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Michigan State University

France: History and Literature: Indexes to Articles

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

Indexes to Articles

We use indexes to obtain access to journal articles and thesesBelow is a list of indexes useful for finding scholarly journal articles in French history, language, and literature.

After identifying the article(s) you want in  an index, there will either be links to the full-text(s) or you will need to look up the title of the periodical(s) in Books and Media  to obtain the call number of the paper copy and/or look in  E Books and Journals  by the title of the periodical(s) to obtain the link to our online version.

To find dissertations/theses use ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, link below in the indexes list.  You will want to know whether anyone has done a thesis or dissertation on a topic related to yours and to study their bibliography.  Sometimes we can borrow dissertations/theses on interlibrary loan.  ProQuest also has a program whereby you can purchase a copy.  Look for directions in their web site. 

We have a special library research guide, Finding Dissertations and Theses that has a section on the lower left side about finding dissertations done at some universities in other countries.

Atelier National de Reproduction de Theses (ANRT)

The French Atelier National de Réproduction des Thèses (ANRT), the national reproduction centre for PhD theses, was a public body under the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research until 2017. The ANRT mandate was to archive French PhD theses and to disseminate them in the academic network of university libraries, It was attached as a service to the University of Lille III and located on the Lille III campus at Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in Northern France. In 2018, ANRT became a digitization unit of the academic library of the new University of Lille.

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.

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.

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.

Systeme Universitaire de Documentation (Sudoc)

This is a shared database used by the libraries of universities and other higher education institutions in France. It identifies, tracks and manages the documents which they hold. The SUDOC online catalog has more than 10 million references. It allows students and researchers to find bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 document centers. It is maintained by the Agence bibliographique de l'enseignement supérieur (Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education).  It includes theses in history back to about 1972.

Contains theses defended in France from 1985 to present and theses in progress.