company Project

The Shakespeare and Company Project demystifies the lending library launched by Sylvia Beach in 20th century Paris. Known as a refuge for writers and other creatives deemed "the Lost Generation," this writing hub quickly became world-famous. After thriving for a couple of decades, Beach preemptively closed the company following an incident where she refused to sell a book to a Nazi officer. Now, staff at Princeton University are digging into records that recreate Beach's world and share the company's story. The project's various components invite visitors to explore more than 6,000 books, read research (e.g., essays exploring gender and sexual expression and analyzing lending records), and browse membership logs. The project is led by Director Joshua Kotin (also an Associate Professor in Princeton's Department of English) and supported by The Center for Digital Humanities and the Humanities Council,

Share ILL: Gateways and Union Catalogs--France

Offers quick links to major French online catalog websites.  Can be used by both scholars and interlibrary loan librarians.

Siege and Commune of Paris, 1870-1871

This site contains links to over 1200 digitized photographs and images recorded during the Siege and Commune of Paris cir.1871. In addition to the images in this set, the Library's Siege & Commune Collection contains 1500 caricatures, 68 newspapers in hard-copy and film, hundreds of books and pamphlets and about 1000 posters. Additions are made regularly. The originals are located in the Charles Deering McCormick of Special Collections in the Deering Library at Northwestern University.

Super-Enlightenment, a  Digital Collection of the Stanford University Libraries

The Super-Enlightenment database contains thirty-six texts, written in French between 1716 and 1835 (for a full list, click on texts in any menu). Some of these were widely read in their time; others are more emblematic of the shadowy demi-monde of eighteenth-century intellectual intrigue. Taken as a corpus, they offer a fair representation of the disparate and unorthodox interests of the age.

Syndicat National de l'Edition

The National Publishing Union (Sne) is the professional body representing French publishers. It brings together small, medium and large publishers from all over France and represents all editorial sectors. He defends the freedom to publish, copyright, a single book price, cultural diversity and the idea that collective action helps build the future of publishing. It contributes to the promotion of books and reading.  it is professional organization for publishers.  The Bureau is the Union's decision-making body. It is made up of 12 to 16 members elected for two years. Its composition reflects the diversity of the profession: publishing houses of all sizes and all publishing sectors are statutorily represented.

USTC, Universal Short Title Catalogue

A collective database of books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the 16th-Century.  Hosted by University of St. Andrews.  Began as a project to survey French religious books for studying the Reformation.  Also has entries for Catholic books and vernacular imprints to establish how religious books fit into the economy of print.  France was a main center of European printing.  They surveyed the holdings of 300 French libraries, municipal and academic, both.  Also went to great world libraries outside France, which compose 30% of the database.  They have added holdings from Iberian libraries and libraries in the Low Countries. Entries give brief bibliographical details.

VERSPERA Research Project, Digitisation and Modelling of the Plans Relating to Versailles Under the Ancien Regime

The VERSPERA research project, Digitisation and modelling of the plans relating to Versailles under the Ancien Régime, aims to make the plans of the Versailles Estate under the Ancien Régime available to the public and to restore some of the missing parts through 3D modelling.  Read about it; see images.


Organized in 1900 Le Vieux-Papier society has over 500 member organizations.  Their concern is with the documents printed on paper about daily life from the 15th century onwards, such as popular engraving, publicity materials, transportation schedules, games, notices, religious images, more.  Mouse over the "Qui Sommes Nous" tab near top left.  Click on "Liens Amis"; there is a list of links to other web sites.

Visitors to Versailles Database

The purpose of this tool is to draw up a list of the personal accounts of foreign visitors to the domain, palace and court of Versailles, in order to examine how the “Versailles myth” was disseminated throughout Europe. The period in question will extend from the reign of Louis XIV to the end of the 19th century, in order to establish how opinions about this place evolved, from the moment it established itself as the centre of royal power to when it became a testimony to a monarchical past. The corpus brings together a variety of texts: memoires, travel accounts, letters and even diaries, written by authors of diverse social and geographical origins. From the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, directed by Gérard Sabatier.

Voice of the Shuttle: French

Voice of the Shuttle created by Alan Liu, an English Prof. at U. C. Santa Barbara.  The French section contains links to resources that are general, about the medieval period, about the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, about the French Revolution, and about a few, noted, French academic departments at universities.

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library (WDL) is a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.  It makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.  Its goals are to promote international and intercultural understanding; expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet; provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences; build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

World War One

From the British Library.  Brings together material from various institutions across Europe about Europe in WWI.  Over 500 items, including photos, videos, diaries, books, cartoons, and other types of materials the document the ways Europeans experienced the war on both sides.  Can explore by theme, search using keywords, and filter by year, language, creator, format.  Also contains secondary articles by historical experts, interviews, and teaching resources,  with lesson plans for middle/high school.